back to article Leaked docs show NSA collects data on all Verizon customers

The USA's National Security Agency (NSA) has harvested all the call data from US mobile provider Verizon since April, according to a secret court order leaked to The Guardian. The order was granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and instructs Verizon to hand over the "session identifying information …

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  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Record this, NSA : I'd like to see a lot of the government in jail with no retroactive immunity.

    1. Thorne
      Black Helicopters

      You say now but when you get black bagged, waterboarded and set to a re-education camp.....

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        That sure would be a change of mind they could make you believe in!

      2. BillG Silver badge
        WTF?

        Obama's NSA

        You say now but when you get black bagged, waterboarded and set to a re-education camp

        It's funny.... after 9/11 we the article says "George Bush ordered the NSA".

        But for this article, the phrase "Barack Obama ordered the NSA to collect all data on Verizon customers" is strangely missing. Because after all, only the President has the authority to subvert the U.S. Constitution.

        Oh, wait...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately any lawsuit even successful would be a civil suit. Too bad the the founding fathers didn't put some teeth into constitutional violations.

      Maybe we should have NSA day; make as many calls as possible. Give them a lot of data to parse.

      1. Mad Mike

        What's the news

        I'm not really sure what the news is here. Surely people don't believe the NSA wasn't doing this already? I guess they're just trying to move from doing what they like without reference to the law, to doing what they like and at least pretending they're abiding by the law!! Personally, I also don't believe they don't intercept the content of many calls as well as the from and to.

      2. Slabfondler
        Big Brother

        They did...

        its called the second amendment. Though tragically most Americans think its about the right to own and carry firearms and shoot each other than overthrowing a possibly corrupt and fascist government.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not going to happen ...

      I'd like to see a lot of the government in jail with no retroactive immunity.

      Not going to happen, which is why you should really avoid entanglement with any organisation that has a USA link anywhere, even if it's just a shed with one man, a dog and a fax machine. We already do this analysis for EU organisations, and in our experience the use of ANY US based resource tends to mark the company as tainted and heading for non-compliance with EU Data Protection law. This is, of course, why they are trying to change EU law.

      In that context, Safe Harbor is a nice label, but not legally enforceable and thus essentially just BS.

  2. FuzzyTheBear
    Big Brother

    Total awareness

    Again , Uncle Sam is proving to be on the road to a totalitarian police state where the Citizens have no rights whatsoever and no expectancy of privacy whatsoever. The American People's future is extremely bleak.

    1. Naughtyhorse
      Trollface

      Re: Total awareness

      but hey, they get to keep all their guns!

      cos thats what's _really_ important if you want to be free

      apparently

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Total awareness

      Uncle Sam is proving to be on the road to a totalitarian police state

      You're a bit behind. They're not "on the road to", they have arrived already. Try crossing their borders doing something simple as wearing an offensive T shirt.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: AC Re: Total awareness

        ".....Try crossing their borders doing something simple as wearing an offensive T shirt." Offensive to whom? For example, if I were to wear a t-shirt with one of the infamous Mohamed cartoons on it, and maybe the words "Mohamed was a paedophile" across the back, through either US or UK entry points, well then I probably would be arrested and charged if I refused to change my shirt. But then that's the kind of "police state" action liberal types would approve of. And even after I was arrested I would have the option to go to court to defend the statements made by the t-shirt and argue free speech. Now, imagine if you were to try entering Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, or any number of Islamic countries where they not only have real police states but also the death sentence for insulting The Prophet. Do you think you would be allowed to argue free speech in court, even if you lived long enough to get to one? You sure you want to keep on with that "the US is the worst police state in the World" male bovine manure?

  3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Constitution and ammendments

    I often hear Americans (that are less informed than you guys on here) talk about how they are so free because of the great constitution, yet they don't realise the great constitution routinely gets shit upon in the name of "anti-terror"

    Not gloating or trying to appear anti-american, it's just that so many people seem to be blinded by their patriotism to see what's really going on (and yes, I have no illusions that things are all fine and dandy in the uk either)

    1. jamesb2147
      FAIL

      Re: Constitution and ammendments

      I was going to put up a post about how it's so great to have free speech in our society, fair use, and privacy from government, all constitutionally guarantee...

      oh, yeah.

      At least it's not the first time? ***Trail of tears reference*** God, I hate Andrew Jackson. D-I-C-K, DICK. Much like whoever conceived of thin-thread or w/e at the NSA.

