OnThe Phone

Privacy perverted: No telco ever disobeyed NSA phone record orders

by RT.com  |  published on September 18, 2013

No telecommunications company ever refused to follow the secret US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s orders to turn over bulk phone records under the Patriot Act, despite a legal mechanism to do so, the court has revealed.

“To date, no holder of records who has received an order to produce bulk telephony metadata has challenged the legality of such an order,” Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Claire Eagan wrote. Her opinion was made public on Tuesday.

“Indeed, no recipient of any Section 215 order has challenged the legality of such an order, despite the explicit statutory mechanism for doing so,” the judge informed, explaining her reasons for reauthorizing the phone records collection “of specified telephone service providers” for three months.

However, according to USA Today, not all phone companies caved in to collaborate with the government. In 2006, before bulk phone records collection was moved under the authority of the FISA court, the only big telecommunications company who refused to help the NSA was Qwest, sources told the newspaper.

On 29 August, Eagan not only approved the US government’s request for the mass collection of data from an unidentified telecommunications firm, but also ordered it declassified.

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