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Verizon’s “Share Everything” plans just got a whole new meaning with latest NSA court order leak

Some troubling news has crossed the desks of newsrooms everywhere. According to court order documents obtained by The Guardian,  the National Security Agency (otherwise affectionately known as the NSA) has recently been granted full, unlimited access to several pieces of Verizon Communications subscriber data over the course of three months.

The court order gives the NSA a la carte access to information like who you’re calling, how long your calls last, your phone’s identification numbers, calling card numbers, location of each caller, and more. That includes “all call details or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.” As per the order:

marq_share_everything_062812

Telephony metadata includes comprehensive communications routing information including but not limited to session identifying information (e.g., originating and terminating telephone number, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, International Mobile station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, etc.) trunk identifier, telephone calling card numbers, and time and duration of call.

It’s worthy to  note that the data does not include the contents of the conversation itself (something that would have caused quite the uproar, I’m sure). The order was made effective as of April 25th, which means the NSA has until late July to get anything and everything it wants about anybody and everybody using Verizon.

Foreign International Surveillance Court orders typically target specific, finite people suspected of participating in terrorist activities, so to have an order that sweeps the entirety of Verizon’s customer base is quite alarming and unusual.

Verizon customers might not be the only ones to have reason to be concerned. There very well may be orders for a wide variety of United States carriers to give up the same information. We might not ever know, but knowing just one of these carriers is being subject to shoveling this data to the NSA is quite worrisome.

According to The Guardian, the top secret order is so strict that Verizon isn’t even allowed to acknowledge that it exists, declining any sort of comment when asked about it. An unnamed White House official did decide to say a bit in response to questions regarding the order, but meandered around the question by saying the collection of records has always been “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.” They also assured us that, “on its face, the order reprinted in the article does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls.” We can’t stamp that as a pure declaration of guilt and admittance, but take it for what you will.

NSA

We will, however, say that we’re getting quite tired of governments flexing their muscle every which way under the guises of “national security” and “the greater good.” Believe me, I want nothing more than to give our government the best tools to protect America, but there comes a point in time where you have to question just how far is far enough.

We’ve reached out to legal guru Jay Klimek, who you might remember has taken up a fight with Verizon regarding other matters (specifically, their “right” to block Google Wallet access despite the fact that their actions seem to directly violate Block C spectrum requirements set forth by the FCC).

We hope to get a better idea of what this means and whether or not the NSA has the right to collect anything and everything it wants about Verizon customers’ phone calls short of a full-on recording. In the meantime, let us know how you’re feeling about all of this in the comments section below.

[Update]: Just one point of clarification (as pointed out by David Ruddock): this order seems to pertain to Verizon Communications, which is not quite the same as Verizon Wireless, the mobile service which many of us use for our Android phones. Verizon Wireless is a joint-owned company by Verizon Communications and Vodafone. It’s possible this order, other unpublished parts of this order, or other separate orders apply to Verizon Wireless, but this specific order, as we know it, doesn’t specifically say this pertains to Verizon Wireless customer data.

We’ll be doing our best to get a better idea of who is subject to this, but with top secret classification and strict orders for Verizon and government officials not to acknowledge the order it may be difficult to gather anything concrete.

[via The Guardian]




  • Covert_Death

    damn it Obama quit snooping you PIG… you keep strong arming your agenda and its getting really freaking old. how you got re-elected is BEYOND me

    • h4rr4r

      That is some serious derp there.
      1. This did not change with the president, this stuff has been going on a long time
      2. He got re-elected because he was running against Robot McRichie who would do the same thing, but also throw in a little more bigotry while he was at it.

      • Covert_Death

        this stuff has been going on to some degree for a while yes, but this is just so far it’s ridiculous… the patriot act at least kept it to international calls with “suspected terrorists” (however that was defined) this is just out right blatant and blind SPYING. i don’t mind some degree of it for protection but listening in on my phone calls to my fiance doesn’t help keep john doe in New York safe…

        • Casey Workman

          Unless I missed something, they aren’t listening to your phone calls. What they are doing is recording that you had the call. I mean…it’s still pretty crappy but they aren’t recording what you say (that we know of).

          • Subzer0

            and you believe that…

        • bitflung

          and the patriot act never ACTUALLY restricted access to international calls with suspected terrorists. that was the carrot, the stick is worse. in fact, i wouldn’t be surprised if the subject matter of this article is actually just part of the patriot act’s fallout. it’s well within the bounds of other ridiculous crap we’ve grown accustomed to as a result of that paradoxically named piece of legislation.

