The United States government has invaded your privacy. The National Security Agency has admitted to obtaining the records of most Americans including all of your phone records. That’s right---nothing is safe anymore. The old-fashioned days of communism have already spread throughout our land by this leadership!
You are already being treated the exact same as a terrorist!
Sure. We understand that our government needs to do all it can to protect its citizens from any and all terrorist threats. But now, every single American’s constitutional rights have been grossly violated and are considered a suspected terrorist.
This should not happen here in America. It is like America is no longer America, especially when our own federal government is spying on everyone’s phone records, treating us like full-blown terrorists.
The Obama administration is collecting the telephone records of millions of customers of the U.S.-based Verizon Communications; but it is not limited to phone call records, but also Internet browsing records! Friday, the Washington Post reported that nine of the top Internet provider firms are also involved!
There are also other major communication companies that are providing your personal information. The Guardian, a United Kingdom-based newspaper, reported that our FBI was granted a court order in April requiring Verizon to provide the National Security Agency with information about calls inside the United States and between the U.S. and other countries on a daily and “ongoing” basis.
Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this revealed warrantless wire-tapping and securing phone records of U.S. citizens doesn't require that at least one party to the call must be foreign. The order includes calls that are “wholly within the United States.”
Immediate reaction in Congress was swift—on both sides of the aisle.
U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) stated: “While I cannot corroborate the details of this particular report, this sort of wide-scale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I’ve said Americans would find shocking!”
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called this breach “An astounding assault on the Constitution.”
Even former Vice-President Al Gore weighed in: “Obscenely outrageous!”
The American Civil Liberties Union: “Beyond Orwellian.”
The newspaper said the document, a copy of which it had obtained; shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of U.S. citizens were being collected indiscriminately and in bulk, regardless of whether they were suspected of any wrongdoing.
The Associated Press could not authenticate the order because documents from the court are classified.
However, The White House on Thursday defended the National Security Agency's need to collect telephone records of U.S. citizens, calling such information "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats." But this government overreach really says that ALL United States citizens are terrorists, until proven otherwise; that’s not the “innocent until proven guilty” framework that the United States Constitution reflects.
Verizon Communications Inc. listed 121 million customers in its first-quarter earnings report this April - 98.9 million wireless customers, 11.7 million residential phone lines and about 10 million commercial lines.
Under the terms of the order, the phone numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as are location data, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
The broad, unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is abnormal.
FISA court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
The FISA court order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, forced Verizon to provide the NSA with electronic copies of “all call detail records or telephony metadata created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls,” The Guardian said.
The law on which the order explicitly relies is the “business records” provision of the USA Patriot Act, started under the Bush Administration, but his efforts were more targeted, experts reveal.
The federal government is now seizing private records without any meaningful civil due process that engages the American citizens affected. Now we have a truly bi-partisan issue to STOP this privacy breach. This will stretch the limits of every American on how far we are willing to trade our privacy for security from terrorism.
We must continue to be protected by our U.S. Constitution. This reckless snooping on our every phone call is outrageous; and Congress MUST rein this in…and rein it in now!