According to a top secret court order, Verizon has been forced to turn over call data originating in the U.S. daily to the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Guardian has received and published the order which outlines that Verizon is to deliver to the NSA the numbers of both parties, location data, identifiers like IMSI and IMEI numbers, and time and duration of calls. The order has been in place since April and has demanded Verizon give over the requisite information for both international calls originating in the U.S. and calls made within the U.S.
The order refers to the requested information as “telephony metadata” and states that it does not include recordings of any calls. It grants the NSA access to the data from April 25 to July 19.
The order strictly forbids disclosing the NSA and FBI’s request for the information.
Verizon could not be reached for comment as of press time.
AT&T, the nation’s second biggest carrier that could very well have received a similar order, declined to comment.
The news has been met with sharp criticism from former Vice President Al Gore and the American Civil Liberties Union. NBC correspondent Pete Williams has said he believes the Department of Justice will "very likely" investigate.