This is an amazing story. The NSA is collecting, analyzing and monitoring millions of Verizon phone records.
he US National Security Agency is collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, according to the Guardian newspaper.
The British paper published what it said was a secret court order directing the Verizon company to hand over electronic data on all its customers on an "ongoing daily basis".
Civil liberties groups said the details of the report were "stunning".
The US government and Verizon have not commented on the report.
The US Center for Constitutional Rights said it appears to be "the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued".
The document published by the Guardian was signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the secret Intelligence Surveillance Court on 25 April and lasts until 19 July.
The Guardian who originally broke the story details how the order gets around wiretapping laws:
The order directs Verizon to "continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this order". It specifies that the records to be produced include "session identifying information", such as "originating and terminating number", the duration of each call, telephone calling card numbers, trunk identifiers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, and "comprehensive communication routing information".
The information is classed as "metadata", or transactional information, rather than communications, and so does not require individual warrants to access. The document also specifies that such "metadata" is not limited to the aforementioned items. A 2005 court ruling judged that cell site location data – the nearest cell tower a phone was connected to – was also transactional data, and so could potentially fall under the scope of the order.
Of course the National Security Agency has nothing on Walmart, Target, Amazon, Mastercard, Visa and the credit reporting bureaus profiling, tracking and knowing your every move.