Verizon is a pretty good cell phone company, for the most part. Sure they have had some poor customer service ideas and they have tried some controversial ideas, but they’re generally okay. However, as a company with 121 million customers, Verizon is sitting on a lot of records for people’s calls, and the government apparently has an interest in that sort of thing. Verizon has been turning over millions of customer records to the National Security Agency. Unlike a standard wiretap or even a warrant-less wiretap, the NSA isn’t targeting a single person; rather, they’re just collecting everyone’s Verizon records indiscriminately.
The warrant was granted by Judge Roger Vinson on April 25 and it runs until July 19. The information collected are the phone numbers of both parties, location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of the calls. The only thing not covered is the conversation. What the government is doing with this information is not know, nor are they even confirming that such a broad-based snooping program is happening.
According to quotes of the FISA order obtained by the Guardian, Verizon is compelled to provide the NSA with electronic versions of ”all call detail records or telephony metadata created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” as well as “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
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