      Took long enough to leak.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Constitution and ammendments

        What needs to be appreciated is that having a set of rules (constitution) is useless without having a body (theoretically the law, judges etc.) willing to enforce that set of rules. Having one without the other is pointless, it has to be both. At the moment, the USA has the first and not the second.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Constitution and ammendments

          At the moment, the USA has the first and not the second.

          The UK seems a bit better in that respect. We didn't use to have many rights but EU membership has fixed that (not always for the better, perhaps). Our judiciary also seems happy to smack the government down - when it's not snoozing after a strenuous morning's work.

          But still - we've got an attempt to resurrect the snooper's charter so we can't really crow about it. I just get the feeling that as a nation we Britons at least know/suspect what a nasty, sneaky bunch are in charge. We just don't seem able/willing to do anything about it.

        2. Tom 13

          Re: useless without having a body

          wrong focus for the body. The body that is supposed to enforce it is the US electorate itself. But having been bought off or seduced with transfer payments from other parts of the electorate, that body has become as corrupt as the politicians who corrupted it. Until it recovers, there is no recovery elsewhere.

    2. nice spam database '); drop table users; --

      Re: Constitution and ammendments

      that's why they called it "patriot" act, to blind.

    3. MrXavia
      Pint

      Re: Constitution and ammendments

      Things are definitely not fine in the UK, unless we keep pestering our MP's, we will sleep walk into a police state with all our communications monitored and encryption banned!

      Thinking about what they want to bring in makes me sad... I need a beer...

    4. Tom 13

      Re: Constitution and ammendments

      Most of them have no idea what the it actually says, the structure it creates, or how this is supposed to enable us to govern ourselves without great risk government becoming totalitarian. Without those ideas, they freely read into it all sorts of "rights" that are really "wants" and don't exist.

      I've also found this to be a problem with many of the people who thoughtlessly complain about the US Constitution being shit upon in the name of thwarting terrorism. There are legitimate needs to collect such information. A terrorist calling someone in the US from a disposable phone creates the need to collect more phone records to find the terrorist. If the constant in the equation is the US citizen with the landline, that's the best point to monitor. The problem is in constructing the proper oversight so the power is not abused. Constructing such governmental controls is frankly impossible in a government that thinks it ought to be able to require people have purchased health insurance, or that it must provide a social safety net for those too stupid to plan and save for retirement. The grounds upon which the anti-terrorism threat to social liberty are fertile mostly because those other abuses came first.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Big Brother

        Re: Constitution and ammendments

        There are legitimate needs to collect such information. A terrorist calling someone in the US from a disposable phone creates the need to collect more phone records to find the terrorist

        But where do you draw the line? Open all the mail, monitor all telephones and email, capture all pidgons In case they are carrying messages, make it an offense to wave your arms In case it is semaphore?

        As Benjamin Franklin said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"

        Also research what the nazis said after wwii, its along the lines of 'we just kept telling the people they were under attack, then they will believe anything'.

        .

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Constitution and ammendments

          @Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          I suppose one thing any terrorist might do is to call people randomly in the USA pretending to be, oh I dunno, an antivirus rep from MS, and keep the recipient on the line for at least 60 seconds. Lots of them, doing that for a few days, means the NSA will then need to track those recipients incoming and outgoing calls to see who they contact too.

          Now that it's out of the bag, it's just too easy to game the system and tie up resources checking all that data.

  4. Martijn Otto

    The war on privacy

    Taking it to the next level. Don't worry, it will be over soon. Just agree to implant this tracking chip in your head and you are free to go!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The war on privacy

      I can tell you where to implant your chip, but I'm not sure there will be space next to your head...

  5. Darling Petunia

    It's for your own good

    I'd assumed that cellular (& other) communication is being monitored in the 'fight for freedom'.

    Our leaders know what's best, after all.

    Ever considered why the PRC (and all the 'problem' nations) allows their rabble to have cellphones?

    Keep calm and carry on with your cellphone.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Speak up citizens

    We have a bad line.

  7. mIRCat
    Black Helicopters

    N.S.A. testing?

    Can you hear me now?

    I think I spotted a N.S.A. pin on his lapel.

  8. Blofeld's Cat
    Big Brother

    Hmm...

    At least no official spokesman has trotted out the old "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" line...

    ... yet.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so where does this leave Vodafone then?

    Well, anyone?.....

    Just a shareholder or are Voda's subscribers also on tape?

