06
Jun
13

U.S. Maintains Vast Database of Phone Calls, Lawmakers Say

The National Security Agency has for years been compiling a library of Americans’ phone records and using computers to search the database for potential associates of terrorists or spies. But officials must receive permission from a secret court before scrutinizing particular callers flagged as suspicious and using further steps, such as listening to the content of their conversations, officials disclosed Thursday.

The disclosure on Wednesday of a classified court order to a Verizon subsidiary opened the door into a secret program that originated with the Bush administration’s post-9/11 surveillance and whose survival, in some form, into the Obama administration has long been the subject of hints and speculation.

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