The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on anSnowden provided the "Top Secret" court order to Guardian's reporters as well as possibly other information about the program.
"ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
One thing struck me about the members of Congress and administration officials calling for Snowden's vigorous prosecution for having violated federal law in disclosing the order and the existence of the program. They appeared not to be acting out of concern that Americans were endangered or even that making public the existence of the program would blunt efforts to counter terrorism. Instead they seem motivated by the fact,that Snowden had embarrassed them publicly by making public the existence of a program that may well be unconstitutional or at least outside the range of what Congress had approved in the Patriot Act. Snowden exposed members of the congressional intelligence committees who were not doing their job which includes protecting people's civil liberties. Now Congress should do what it can do and put a stop to any attempt to prosecute Snowden for his courageous action.