Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


"NSA Has Massive Database of Americans’ Phone Calls"


The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

From “NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls” in USA Today.

Image from EFF, “EFF’s Class-Action Lawsuit Against AT&T for Collaboration with Illegal Domestic Spying Program,” over the previous set of revelations that AT&T values your privacy.

5 comments on ""NSA Has Massive Database of Americans’ Phone Calls""

  • albatross says:

    Fortunately, we all know that this information will never be used except to find terrorists. At least not until the next terrorist attack. Or the next big scare about online pedophiles and child molestors under every bed. Or the next election.

  • Chris Walsh says:

    I used to make fun of the McNews from USA Today.
    No more.

    Trying to put pressure on Qwest, NSA representatives pointedly told Qwest that it was the lone holdout among the big telecommunications companies. It also tried appealing to Qwest’s patriotic side: In one meeting, an NSA representative suggested that Qwest’s refusal to contribute to the database could compromise national security, one person recalled.
    In addition, the agency suggested that Qwest’s foot-dragging might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government. Like other big telecommunications companies, Qwest already had classified contracts and hoped to get more.
    Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest’s lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused.
    The NSA’s explanation did little to satisfy Qwest’s lawyers. “They told (Qwest) they didn’t want to do that because FISA might not agree with them,” one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest’s suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general’s office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

  • David Brodbeck says:

    Ever since the Attorney General hinted at “other programs” in Senate hearings, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. This, it would seem, is it.

  • Adam says:

    I note that the AG said “programS” and you said “other shoe.” I have every reason to believe that the stream of revelations will continue until the apocalypse, or long into the next administrations, whichever comes first.

  • Chris Walsh says:

    Interestingly enough, this escapade may expose AT&T, et. al., to literally billions in criminal liability [].

Comments are closed.