Revelations that the National Security Agency is collecting data, "on an ongoing, daily basis," on all domestic and foreign telephone calls made by Verizon customers should absolutely concern Americans. The Verizon order was issued under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which requires that any records collected "are relevant to an investigation" of a foreign terrorist or other foreign power. Certainly the call activity of every Verizon customer cannot be relevant to such investigations. Instead, an agency explicitly mandated not to direct its surveillance domestically is collecting massive amounts of information about U.S. citizens, regardless of whether that information is relevant to national security.
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