US revealed secret legal basis for NSA program to Sprint, documents show
Under threat of a court challenge, the Obama Administration in 2010 revealed to Sprint the secret legal basis of a then-classified program that collected billions of Americans’ phone records for counterterrorism purposes, according to newly declassified documents and interviews.
The company -- the nation’s third-largest wireless provider -- is believed to have been one of the only firms to have raised concerns about the lawfulness of the National Security Agency program before its existence was revealed in June 2013 as a result of a leak from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, current and former US officials said.
The administration continued to resist opposition entreaties for surface-to-air missiles to fight Assad’s forces. But after being shown the legal rationale, the company dropped its challenge and continued to turn over customers’ call detail records to the NSA. Civil liberties advocates seized on the case to argue that the disclosure of the program’s legal reasoning to the phone company alone was not sufficient to protect the public’s privacy rights.
US revealed secret legal basis for NSA program to Sprint, documents show Phone Company Pushed Back Against NSA’s Data Collection, Court Papers Show (New York Times)