The Guardian managed to obtain the secret court order, under which the largest U.S. mobile operator Verizon is required to pass information about all telephone calls made by its customers to the National Security Agency of the USA (NSA).
In particular, the company is required to provide phone numbers, unique identifiers of devices, exact date, time and duration of phone calls and even the location of the talkers during the call.
NSA receives data about all calls, regardless of whether the subscriber is suspected of involvement in criminal or terrorist activities or not.
However, the document states that the calls themselves are not recorded. The Guardian believes that Verizon, probably, is not the only operator that the U.S. government has obliged to provide information about calls made by its subscribers. According to experts, such an order may relate to all U.S. mobile operators.
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in the USA, claimed that the disclosure of such court orders could cause long-lasting and irreversible harm to the nation's ability to respond to threats. He also said that he intends to reveal some aspects of the NSA monitoring to make them more understandable for American citizens.