NSA Secretly Storing Verizon Calls: Report

The White House says such information is a "critical tool in protecting the nation."
1:46 | 06/06/13

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Transcript for NSA Secretly Storing Verizon Calls: Report
the national security agency has been collecting phone records from millions of americans under a top secret court order. "The guardian" broke the story and jon karl has been following it. Every verizon call, both phone numbers, time and length. Reporter: This top secret order obtained by "the guardian" requested by the fbi on april 25th, TEN DAYS AFTER THE BOSTON Marathon bombing and it covers the phone records of millions of americans. And while the white house is not directly confirming this story, they are defending this massive collection of data that it describes, a senior white house official telling me just a short while ago "information of the sort described in the guardian article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the united states as it allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged this terrorist activities, particularly in the united states." This official makes two other points, george. First of all, this order does not allow the government to listen in to those phone calls, only to look at their duration, their length and who is calling who and the second point they make is that key members of congress were aware of this. They may be and the white house may be defending it right now but there's already been a bipartisan outcry. Reporter: That's right. First of all, you have civil liberty groups outraged. The aclu calling it a mass iive personal privacy -- in digital era, privacy must be priority. Is it just me or is secret blanket surveillance obscene obscenely -- by al gore. Jon, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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