U.S. Govt secretly seizing all Verizon users’ phone data daily

Well how now brown cow. If you are a Verizon customer and you don’t want the federal government continuing to scrutinize all the calls you are making, both domestically and abroad, as they’ve already been doing daily via secret court order since April, you might consider changing providers. Unfortunately, that might not help because it is far from clear that Verizon is the only phone provider that the government is seizing millions of phone records from daily. It is the only one we currently know about. Here’s the skinny (and the real shocker is the breaking story came via The Guardian which uncovered the secret court order).

“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.” The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) handed over the order to the FBI on April 25, and gave them a three month blanket surveillance clearance. That means that numbers of both parties, location data, call duration, and time of all calls are subject to government surveillance. That makes the Obama administration’s oversight essentially unlimited. The court order forbids Verizon from informing customers that their phone records have been taken and are under surveillance

The order forces Verizon to turn over electronic versions of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” … or, more ominously, “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

So changing providers in order to protect your privacy? Not so fast, as the Guardian reports that “previous reporting has suggested the NSA has collected cell records from all major mobile networks.”


12 responses to “U.S. Govt secretly seizing all Verizon users’ phone data daily”

  1. Lynne says :

    This is hitting all the newspapers; let’s see what the reaction is. sooooooo….the Obama Admin. can seize the records of law-abiding,ordinary citizens for reviews but the administration is unable to even follow up on definite information from other intelligence sources, like the ones in Russia, that warned them about the Boston Marathon bombers. It has been coming out that Russia gave them much more specific information than the FBI and DHS admitted to. And, the FBI did not even notify the Boston police department’s special security section. It is impossible to have any faith in the O. administration.

  2. Tony Rosetti says :

    Hey Lynne, did you say that when the Democrats went ballistic when they accused Bush of monitoring suspected terrorist international phone calls that were made only to foreign countries?

    • israeliminx says :

      Hi Tony, actually Lynne took argument, as did most people commenting here, with many of the things that Bush did. People on this site are critical thinkers and don’t walk in lock-step with any political party or behave in a hypocritical manner. We’ve seen most of the people on the left who raged against Bush for doing X shut up and say all is good when Obama does the same or takes it even further and that is reviled. It is also reviled when people on the right behave in a similar wholly party-serving fashion.

      I’ll say that personally, I don’t have a problem with monitoring phone calls of those against whom there is some evidence that they may be engaging in terrorist activities. I think it would have been just peachy if the FBI had monitored the activities of the Tsarnaev brothers — especially given that Russia had provided detailed evidence of Tamarlan’s interactions with jihadis, for instance, because then the Boston bombing would never have occurred. Gathering that sort of data on those for whom there is no such indication, and in this case essentially the entire population of the U.S., is a whole different ball of wax.

    • Lynne says :

      Hi, Tony! Good to see your comment here, and your question is a valid one. I did not vote for Bush, and more than not liking Bush, I really did not like Cheney and many of Bush’s advisers. Over time, I came to the point that I did not personally dislike Bush as a person, but I thought that he was high-handed, and that he drastically mishandled Iraq. Bush and his administration could not seem to grasp the issues that they were dealing with. At that point in my life, I had never voted for a Republican candidate, though I considered myself an independent, as I do now. Moreover, all of my education was drenched in liberal, mostly far left philosophy. But I did my homework on Obama, and what I found out was deeply disturbing to me. It was skimmed over or not reported in the mainstream media, facts such as his long time relationships with questionable people like domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the Rev. Wright, as well as his associations within the corrupt Chicago politics. It is being said by wiser people than myself, by people with impeccable records of honesty and capability, that in contrast to Obama’s promise of transparency, he is the most secretive president ever. I believe that he is as corrupt as Nixon, probably more so.

  3. WipeOutHamasOnceAndForAll says :

    Under the closet Muslim Hussein Obama, the US is, slowly but surely, becoming a big brother 1984 nightmare for the privacy of US citizens!!

    Now, the US government can seize, for whatever reasons they want to state (usually invoking the big T word for terrorism), your notebook when you travel or when you cross the US border and basically you can say goodbye to your notebook FOREVER, if not for several years after a long legal battle to get it back!!

    Now, they can seize your phone numbers and basically monitor your phone activities. And I am pretty sure that they can illegally listen to your phone conversations, thanks to these phone numbers that they have seized for bogus reasons, invoking the big T word for terrorism!
    Not to mention your online email accounts, activities online and so on.

    And now, it will not be long that a US citizen expressing an opposing idea against Obama will again not only be double-checked by the IRS but will also be wire-tapped as a potential terrorist.

    And all this is legal!! I think it relates to a law that basically allows the government to do anything they want in the name of the fight against terrorism!! Even if the invocation of terrorism for a particular person is completely false, purposefully or not!!

    Honestly, I wanted to support Obama, hoping he might help Americans better their lives, especially by providing full health care coverage for all Americans, something that is taken for granted in most European countries. Well, we now know how bad Obamacare is!
    Now, Obama has become nothing short of evil to me!

    As Communism had the noblest goals to make everyone equal, it produced a society that was not short of evil.
    Seeing many of Obama’s government actions these past years, it dawns on me that Obama might very well be another evil that Americans did not need, considering that the US will be bankrupted at the rate of more than $ 20 TRILLION at the end of the second term of the Crook in Chief, Obama, who does not even have a legal social security number!
    As Obama’s social security number that he has been using for a long time (apparently he used several during his life!!!) is the one from a dead Connecticut man, a state where Obama never lived permanently. This fraudulent social security number that Obama uses is not a conspiration theory against Obama, it is a TRUE FACT that anyone can easily verify by doing a simple Google search using the keywords: Obama fraudulent social security number. And by using the best results to spot the reliable sources from the Internet on this matter. Orly Taitz has provided many documents on this matter and she based her finding on facts, not on hearsays.

    I love the USA, I love the Americans, despite the imperfections of the USA. It pains me to see the USA governed by the idiot Obama who squanders the future of many Americans for many generations by putting the US on the brink of a no-return from bankruptcy situation.
    Even with more than $ 20 TRILLION of US deficit, it will take many generations of Americans to recover from this nightmarish financial debt, if the USA managed to do such a recovery!!

  4. Lynne says :

    Just reported: The NYTimes editorial: “Obama’s Administration has lost all credibility.” WOW

  5. israeliminx says :

    Yeah well ya know, they couldn’t let criticism of Obama stand — they went in and quietly edited it, adding in the phrase “on this issue.” They are still in line for their water bucket for Obama,

  6. tddpirate says :

    I suspect that the real reason for monitoring the phone calls has nothing to do with terrorism.
    It has everything to do with finding who called journalists, who later leaked to the press information, which embarrasses the government.

    Say, you are Homer Simpson and you are working in a nuclear power station operated by a company with a lot of political clout. You find out that the reactor is operated in an unsafe manner and notify your superiors about those concerns.

    Your superiors sit on their hands and do nothing to deal with the unsafe conditions.

    Now you call around to find a journalist, who is willing to leak your whistleblowing story.

    With the new blanket surveillance policy and some simple data mining, you are identified. All journalists contacted by you get a discreet phone call from the FBI. One of them is ordered to listen to you and all others are directed to refuse your leak.

    After you tell your story to the journalist, and the FBI confirms the story, some accident is arranged to neutralize you. The journalist is threatened not to publicize the story unless he wants to go through a painful IRS audit.

    A month later, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie die of radiation poisoning in the aftermath of the big accident in the nuclear power station.

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