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Editorial: National Security To Tap Cell Phones Starting With Verizon

The National Security Agency demanded that telecommunications giant, Verizon, hand over all phone records for calls made in the United States.

Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian reported a top secret court order requires that Verizon turn over records “on an ongoing daily basis” for all calls “wholly within the United States, including local calls” and also “between the United States and abroad.”

The order does not include the content of the calls, but it does collect the “originating and terminating telephone numbers” time and duration of the call, referred to as “metadata.”

The order bans Verizon from telling any of its employees about it unless it is necessary to help them comply with the order.

The four-page order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is dated April 25. Because the NSA is collecting metadata and not communications information, no warrant is required.

“This confirms what we had long suspected,” wrote Cindy Cohn, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “We’ve been suing over this since 2006.”

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