Local residents mixed on news of Verizon data sharing - abc27 WHTM

Local residents mixed on news of Verizon data sharing

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A British newspaper says the U.S. National Security Agency has been collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States under a top-secret court order.

The report claims the order requires Verizon to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, every day. Some government officials say it's a matter of national security.

We went out to get your reaction.

"It slightly makes me a little bit uncomfortable but at least they're putting it out there," said Ryan Bratic of Harrisburg who said he is a Verizon customer. Does he think it's been going on for a while? "I guarantee you it's been done many times."

There was the belief among many residents that the government could also be listening in on certain conversations.

"That's an invasion of our privacy as an American," said Robert Paquette of Harrisburg. "We have a right to do whatever we feel to make us happy but that could prevent us from even contacting our loved ones because we're afraid we can't talk normally on what we want to talk about because people are listening."

There are a number lawmakers from both parties that have defended the government's right to collect phone records as a matter of national security, especially in the fight against terrorism.

We found at least two residents who also agree.

"I think the government wants to figure out who's now with all this stuff going on with terrorism," said Kai Brown of Harrisburg. "I think it's the right thing."

"I think it's a good idea to be blunt with you," said Max McAllister of Hampden Township. "You'll get cases of child molestation, drug dealing, events leading up to murders, things like that. It's a great way to have an alibi or prove someone guilty."

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