A recent report published by Washington Post reveals that Verizon has been providing call records to the National Security Agency after the U.S. Court ordered them to in April 2013. The U.S. carrier has to provide daily information about all cell phone conversations that are initiated by Verizon’s customers in America or from foreign countries to America.
The ordered issued by the court in April 2013, was confirmed as authentic by two U.S. officials and the news was soon discussed by all major American newspapers. The document revealed that Verizon was ordered in April to provide all phone call conversations that their customers make and receive on the U.S. territory. The phone call records would then, be sent to the National Security Agency in order to protect the nation against terrorist attacks.
Officials of the Obama administration responded by explaining that the order does not allow the government to listen to all citizens’ conversations. The NSA requires only metadata, that is, information related to the telephone number and the length of the conversation. They concluded the declaration with a justification of the order: registering phone calls has been a very useful tool in the fight against terrorism.
The three branches of government are working to review and authorize the information that is collected. The Congress has the responsibility of determining how the information will be used. The fact that the Obama administration officials have acknowledged the U.S. court order, gives civil liberties advocates many more reasons to protest against the measures that the United States government is using. The situation has been long discussed in the past after the September 11, 2001 attack when commercial carriers were ordered to allow U.S. surveillance.
The FBI was rumored to have requested the order, but the media does not hold any clear information in this sense. The agency and Verizon have refused to comment on the news.