WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Britain's Guardian newspaper is reporting that since April 25 the National Security Agency has been collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a top secret court order, regardless of whether there was a suspicion of any wrongdoing.
The Guardian reports the order requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the N-S-A information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.
International Security expert Jim Walsh says "One possibility is that there's actually an imminent threat that the United States faces in which the U.S. Government feels compelled to ...expand broadly in a almost unprecedented way ...the scope of their investigations."
If you are a Verizon customer the federal government is keeping a record of who you called...when you called...and where you called from. And the people we spoke with say "That's an invasion of privacy."
Verizon customer Angela Orlich of West Springfield says "I don't see what business it is of theirs you know tapping into my private business. I don't want them knowing who I call."
Terri Rivers of West Springfield says "I see if they suspect somebody of some kind of criminal of illegal activity...they could look it up. But just to do it randomly and everybody...I really think that's an invasion of privacy."
The Obama administration calls such information "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats."
The NSA implemented a similar program under the Bush Administration after 9/11, that collected domestic telephone, internet and email records.