Alex Constantine - December 18, 2007
From Alexander Graham Bell’s, "Mr. Watson--come here--I want to see you," to that pizza order you just called in, the NSA is trying to assemble a database of every phone call ever made inside the United States, according to a USA Today report.
Citing people whose names are a secret, the newspaper claims the National Security Agency, whose business is secrecy, has been secretly amassing “the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans,” with the contracted assistance of telecom giants AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. The purpose of the mission is, of course, to fight terror. No secret there.
The newspaper’s sources claim the NSA and the three telephone companies began collecting the call data shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in an effort to identify calling patterns related to terrorist activity.
While the actual conversations are not being recorded, the phone numbers being collected could easily be traced to personal information about the callers, states the report.