CDT Statement on NSA Collection of Phone Records

Washington – CDT issued the following statement on the revelation last night that the FBI is using the PATRIOT Act to compel disclosure of customers’ telephone call records to the National Security Agency.

“This is a massive abuse of the PATRIOT Act,” said CDT President Leslie Harris. “The NSA is collecting the telephone call records of Americans who have nothing to do with terrorism or terrorists, and who pose no threat to US national security.”

The order, issued under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, requires that records revealing who is calling whom, both within the United States and for international calls to or from the US, be turned over “on an ongoing daily basis” until the order expires on July 19.

“This is stunning,” said CDT Senior Counsel Greg Nojeim. “It appears that millions of Americans are being put under surveillance so their communications with others can be tracked in near real time. This may be the broadest investigative program in US history,” he added.