Texas Governor Rick Perry says U.S. citizens should be concerned about the National Security Agency’s collection of their cell phone and Internet data.
The news this week that the NSA had gathered a vast amount of information has many people who lead otherwise ordinary lives wondering if they are being targeted as terrorism suspects.
"You would expect to hear those stories coming out of China. You would not expect to hear those stories coming out of the United States," Perry said.
The search was authorized in April by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and gives the government the power to obtain the information for a three-month period that ends July 19.
Perry told reporters in San Antonio that Americans should be concerned about such a broad-based gathering of information in the name of national security.
"I understand gathering information [of] people who have a track record of doing harm to the United States of America, and people like them. But to just broadly gather Internet records and phone records of all the citizens of this country, I mean, I gotta think if you're a Verizon customer, you're a little nervous," he said.
It is not known whether similar orders were issued that allow the collection of data from phone companies other than Verizon. The data collected reportedly includes phone numbers and location of calls, but not information about the content of the conversations.
Perry was in San Antonio to sign a bill making it illegal for restaurants and other establishments to turn away service dogs who are with their owners.