Apparently, the Obama administration’s go-to response when it comes to scandals is simple: “We did this for you.” The government defended collecting phone records—or snooping on citizens—as a “critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats.” Officials did not, however, confirm that the NSA has been snatching up Verizon phone records under a top-secret court mandate, as reported by TheGuardian. From April 25 until July 19, Verizon is required to give the NSA information on every single phone call in the system. Neither the NSA nor Verizon commented on the report. A bulk intel dump, especially of citizens who are not suspected of wrongdoing, is unprecedented. It’s legal under the “business records” law in the Patriot Act.