NBC News has learned that under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every phone call made in the U.S.— NBC Nightly News (@nbcnightlynews) June 6, 2013
First we found out that the NSA had been keeping track of all of every single US Verizon customer's phone activity ever since the Boston bombing. Just an hour ago we learned that tech companies were in on the act. And now? The punchline: According to NBC News, every single phone call made in the US has been monitored by the US government.
NBC doesn't have a full report available yet, and it's unclear exactly what kind of records have been collected. Presumably it's the same metadata that Verizon was found to have been providing to the NSA, which is to say who called whom, for how long, where they were located, etc.
When we contacted AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile this morning in the wake of the Verizon news, all three carriers responded with a firm no comment. Which, not to overstate the obvious, is far from a denial.
It's understandable that in certain situations—suspected terrorism or federal crime come to mind!—wiretapping or collection of phone call metadata is helpful, even necessary. But every single phone call? Every one? NBC hasn't elaborated on its report yet, but if it holds water, if this information collection was as sweeping as it appears to be, it seems like a gross injustice to the American people. One that, sadly, no one seems particularly riled up about.