Obama Administration Says Monitoring of Call Records is a 'Critical Tool'
The Obama Administration is defending the practice of monitoring complete phone records of U.S. customers calling it a 'critical tool' in protecting the public from terrorists, according to a WSJ report.
A document recently leaked by the Guardian revealed that the NSA has ordered Verizon to provide complete call records to the government for all call within and out of the Unite States. The order also says Verizon is prohibited from the telling its customers that it's handing over their call data to the government.
A senior Obama administration official said today that this data "allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States."
While the official stopped short of confirming the order which was to be classified from the public until 2038, the spokesperson noted that all three branches of government are involved in reviewing the collection of data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The news is expected to outrage privacy groups and citizens who don't believe the government should be able to maintain a database that tracks the activity of its citizens.