Every call, every day, on Verizon, one of the largest phone networks, both within the U.S. and having a party outside the U.S., for months. That is what the NSA has been collecting thanks to a secret court order — which itself actually bars Verizon from even admitting it or discussing the matter.
When your field of surveillance is that huge, you cannot possibly be looking for something of merit. This is simply doing it just to see if you can get away with it, a complacency test, a heat check. As time goes on, these kind of stories become “Breaking: Dog Licks its Own Crotch” territory.