Thursday, June 6

The U.S. government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of Americans

Is everyone too worried about the state of the economy to be concerned about privacy loss and government surveillance, even of this magnitude?
"…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.
"The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
"Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered." …
"Julian Sanchez, a surveillance expert with the Cato Institute, explained: 'We've certainly seen the government increasingly strain the bounds of 'relevance' to collect large numbers of records at once — everyone at one or two degrees of separation from a target — but vacuuming all metadata up indiscriminately would be an extraordinary repudiation of any pretence of constraint or particularized suspicion.' The April order requested by the FBI and NSA does precisely that."
NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily (The Guardian)