The Obama administration is obtaining and monitoring Verizon phone call records in bulk, according to a court order obtained by The Guardian. The surveillance program requires Verizon to hand over data from millions of calls—even if they don’t have any suspicion of wrong doing.
The disclosure came at a time of growing criticism of President Obama for government overreach.
“It’s the bipartisan security state. Historians aren’t going to look at George W. Bush as a guy who had one separate set of policies and Barack Obama as one president who had another,” Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said. “The Obama administration has amped up so many parts of the Bush security state.”
Using a provision of the Patriot Act, the National Security Agency can legally track phone numbers, location, and length of conversation.
Nicolle Wallace, George W. Bush’s former Communications Director, agreed.
“It renders completely ludicrous that Barack Obama ran as the anti-George W. Bush. He has accelerated and intensified almost every single anti-terror policy that was ever imagined by the Bush administration,” she said.
“The bulk collection of phone records was continuing very possibly through the Bush years and Obama years,” said Up host Steve Kornacki. “We don’t know if this is more phone carriers, if this is a one three-month order only or if this is ongoing.”