Politics

Al Gore Calls NSA Phone Records Collecting 'Obscenely Outrageous'

| by Emily Smith
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Former Vice President Al Gore tweeted regarding the collection of Verizon Wireless phone records by the National Security Agency, calling the secret court order “obscenely outrageous.”

Gore insisted in the digital era, privacy must be a priority.

While he often focuses on climate change, Gore has also expressed concerns about privacy rights in the past.

In 2006, he spoke on the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping, an act also carried out by the NSA.

Earlier this year Gore predicted an increase in government surveillance at a South By Southwest Conference following reports of a $2 billion Utah facility that could collect phone calls and emails. He was especially concerned when the Supreme Court ruled against suing the facility.

The Utah Data Center, run by the NSA and suspected of data mining without a warrant, is meant to support the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, though its main mission is kept secret. In 2009, the Department of Justice accused the center of overcollection in violation of the FISA Amendment act, though the claims were dismissed.

House Representatives also spoke out against the NSA’s actions. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema called it an “outrageous violation of Americans’ privacy rights,” while many retweeted old messages submitted by the NSA.

“Cybersecurity is everyone’s business but your personal info isn’t,” read one tweet.

Sources: The Huffington Post, The National Journal