Amid growing demand for transparency, the Obama administration insists millions of telephone records gathered from Verizon users are necessary for national security.
The secret surveillance court order was revealed by The Guardian Wednesday.
Even top Republicans such as Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, continue to defend the National Security Agency's ongoing search of Verizon records.
“Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States, we know that,” Rogers said Thursday.
Rogers insists the NSA search involves only business records, and nothing is done without court approval.
House Speaker John Boehner, however, is calling for clear answers.
“I trust the president will explain to the American people why the administration considers this a critical tool in protecting our nation from the threats of a terrorist attack,” Boehner said.
While actual conversations are said to be safe, FreedomWorks editor Reid Smith argues the government is tracking nearly everything else.
“It essentially geopositions me and my contact, knowing who I am speaking to, the duration of my call and where we are when we're talking,” Smith tells KTRH News.
“At this point in time would you be shocked to learn that this didn't just apply to Verizon?” he asks. “It would seem strange to me that they would only target Verizon."
“This goes back long before President George W. Bush's response to 9/11, the Patriot Act,” says Smith. “Vice President Joe Biden wrote the core of it while still a senator in 1995, and lawmakers were just waiting for an opportunity to enact it.”
“Obama,” he says, “has taken it to another level.”
On the KTRH Facebook page, many are asking how this can be legal? We spoke to several listeners who expressed similar concerns.
“Its an abuse of power, that's not what the Patriot Act is about,” said one woman.
“Government having access to that kind of information is going to lead to other private and confidential information being leaked,” said another woman.
“What are we to do now? Do we start protesting? What do we do? We have rights. Nowadays it seems like everything is almost a scandal.”