        • aergern

          Garbage. AT&T let the NSA install capture servers in it’s CO years before BHO took office .. and the NSA has been doing this since W’s administration stoked the fear of the public .. this did not start on 01/20/09 and to say that is just showing ignorance.

          ‘Murica!

    • Shane Rambo

      A lot of dumb ass idiots with no common sense that’s how. change is right for the worse

      • aergern

        Maybe you should have paid attention to history … this has gone on for decades. Low info citizens are the worst kind … and if you think this is a new thing … then please feel free to GTMF.

        • Gibz

          Low info citizens? At least W’s acts weren’t in complete secrecy… Count all your saviors’ scandals (by which I mean BHO) and then compare them to Bush. Heck, after Obama I feel sorry for Nixon. You brainwashed libtard.

          • sdrawkcab25

            ever consider you were the one that is brainwashed? denial? same things can be said about either side, whether you admit to it or not. good sign of being brainwashed is you cant admit fault in your own party

          • Dennis

            The hell with party, this is just the way they have us fight back and forth; at the same time they consume more power over us to the point that we are just entering a policed state.

    • aergern

      Obama’s agenda … same as W’s agenda and he got re-elected twice. I worked for a telecom from 1999-2011 .. when the Patriot Act was passed and this crap was allowed .. I use to tell folks they were being spied on but they were so scared of the muslims that I would often hear ” if you don’t have anything to hide then why do you care? ” Yeah. This is BHO’s fault.

      ‘Merica!!

  • frankie

    Ahh.. I remember freedom.. when your business was only YOUR business..

    • h4rr4r

      Nope, I am not that old.
      I doubt you are either. This sort of thing started the minute after they invented the telegraph.

      • frankie

        true..
        I still think they should be monitoring other things like *cough* the IRS *cough*

        • h4rr4r

          Why would the NSA monitor the IRS?
          If anyone was surprised the IRS checked into groups opposed to taxes they were morons. It would be like being surprised the DEA checks into NORML members.

          • New_Guy777

            Actually, the problem was the clause in the letters saying “they contradicted the Administration’s policies.” Also, the election lead-up saw a similar increase in Teamsters and other pro Union groups, and they received NO increased scrutiny. So, it was clearly an unlevel playing field, and lets face it, there was no just cause. Just because someone is against taxes DOES NOT equate to them actually breaking the law. To they contrary, these groups were trying to work WITHIN the law to change it.

          • nycplayboy78

            How do you know that left-leaning Progressive groups where not subject to scrutiny?

          • New_Guy777
          • nycplayboy78

            Look up 2004 IRS investigation into the NAACP and no one said boo but when…Oh I give up…..

          • New_Guy777

            You are actually comparing that situation to over 500 groups? Over 200 of those still haven’t received approval after 9 months of investigation. Requiring transcripts of Facebook and Twitter messages? Requiring an education group of conservative philosophy to surrender the name of their students? This is crazy beyond words! At least the NCAAP was guilty of actually coming out and making statements on specific political figures, which 501c organizations can’t do. They can focus on laws, not specific people.

        • aergern

          Yeah, they should monitor the IRS to make sure that all applications are approved in the timeframe that those applying for it think it should be approved in since NONE were denied. They should have also been monitoring it during the 2004 election when folks were targeted and during the 80′s along with during the Vietnam War when activists were targeted.

          OH! Sorry .. I think Frankie meant just for rightwing teabagging orgs. My bad … they’re special and the American public has a short memory … things are different now that we have a black, kenyan, socialist, muslim dictator in office. *rolls eyes*

          • AndroidProfit

            I am straight but I think I love you!

          • AndroidProfit

            BTW it’s President Blackenstein (credit to Bill Maher).

          • nycplayboy78

            SCREAMS-n-FAINTS!!!! The President is Black…I thought he was a tanned Italian….LAWD!!!!! :)

    • Tony Lai

      Yes, freedom as they can have free access to our privacy.

  • PhoenixPath

    Love the headline…that’s really the only good thing about this.

  • CoronaDoug

    Will they let me out of my contract for this? ;)

    • nycplayboy78

      Ummmm…..NO :)

  • Shane Rambo

    God i miss the early 80s no net cell phones in suitcases answer machines Atari 400 computer Sony Walkman

    • nycplayboy78

      WUT??!!

