Reaction to Guardian article that claims NSA has access to Verizon call records

(CBS42)
(CBS42)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1370650462&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4088862&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1370650462 type=script]HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) – There’s a report in the UK newspaper The Guardian- that an alleged secret court order allows the NSA to access phone records for millions of Verizon customers in America and overseas.

According to the article- the order was issued on April 25 and runs through July 19th and forbids the company from making it public. The alleged court order reportedly does not require Verizon to turn over customer or subscriber names, addresses, or financial information or the content of communications.

A provision of the Patriot Act reportedly makes such orders legal.

“I think that’s invasion of personal information unless they have something concrete that should be left alone and the government needs to step back and worry about other things instead of their citizens,” said Jack Hill, in Homewood.

A note from Verizon Executive Vice President and General Counsel Randy Milch that appears on the company’s website contains the following:

“We have no comment on the accuracy of The Guardian newspaper story or the documents referenced, but a few items in these stories are important. The alleged court order that The Guardian published on its website contains language that:

  • compels Verizon to respond,
  • forbids Verizon from revealing the order’s existence; and
  • excludes from production the “content of any communication…or the name, address, or financial information of a subscriber or customer.”

Verizon continually takes steps to safeguard its customers’ privacy. Nevertheless, the law authorizes the federal courts to order a company to provide information in certain circumstances, and if Verizon were to receive such an order, we would be required to comply.”

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