  10. localzuk

    Nothing new

    The UK has been doing this for years, under RIPA. The US has obviously just been a little slow.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: Nothing new

      I'll correct this statement. Both countries have been doing it for years. It's just that the UK moved to make it legal (or at least, some of it) earlier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Legal

        Gotta love the Patriot Act - Fuck Yeah!

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Nothing new

      "The UK has been doing this for years, under RIPA."

      Wrong.

      RIPA requires you to specify who you want to track and at least some vague grounds for why you want to do this.

      Under THE PATRIOT act all the NSA had to do was rock up to Verizon HQ and say "We're the govt, hand over a copy of every call record you've collected."

      The Snoopers Charter is the one that gives UK spooks the same (or better) facilities than their US colleagues.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nothing new

        RIPA requires you to specify who you want to track and at least some vague grounds for why you want to do this.

        You mean for the one time someone actually checks this? RIPA lacks oversight and transparency IMHO.

        What's worse is that there are precious few provisions that describe how safe the data from such an investigation should be secured, so even if a team operates correctly under RIPA you have a risk that someone unauthorised (say, a friendly journalist) gets hold of the data.

        1. Alex C

          Re: Nothing new

          I have a bit of experience in the UK of this, and for what it's worth here's what I've seen over the last few years.

          I work as head of Customer Services for a small telecoms company, and we get 4 or 5 of these requests under RIPA a month. All requests come from recognised email addresses - the majority of which are within the GSI or PNN networks, which I'm confident are secure. (If I'm ever not confident of the origin, I check out the actual office on line and ask their switch board to put me through to the relevant person.) I've only he one instance of someone not from a relevant body trying to request information under RIPA, at least that I've discovered, but I'm pretty confident about that.

          In most cases the numbers requested aren't live and never have been and are either typos or lies. I think the majority of these requests are police checking witness statements and alibis or following up other evidence. The information that's requested are in virtually all cases subscriber details - i.e. who is responsible for the number that was dialled, as opposed to specific call details (can't remember the last one of those) or asking to listen to call recordings ( I've never been asked for that).

          The upshot is that while RIPA may give the police and Govt. offices a lot of power, in reality they don't use it. Or at least they don't with me. We're even allowed to charge for our time in responding to requests - though don't as they're not a great burden on us.

          Sorry not to point to black helicopters, but I've been doing this for at least 5 years and have never seen it abused by the authorities.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Nothing new

            "We're even allowed to charge for our time in responding to requests - "

            This is probably the only disincentive they actually have to using this law.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing new

      Your understanding of RIPA is all wrong; it is exactly what it says on the tin, the "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act".

      It was brought in to regulate the, previously unregulated, activities of those performing investigative activities; in effect it brought organisations like MI5 and SIS under the control of the law. RIPA didn't really give any additional powers to investigate, it just said explicitly they types of things that could be done and by whom.

      Unfortunately, due to the phrase being linked to councils that investigate the addresses of pupils trying to get into popular schools, it has been fixed in the minds of people as a sinister snoopers' charter.

      Before RIPA they just did it without telling anyone; now when they do it without telling anyone, at least they're breaking the law.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

    borders on the surreal. (How many surveillance cameras do you have in London? Can you still be arrested for suggesting a policeman's horse might be gay?) At least here in Australia we are somewhat protected by extreme government incompetence, even though they are no more trustworthy than any other government.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

      As at least one respondent has said. Nobody is saying the UK is any better than the US. In any event, what the legal situation is, has very little to do with what actually occurs with most of these organisations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

      I find it odd that people hate security cameras (they are NOT usually surveillance cameras, they are not there to monitor people they are there to help maintain security, surveillance cameras would be installed to monitor specific people...).

      Security cameras in public are a useful tool, and I can't see the difference to someone seeing me via a security camera or sitting on a chair in that street with a camera...

      Who I call and what websites I visit is private information...

      Where I walk in public is public information because I do it IN public.

      Security cameras used by police are very very useful, they can direct police to crimes in progress, they can help crime prevention by sending police to an area to just show their faces and in doing so deter violence etc...

      One example I saw on a program about these cameras in one city, was a woman walking home around 2am, there was a guy walking a short distance behind her, they redirected a patrol car to the area, nothing happened, but in the event of a problem, the police would be there in seconds as they parked near by.

      When you have an issue of Asian gangs in some areas raping white girls as they see them as worthless, expendable and of no morals, security cameras are a very useful tool that will DIRECTLY prevent crime...

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Who I call and what websites I visit is private information...

