The Obama administration is declassifying a previously secret directive that ordered Verizon Communications to hand over its customer phone records.
The directive was connected to the secret surveillance program leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the Washington Post reported.
Officials say they expect its disclosure to show how the government uses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to obtain communications data.
The revelation of the order comes as officials from the NSA, Justice Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence come before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on federal surveillance programs.
The government reportedly acknowledged last week in a letter to Congress that there have been an unspecified number of "compliance problems"
in following the rules governing the secret collection of Americans' phone records.
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