Verizon Phone Records Given to Government - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Verizon Phone Records Given to Government

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Millions of Verizon customers are discovering call records from the cell carrier are being used by the federal government. While some people see the advantages, others don't like it one bit. Two Panama City attorneys spoke to us about the phone records being released.

They believe this may not only impact Verizon customers but nearly all American citizen regardless of who their service is with. The question is, are releasing phone records an investigative tool or violation of rights? State Attorney Glenn Hess understands the value of a person's phone record, "Phones are just a wealth of information. We can tell what a person was doing before a crime was committed and we can tell what they were doing after the crime was committed. Cell phone companies are able to tell us that this telephone number had these hits, this is where it was, this is where it was going."

Just like state attorney Glenn Hess uses these records, the federal government is using Verizon records to track users. Attorney Gerard Virga says he doesn't understand why that information would be necessary, "For someone like you or me, who are not involved in any of this, for our government to sit there and have an ongoing database of every time I call someone and my exact location, why do they need to know that? What are they really after?"

According to AP reports the information will be used for monitoring any suspicious terrorist activities but Virga believes this is hazing our amendment rights, "In the end it brings up basic privacy questions, I think what we have to ask ourselves is this, as a country and as a people. Do we want a place that is safe and secure, free of any risks? Or you have no liberty privacy or freedom? Or do we want a place where there are risks but we still enjoy our fundamental rights?"

Both attorneys believe the future of mobile security law is changing quickly and citizens need to speak up about what they believe the government should be able to do and not be able to do.