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Widespread snooping......All in the name of the "war on terror"

What won't governments do, especially post 9/11, to snoop on its citizenry?   The latest widespread infraction of people rights, comes from the revelation by Glenn Greenwald, writing in The Guardian, that Verizon, in the US, has pursuant to a Court order, turning over all call information.    The response and outrage has been swift!

"Outrage and rebuke are flying after explosive news broke late Wednesday that the National Security Agency, claiming authority under the Patriot Act and using a secret court order, has demanded (and been receiving) millions of phone records from Verizon which include all the company's "telephony metadata" for all its US-based customers over a three month period.
 

The "metadata" being provided to the NSA does not provide individual names for each record, but is a blanket order that allows the government spy agency access to all call information for any Verizon Business Network Services customer, including the phone dialed from and to, the location from which the call was made, and the duration of the call.

Civil rights groups, privacy advocates, and others expressed shock at the extent of the order signed by the government's secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian newspaper.

Breaking the story, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald said the document shows "for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing."

Though the Guardian report contains only one order from the FISA Court covering a set period, most experts agree that the program has likely been going on for years without disclosure.

Articulating the revelations in plain language, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Cindy Cohn and Mark Rofuld explain that the "order gave the NSA a record of every Verizon customer’s call history -- every call made, the location of the phone, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other 'identifying information' for the phone and call—from April 25, 2013 (the date the order was issued) to July 19, 2013.  The order does not require content or the name of any subscriber and is issued under 50 USC sec.1861, also known as section 215 of the Patriot Act."

More worrisome, write the EFF staffers is that no indications exist "that this order to Verizon was unique or novel."

"It is very likely that business records orders like this exist for every major American telecommunication company," they continued. "If you make calls in the United States, the NSA has those records. And this has been going on for at least 7 years, and probably longer."

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