        No, it's not. Google knows. Even if you don't use their search engine or mail system. And they're already in bed with the current Marxist leader:

        http://origin-www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-30/googles-eric-schmidt-invests-in-obamas-big-data-brains

        If this doesn't stop soon, Stalin is going to be a piker on the world's worst leader list.

    3. Dinky Carter

      Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

      A lot of Americans seem to cite the security camera issue, but they seem to not understand the difference between public and private.

      When I'm walking around in public, I don't care who looks at me or whether I end up on a security video. After all, I'm operating in public.

      However, when I'm on the phone I consider that to be operating IN PRIVATE and I don't want anybody eavesdropping.

    4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

      "

      Watching people in the UK criticise totalitarian tendencies in the US

      borders on the surreal. (How many surveillance cameras do you have in London?"

      As I said in my first point, I'm under no illusion that the UK is better. The reason that I (and others) made a comment about America is that this article is about something happening in America.

      If the article is about something in the UK, us from the UK will criticise that - as will some of our American cousins - I see no problem in that. It's got nothing to do with hypocracy

  12. John G Imrie Silver badge

    How many surveillance cameras do you have in London?

    We have lots.

    The real question is how many of them work, and of those working how many have a high enough definition to be useful.

    PS IIRC Data protection laws say you can ask for a copy of any recording of yourself by a cctv camera operated by, on on behalf of, a public body.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many surveillance cameras do you have in London?

      Who cares about London? Most people don't live there.

  13. nice spam database '); drop table users; --
    Mushroom

    powned

    so who was the one saying the chinese Human Flesh Search Engine was an outrageous thing for a civilized country? Guess if we call it "patriot" it sticks better. Thanks to the 9/11 inside job we're all eating it :/

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The shocking part is that they can get the information so easily, its not like they are saying we need Joe Bloggs records, and then after seeing them, saying we need Jane Doe's records as he made many calls to her etc...

    They are saying give me your records and lets go on a nice fishing expedition, that is what I hate, not that they CAN have access to records with a warrant/court order, but that they can get access without requesting one..

    The USA, land of the Free, give them time, they are just a young nation, eventually the people will stand up and say no more monitoring, you've gone too far..

    If the our governments go so far as to infringe on our freedoms to fight terrorism, then the terrorists have won. Idiots such as Theresa May with her snoopers charter, don't realise how pointless their ideas are, terrorists can easily avoid using any traceable forms of communication, the only real way is to use more targeted monitoring of people, classic spy stuff.

    I am sure 90% of reg readers would be able to bypass this monitoring and communicate without being traced, so if people with little to hide people will do it, terrorists/criminals with something serious to hide will do it.

    I hate the idea of no warrant access to data, I think having a judge on standby to issue warrants at any time of the day as needed is a better idea, think of a call center for judges, police send in a request, attaching all the details, judge decides based on all available data if the Warrant is justified, and allows the records access.. simple...

    It would prevent misuse of the data or fishing expeditions and feature creep, as I can see councils requesting records because of trivial matters.

    Invasion of privacy such as this really pisses me off!

    1. david wilson

      >>"It would prevent misuse of the data or fishing expeditions and feature creep, as I can see councils requesting records because of trivial matters."

      Requesting from who?

      If all the records were in the hands of a national security agency (NSA, GCHQ, whatever), are *they* actually going to want to have some random civilian body asking them for details of phone calls to see whether John Doe has broken a restraining order by calling his ex-wife?

      "Fuck off and get it yourself!" would seem a fairly likely response.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        While that SHOULD be the response, you just know it won't be the end of it...

        And even the security services should need a warrant before seeing the data, just because they are the security services does not mean they instantly have the right to read our personal data! if that is the case, I demand the right to read every MP & police officers emails & phone calls records, why not? I have as much right to check they are not up to no good as they do to mine, they are there to serve US, the people of this country, not the other way around....

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Meh

          AC@11:13

          "And even the security services should need a warrant before seeing the data, just because they are the security services does not mean they instantly have the right to read our personal data! "

          But under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act they do

          Perhaps you should check which country a story refers to before you comment?

          The Snoopers Charter is not law in the UK (yet).

        2. david wilson

          >>"While that SHOULD be the response, you just know it won't be the end of it..."

          The impression I get is that once security services get information, they tend to think of it as theirs, and aren't necessarily keen on giving access even to other similar services, let alone some random enquiry from a local police force or council agency.

