NSA Recording All Phone Calls for a Foreign Country, Including Those of Americans

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Josh Bell, 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

NSA Recording All Phone Calls for a Foreign Country, Including Those of Americans

NEW YORK - The NSA is recording all of the phone calls in an unnamed foreign country, and the agency planned to expand the program to other countries, according to a story today by The Washington Post. The conversations, which are available for playback for at least a month, include those of Americans who are in the country or were on calls to or from the country.

Jameel Jaffer, American Civil Liberties Union deputy legal director, had this reaction:

“This is a truly chilling revelation, and it’s one that underscores how high the stakes are in the debate we’re now having about bulk surveillance. The NSA has always wanted to record everything, and now it has the capacity to do so. The question now is simply whether we have the political will to impose reasonable limits on the NSA’s authority – that is, whether we have the political will to protect our democratic freedoms.”

Tomorrow morning, Jaffer will testify in Washington before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), which will hold a hearing on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The government cites Section 702 as authorization for its so-called “warrantless wiretapping program,” which entails bulk the collection of phone calls and emails in and out of the United States.

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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