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Government Surveillance

Biden Was Right in 2006: NSA Collection of Phone Records Violates Privacy


When the story broke that the National Security Agency has spent the past several years collecting the phone records of millions of U.S. mobile customers, the Obama administration and other lawmakers were quick to dismiss the immense privacy implications posed by such information: It’s only metadata, not call content, they said; don’t worry, “no one’s listening to your telephone calls,” the President said. Nothing to see here, move along.

We disagree, and believe then-Senator and now-Vice President Joe Biden got it right in 2006 while commenting on the Bush-era NSA’s similar mass collection of calling records:

I don’t have to listen to your phone calls to know what you’re doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I’m able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive.

If you agree and want to see reforms to rein in NSA spying, visit our coalition site at to make your voice heard.

H/t to Access’s Katherine Maher (@krmaher) for discovering and sharing this video. This clip is available on YouTube. See the full video at CBS News.