According to an NBC News report, while some lawmakers reacted with outrage to a report in a British newspaper that the National Security Agency had requested phone records from a division of telecommunications giant Verizon, other prominent Congressional leaders said they have known about the practice for years.
“This program has been lawful, it’s been approved,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein said. “It began in 2009 – what appeared in the Guardian today, as I understand it, is simply a court reauthorization of a program. The court is required to look at it every three months.”
And while Republican Senator Rand Paul called the surveillance of Verizon phone records described in the report “an astounding assault on the constitution,” other GOP lawmakers including Senator Lindsey Graham disagreed.