Merkley Condemns Report on NSA, Verizon

Verizon(CNN) — The U.S. government has a top secret court order requiring Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans, according to a report by the UK-based Guardian newspaper.

According to the report, the order requires the records go to the National Security Agency on a “ongoing daily basis.” The order was signed April 25th and runs through July 19th.

The Guardian reports the order requires sharing the telephone numbers, location, time and duration of the calls, but it does not require that the contents of conversations be turned over. Verizon declined to comment on the report.

Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill expressed their concern over the report. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley called the report “outrageous”.

“This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy,” the Senator stated in a press release. “This bulk data collection is being done under interpretations of the law that have been kept secret from the public.”

A senior Obama administration official defended the idea of such an order early Thursday, without acknowledging whether the order exists. The official said the type of information described in the article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.