A privacy group called on the Supreme Court to invalidate the secret court order that authorized the collection of telephone metadata from every Verizon business customer in the US.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
A nonprofit privacy group asked the US Supreme Court on Monday to invalidate a secret court order that authorized the US government to collect and retain all telephone metadata from every Verizon business customer in the United States.
The order was issued April 25 and required Verizon Business Network Services to turn over the data every day through July 19, 2013.
The secret decision was issued by a judge with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and had remained a classified document until it was publicly disclosed recently by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
In response to the unusually broad data collection order, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the order and stop the ongoing collection of domestic telephone records of millions of Americans.
Such petitions to the high court are rare, and even more rarely granted.
The once-secret order demanded that Verizon turn over to the NSA “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”