from Threat Level Blog:

In essence, government authorities handed Verizon, and presumably other telecoms, a list of phone numbers considered relevant to an investigation.

Then it asked the company to look at who those people called and who called them. That's one-generation.

Then it wanted an analysis of what numbers that "generation" called and what numbers called them. That's generation two.

Then it wants the subscriber information on both generations - which could include the persons' name, address, local and long distance calling records, length and type of service and their credit card/bank account numbers.

This information is then stored by the FBI in near-perpetuity in its massive telephone database, regardless of whether the information proves relevant to any investigation.

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