The US National Security Agency, during the Barack Obama administration has pursued wide-scale monitoring of the telephone records of millions of Americans, the Guardian reported online.
Cellular (mobile) carrier Verizon is required to provide the NSA daily with "information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries," the paper reported.
It cited a "top-secret court order issued in April" it had obtained.
"The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk -- regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing," the Guardian report said.
Under the order, "the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered," the report explained.
A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) had "granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19," the paper reported.