A secret court order requires one of America's largest telephone companies to hand over its data, its call data, to the United States government.
British newspaper The Guardian published a copy of the court order Wednesday night, revealing that the Verizon Corporation must provide telephone records for as many as 121 million domestic customers.
If you're a Verizon customer, this means the National Security Agency headquartered in Maryland knows who you are, who you're talking to and how long your call lasts. Such warrantless surveillance began under the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks.
The secret program was exposed in 2006 and the following year Congress authorized the program under the supervision of a special court order, the FISA court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, responsible for the secret order disclosed last night. It's the first we've seen that the Obama administration is continuing this Bush administration practice on such a massive scale.
In the video above Jimmy Gurule, a senior law enforcement official under President George Bush, speaks to CNN' Christiane Amanpour about these revelations.