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Story this morning is this report that the NSA is surveilling.
Millions of US and Verizon customers.
Watching the numbers that they're calling from -- and tracking -- to the numbers that they're calling two in a very broad surveillance program.
That falls under the Patriot Act has a lot of people.
Very interested in the details in all of this and here's a statement.
From a senior White House official on this program this morning it says quote on its face the order reprinted in the article that was in the guardian article.
That started all of this does not allow the government to listen in on anyone's phone calls the information acquired does not include the contents of any communications.
Or reveal the name of any subscriber.
So that is supposed to -- the -- his.
This -- to rest to some extent joined now by Byron York chief political correspondent the Washington examiner at a Fox News contributor -- what what what's your reaction to this story.
Well it's it's a pretty big deal I mean if yeah -- I suppose at some comfort to know that the government would was not actually listening to the conversations but.
You know -- people were upset at finding out that the government had secretly gotten -- phone records of some Associated Press reporters.
I mean what are they gonna think when they found out when they find out they've done for the whole country or some huge bit block of the country and mean Verizon has millions and millions and millions of customers.
I think what we're gonna have to know though is how long has this been going on what's the specific purpose of it and especially.
Is -- some limiting principle involved I mean for example is there.
Some telephone that they've they've tracked and Yemen or Pakistan or somewhere like that.
That they want to see if it's having any communications with people inside the United States.
And they're limiting their searches to things like that so I think we got to learn a lot more before we really go -- Well you know when you look back.
Congress the -- initiated the Patriot Act in 2011.
Is good from 2011 to 2015.
During that period so it was certainly that this is allowed under the surveillance laws that the big issue here is the brightness up at that it's such a large scope because in these rules when you read them and you read the Patriot Act.
It it deet tails you know when you're going after a specific -- a specific group you're allowed to sort of get this information.
So here once again the charges that it's over brought just as we sign AP.
That's it that's exactly what it was an -- because they didn't limited and here it looks like it's the same thing just on steroids I mean it's just this.
Enormous number of of records they've gone through -- you -- point out that the Patriot Act made made the government go to a judge.
Two to have permission to get permission to do this and what the guardian newspaper published -- all this was the actual order that the judge signed.
Telling Verizon to hand over this information it's called meta data.
Two the government and so it's gone through -- process here but we don't have any indication that it's actually.
Limited in any way I mean I'm a Verizon customer I immediately thought wow they've they've seen every call that I've made -- it comes -- -- Feeling I am -- I agree.
You know but one of the lives that.
Charges in all of this that people are screaming about this morning is that the Obama administration you know.
Profess to -- to be the antithesis of the Bush Administration when the president was running for office he you know scored this program.
And felt that it was intrusive and over brought in all of those things so many people look at this and say.
You know G wall is -- what he said during the election and if so why would he be taking it even further than President Bush -- -- I mean all those criticisms now -- -- double to himself.
And it is true that the president has has.
Talked about that changing from bush anti terrorism policies he's.
Talked about closing Guantanamo he's talked about changing all sorts of other policies but he hasn't actually done it.
And in this case it may be that he's actually.
Broadened the very policies that have a lot of liberals and civil libertarians upset -- in the bush years and he's really got a lot of explaining to do.
You know -- one of the things that occurred to me when I read the dates on this this morning and when we talk to Tom Ridge who was the first director of Homeland Security of course.
Right after the Boston Marathon bombing in when we heard that.
You know the Russians had alerted us to this and I have Brothers and that they were concerned about it.
I raise questions with Tom Ridge about the Patriot Act we looked into whether or not it was still in a fact which we found of course yes it was.
And -- we'll cheat why wouldn't see why wouldn't our intelligence folks have been watching the phone calls of these of these two young men.
Now it's interesting that a month later this whole program kicked -- with this very broad surveillance and I wonder if there's any connection.
And I wonder if they didn't feel that they were caught it flat footed minister and I of Boston Marathon bombings situation.
And that was -- let's just try to big umbrella over this and see what we get.
Well that could be the case and there could be a connection but I think I would warn against making -- too close a connection between a specific event.
And this we do know in general terms that the government has stopped a lot of terrorist plots over the years.
And you have to wonder whether this kind of technique was part of doing that was part of trying to find apps discover terrorist plots before they happen so my question will be.
Not whether this was happening last month the month before but whether this is have been happening every year for the last time many years yet all great questions -- -- thank you very much thank you -- -- -- --
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