The Blaze –
In the wake of a bombshell report in the U.K. Guardian claiming the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United Statesdaily — regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing — two Senate Intelligence Committee leaders are seemingly trying to downplay the revelation by claiming that it’s nothing new.
But their admission that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of millions of Americans for seven years may not exactly be a comfort to many.
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) both defended the NSA’s “request” to Verizon for all metadata concerning phone calls made within the United States andfrom the United States to other countries, the POLITICO reports.
“As far as I know, this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been in place for the past seven years,” Feinstein remarked. “This renewal is carried out by the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress.”
When asked by the Guardian why why the FBI needed to have such sweeping powers, “Feinstein said it was so that they had access to the phone numbers in case they became terrorist suspects in future,” according to the Guardian’s Dan Roberts.