US collecting phone records
The Guardian is reporting that the US National Security Agency is collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.
The newspaper has published what it said was a secret court order directing the Verizon company to hand over data on its customers on an ongoing basis.
The White House has defended the practice as a critical security tool.
While not confirming the report, a senior Obama administration official is quoted as saying authorities need the information to protect the nation from terrorist threats.
Civil liberties groups have described the details of the report as stunning.
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