Posted in Politics, Posted: Thu, June 6 2013 at 3:20 PM, Updated: Mon, June 10 2013 at 11:19 AM
Millions of phone numbers used by Verizon customers are being logged by the u.S. Government.
Every time your cell phone rings or you make a call, every time your land line gets used, both phone numbers, the time and the place get sent to databanks at the National Security Agency.
"It's not just Verizon," says Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. "I assume it's all the other carriers as well."
When a suspected terrorist is identified and a special judge approves, investigators can look at the stored phone information.
"They can go into this database and see if that specific targeted terrorist had been making any phone calls and to whom," Senator Dianne Feinstein of California explains.
Then, calls can be recorded.
Congress approved the secret plan in 2009 as part of President Obama's version of the Patriot Act, supported by most in Congress.
"I hope the American people appreciate that the way you protect the homeland is you try to find out what the enemy's up to," says South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
The House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers maintains it has worked.
"That within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that," Rogers says.
Still, some Democrats call logging every call an over-reach.
"A perpetual court order to get telephone records, not only of foreign calls but also domestic calls, I think goes against what this country is founded upon," argues Montana Senator Jon Tester.