The headline pretty much says it all, but here’s Glenn Greenwald’s report:
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
The New York Times covers it a bit differently, with Charlie Savage and Edward Wyatt reporting:
The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program under which it is collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed on Wednesday night.
The key difference between the two reports is that it sounds like The New York times believes the records to be only “business” in nature — those from a specific business subsidiary of Verizon — whereas The Gaurdian report seems to be claiming that there is a “business provision” in the Patriot Act which is being used to get all-ish records Verizon. That’s my reading at least.
Either way, it’s fucking bullshit.