Secret Court Order Allows Feds to Track Millions of Phone Calls from Americans

Thu Jun 6, 2013 AT 12:05 PM EDT

The NSA probably has your phone records on file. A top secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court requires Verizon to turn over all call logs “between the United States and abroad” and those “wholly within the United Sates, including local telephone calls.” The Guardian was the first to break the story and reports that phone numbers of both parties, location data, call duration, and the time of all calls is handed over. The NSA claims authority under the Patriot Act for the tracking. The New York Times reports two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have been hinting at activity like this since last year. In a letter to AG Eric Holder last year, Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall wrote, “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted…the Patriot Act…As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows.”

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