          I'd wonder whether their willingness to share is actually likely to change much over time, however much some people might wonder about thin ends of wedges?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        One of the first prosecution under the UK's data protection act was a senior police officer who saw a car parked outside his house had the owner traced and then beat up the man who was knocking off his wife. He got off because he didn't know how to use the computer so had a WPC do the actual typing.

        We then had our own PATRIOT act to stop international terrorism. One of it's first uses was by local councils asking fro cell phone location tracking so they could detect people not picking up dog crap. Then they launched total surveilance programs on people who were living outside the catchement area trying to send their kids to a good school.

        1. Tom 13

          If the suspect was actually "knocking off* his wife"

          I'm glad he did ask for the info and kept her alive. Unless of course you're a Brit and that term has a different meeting there. I'd go with that thought except your second paragraph makes it sound like your a citizen from my side of the pond.

          *in the US that's a term of art for murdering someone.

          1. david wilson

            Re: If the suspect was actually "knocking off* his wife"

            *in the US that's a term of art for murdering someone.

            In the wider world, it has a whole range of context-dependent meanings.

        2. david wilson

          >>"One of the first prosecution under the UK's data protection act was a senior police officer who saw a car parked outside his house had the owner traced and then beat up the man who was knocking off his wife. He got off because he didn't know how to use the computer so had a WPC do the actual typing"

          So that was information which in no circumstances would have required a court order for the police to get access to?

          >>"We then had our own PATRIOT act to stop international terrorism. One of it's first uses was by local councils asking fro cell phone location tracking so they could detect people not picking up dog crap. Then they launched total surveilance programs on people who were living outside the catchement area trying to send their kids to a good school."

          Whenever I hear someone say this act was supposed to be about terrorism!' with the implication that that means it was supposed to be about nothing but terrorism, I'm reminded of just who politicians are aiming at when they choose to point at one shiny thing which they think is the most attractive feature of a long piece of legislation.

          I wonder, how *should* councils take action against people who think it's acceptable to let their dogs foul public spaces?

          Have council officers go around (in packs,of course, for security) and pounce on offenders, holding them until the police can arrive and get their identity officially?

          Have someone take pictures of people letting their dogs crap everywhere (which supposedly 'invades their privacy' and breaches their 'right to act like idle selfish bastards in public' ).

          Some other means that doesn't involve directly confronting people who might turn violent (sniper on the nearest tall building?)

          As far as schools and residency are concerned, personally, I see nothing in principle wrong with checking up to see if people *are* lying to try and gain an advantage they aren't entitled to, as long as the checking up is proportionate and isn't unnecessarily intrusive.

          If there was no chance of anyone checking up, it would just encourage more people to lie and cheat.

          It'd would be interesting to know what the outcome of such investigations was -how many are genuine cases of cheating, how many are grey areas, and how many are down to someone making an unfounded malicious complaint* - if hardly any suspicions were upheld, then it would seem maybe a waste of money even if it wasn't necessarily wrong for other reasons.

          Though it's kind of hard to understand who would want to make a malicious complaint.

          Someone would have to be a bit sad to ring their local council falsely claiming that their supposed neighbour didn't really live next door, when it would be likely that if the council actually bothered looking into the complaint they would find out the claim was nonsense.

    2. Tom 13

      @AC 06-Jun-2013 09:22 GMT

      While the warrant process you describe is the historically approved one, because of the way society is currently constructed, it isn't particularly useful. Because at each step you need a new warrant which takes a fair chunk of time to get, by the time you've connected the dots the plot is already unfolding on the 6:00 news. We know we had all the dots for the 9/11/2001 attacks. But nobody put them together.

      You could also protect individuals by providing the raw call records to the NSA, but anonymizing the data with respect to connecting the phone number to the owner and/or his address. Search the data for the call connections you need, and then through the courts request the name associated with the phone. Other protections might be needed beyond the basics I've laid out. But you also need to be able to find the bad guys before they kill 3,000 people in a coordinated attack.

      But in the end, even the most carefully constructed laws can't prevent the perversion of government if you don't elect basically honest people who in turn appoint and hire basically honest people to other government positions. We can see that in Benghazi, the IRS scandals, and Fast and Furious.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: @AC 06-Jun-2013 09:22 GMT

        "You could also protect individuals by providing the raw call records to the NSA, but anonymizing the data with respect to connecting the phone number to the owner and/or his address."

        Just ask AOL about releasing "anonymised" data. With enough data, you can de-anonymise it. And this NSA thing is about records on millions of people.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    The USA PATRIOT act at work.

