Obama Defends Phone Record Tracking as ‘Critical Tool’


Jared A. Favole
wsj.com
June 5, 2013

The Obama administration called government review of complete phone records of U.S. customers a “critical tool” in protecting the public from terrorists.

The information “allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States,” a senior Obama administration official said Thursday. The official stopped short of confirming the practice.

Former officials described the practice after a published account on the gathering of complete phone records from all Verizon U.S. customers, including landline and wireless accounts, was published Wednesday.

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