The Guardian just broke this gem yesterday. It would seem that the National Security Administration (NSA) has obtained a top secret court order compelling Verizon to turn over “all call detail records” on an “ongoing, daily basis” for all calls “between the United States and abroad” or those “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
There you have it. From the issuance of this court order, which took place on April 25, 2013 until its expiration on July 19, 2013 Verizon is ordered to provide the NSA with records on every single local call and call between the US and other countries to traverse the Verizon network. Verizon is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States. We are probably talking about hundreds of millions of call records. This is unfathomable. By way of this order the government is obtaining just about every detail related to these calls including the telephone numbers of both call participants, the duration of the call, location information, and the time and date of the call. Essentially the only information the government is not taking as part of this is the actual telephone conversation.
This is an unprecedented level of privacy intrusion. Never before has the government seized so much information as part of a court order. Never before has the 4th amendment been so brazenly abused.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution
Where is the probable cause? What particular description could have possibly been manufactured to specifically identify the hundreds of millions of phone records of innocent Americans that are being collected under this order? There is no explanation. No rational defense exists for an intrusion of this magnitude. The threat of terrorism cannot justify such an overreach.
Have we truly found ourselves in Orwell’s 1984? It has long been suspected and whispered that the government is spying on its citizens. Now we have undeniable proof of such activity. Are the skeptics now satisfied? Will the naysayers now believe the true nature of the leviathan we live under?
Think of the implications of this. With these records the government can conceivably deduce much about our daily activities and movements. They can analyze the data for patterns in calling habits and the locations that those calls were placed or received from. Couple this with the rest of the data available on us through Facebook and other avenues and the possible uses become very frightening. Welcome to the surveillance state, Comrade!
Do not let this news go by quietly. Get angry! Get outraged! Get downright furious! Call your federal representatives and demand action to stop this and future incursions on your privacy! Demand the impeachment of Judge Roger Vinson for signing this horrendous court order! Call Verizon and make it clear that you are not happy with their actions! If you can, dump Verizon for another carrier who respects your privacy! Now is the time for action! Tell Big Brother to get the hell out of your telephone!
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Based on a work at http://www.considerliberty.com.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.