    And BTW for those of you in the UK who think this is not relevant to you...

    The last 2 UK censuses were down to the individual (not household) level and processed by a division of US mega arms contractor Lockheed Martin.

    All of that data would count as "business records."

    However that part is part of a "sunset provision" which could expire in 2014 (Pres Obama signed a 4 yr extension in 2011)

    For any USians reading this might I suggest that you contact your local member of the Legislature and get them (or a competent member of their staff) to actually read this act? Because most of them did not when they voted for it.

    1. MrXavia
      Meh

      Re: The USA PATRIOT act at work.

      Really does census data matter? if your on the electoral roll, or in a phone book, or ever brought anything while forgetting to tick the 'don't sell my data' box your name & address is out there somewhere...

      I know I've found people via online people searchers just by electoral roll data.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: contact your local member of the Legislature

      I would, but I live in one of our People's Republics. So it would be more likely to result in a specific query about me than just taking my chances with the already long list of red flags I have.

  16. Rob Crawford

    Dear US Verizon subscribers

    Welcome to Britain we have had to put up with that shit for years

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terror vs. Crime? ... Where's the real threat to you or me...?

    The US is full of contradictions. News- No $ in the pot for local police: "Detroit Citizens Protect Themselves After Police Force Decimated". Plenty for the Military-industrial-complex though as we deal with imaginary-- sorry-- 'real' terror threats. Even with all the billions spent we missed the Boston incident and 9/11. Many of my friends and family have been held-up at gunpoint. Sadly a few were shot and killed. No one was caught and jailed. Where were the local police? Sorry, no money! But hey we're the richest country in the world! I ask, which of the two tragedies above are more likely to affect the average citizen?

    I thought the NSA wasn't permitted to spy on its own citizens? Except of course where it does 'on an ongoing daily basis'. NYTimes: "April-25-2013. The NSA obtained a court order requiring Verizon's Business Network Services to provide information on all calls in its system to the National Security Agency 'on an ongoing daily basis'. It reminds me of how the rules are so exquisitely manipulated in George Orwell's Animal Farm. Any of my fellow Americans find this book unpatriotic?

    P.S. How's that lets store our stuff in the Cloud thing working out? ... It'll save the NSA a fortune!

  18. willboywonder

    Why is this just limited to Verizon? Or is this the only information that was released, and other carriers' customer information is being reviewed as well by the NSA?

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    FAIL

    I must apologise.

    Since I have made probably about sixty-plus mobile calls on Verizon whilst visiting the States over the last year, I must apologise to the NSA for the very boring task they must have had tracing where all my calls went. I also apologise unreservedly if they actually intercepted any and had to suffer the inane business and personal calls I made. Oh, wait a sec - you mean to say my calls were probably never even looked at because - like the vast majority of the World's population - I am of completely no interest to the NSA, FBI or any other three-letter organisation, and they are unlikely to have wasted their limited resources on moi? But all the sheeple are bleating so loudly that They MUST be listening....?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I must apologise.

      "Oh, wait a sec - you mean to say my calls were probably never even looked at"

      It looks like they "watch" known phone numbers, and also "watch" numbers called by the "watched" known numbers. How many levels down they drill is another matter. But it's entirely possible that your number was "looked" at at some point. Most likely it was then discarded, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility that someone you called or were called by was on a watch list or was linked to someone on a watch list.

      Whether that is actually a problem, is another matter.

      6 degrees of separation blah blah blah.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: John Brown (no body) Re: I must apologise.

        "....it's not beyond the realms of possibility that someone you called or were called by was on a watch list or was linked to someone on a watch list....." Very, very unlikely, you mean. In the US anyway. In teh UK is a completely different matter.

        OK, just to put it in perspective, let's take a trip down hypothetical lane. Let's just imagine, for argument's sake, that HMG may once have been a bit suspicious that Irish people living in the UK helping the IRA with their '70s bombing campaigns. Now, just hypothetically, of course, it's not like they had the ability in the '80s to not only record every Irish or IRA sympathisers' phonelines in the UK through the one national landline operator.... And perish the thought that they had real-time detection of key words on the rest of the UK landlines that tripped to record if you used certain words ("bomb" for example). No, the peeps at GCHQ were just listening to Radio Moscow and writing it all down by hand, honest. All hypothetical, of course, but puts the whole Verizon jaunt in perspective.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really?

    Some people act like there is something wrong with monitoring communications as if this is something new?

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