  • jackdubl

    Police state.

  • JWolf_PDX

    Can you hear me now?

    Also, doesn’t it seem that the fact that this is targeted at Verizon Communications make this a whole lot scarier? Wouldn’t this be a blanket to cover Verizon home phone and Verizon e-mail services and possibly even television service? I mean those are by definition ‘Verizon Communications’, right?

  • Guest

    Wow..Verizon wasn’t kidding when they marketed, “Share Everything Plan”.

  • droi_d

    So.

  • Christopher Robert

    Who here ACTUALLY believes the NSA is NOT listening to and recording your calls?

    • Keith Russell

      Say a few key words like, “I’m going to Schust and Resident.” See if that doesn’t get flagged real quick :-p

  • Guest

    My next question is ‘What is the NSA so afraid of for the next 3 months?’.

    I am actually a bit alarmed by that time frame. If they are willing to let it slip that they will be tracking everyone’s calls and movement for the next 3 months, what are they keeping form us?

    • oldtaku

      They’ve been doing this for 7 years. This is just the regular 3 month extension of the order.

    • real0325

      That’s a eye opener!

  • Montisaquadeis

    Hmm wonder if this covers those carriers that use verizon towers like Straight Talk and others

  • max

    So much for our “God given, inalienable rights”. Nothing like loosing our rights and freedom to protect our rights and freedom. Where does it stop? Kids jailed for music lyrics (however bad taste they may have been), FBI & NSA snooping through our commmunications any time they want… I want to be a government too so I can do whatever I want, kill whoever, & subjugate everyone without consequence, & turn around & say “I know what’s good for you, this is for your (cough, cough) safety!” How many more rights will we loose to the guise of National Security? Where is the line between protection of the people & essentially slavery? I get the feeling we’re going to find out soon

    • aergern

      Agreed. So maybe folks should stop only caring about God, Gun’s and Gays .. all I’ve heard about for the last 5 years is “Second Amendment, Second Amendment .. they’re gonna take our guns! ” and no one has cared about those other pesky rights.

      ‘Murica!

      • nycplayboy78

        LOLCATS @ Murica :)

      • Dennis

        Thats the game they play; to overload the system with never ending threats. When people focus on one thing or the other, the hand that you are not watching is doing something else. they also love to have us argue party so that all the energy goes to yes they did or no they did not.

  • Spoken Word™

    This story is over 10 years old. People seem to forget that this originally started with a whistle blower spilling the beans on AT&T; https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying

  • oldtaku

    Sen Feinstein hinted this was just a normal three month extension of what they’ve been doing for seven years. And c’mon, I’m no fan of Verizon, but do you really think the NSA is not doing this with every single carrier? Dubya and Obama have both been strongly dedicated to warrantlessly spying on everything you do at home or abroad as policy. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are just leaning back, whistling, avoiding eye contact.

  • ATBvsBFZ

    Quoting one of my favorite bands:

    Control the airwaves
    Fuel the reaction
    Use every weapon of mass-distraction
    Turn active people into passive consumers
    Feed ‘em bogus polls and harebrained rumors

    Cut back civil rights
    Make no mistake
    Tell ‘em homeland security is now at stake
    Whip up a frenzy keep ‘em suspended
    Don’t let ‘em know that their liberty’s ended

    from Stars & Stripes, WWIII, KMFDM

  • iwave

    There’s a reason the Germans have such strict privacy laws….

  • guitarist5122

    The government is too strong. I’m really curious as to what it’s going to take to get people to say enough is enough. It won’t happen though. The people are scared of the government. To quote a favorite movie of mine, “the people should not be afraid of their government. It’s the government that should be afraid of their people”

  • real0325

    Maybe they should , if think about it the (Boston bombers) were on the phone minutes before the blast. I’m just saying.

  • real0325

    I’m for anything to protect the children of tomorrow .

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Guys, just remember, this is only the tip of the iceberg. This is only the spying they were caught with. There is SO MUCH MORE they do, that they hide from us. Moral of the story? Keep your nose clean, stay out of trouble.

  • Eddie Villalobos

    Still more expensive than T-mobile (4 smartphones, 1 basic w/2 Gigs data)
    $250.00 w/Verizon. $193.00 w/T-Mobile. Where I live both T-mobile & Verizon have good reception.

  • DannyB2

    At least the NSA did not need a court order to get Facebook to share all of your personal information.