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AT&T, Verizon: Privacy Advocates Extraordinaire
When it suits them and looks good...
by Karl Bode 09:25AM Friday Nov 21 2008
Given that Verizon and AT&T deliver all of your data wholesale to the NSA without oversight, and were subsequently given immunity from civil prosecution by Obama (among others), it's interesting to see the outraged reaction to a potential intrusion into Obama's privacy.

Several Verizon Wireless employees have been suspended for accessing Obama's phone records, with Verizon issuing a string of public apologies for the intrusion. Verizon tells CNN they've alerted "the appropriate federal law enforcement authorities" concerning the brief intrusion, and will fire any employees who acted inappropriately. Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam ensures CNN that "nobody was monitoring voicemail or anything like that."

Good thing that's settled. We wouldn't want the private data of one of the nation's elite treated with anything but the utmost respect for the law. Accessing and transmitting your data, without your approval, free from judicial and Congressional oversight or legal liability -- and in potential violation of privacy and wiretap laws -- remains ok. A one-off exploration of Obama's SMS history is cause for immediate action, but documented intercept and mockery of private citizen communications is something we might look into -- sometime.

As some sprinkles on this cupcake of privacy irony, AT&T this week spearheaded the creation of a new privacy astroturf organization think tank dubbed the Future of Privacy forum. In standard AT&T lobbying fashion, the group's primary goal has absolutely nothing to do with privacy -- it's to prevent the creation of laws that would prohibit them from collecting and selling your browsing data via deep packet inspection (a la NebuAD).

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knightmb
Everybody Lies

join:2003-12-01
Franklin, TN

Some more details on the cell phone breach

Another link to the story here:
»www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/21/···dex.html

You seem to have two stories in one, but I guess the focus is about AT&T new AstroTurf group. What else would we expect here, doesn't shock me at all.

On the note of cell phone records, it was never difficult to find the numbers for George W. Bush (I had access to those when I worked at a company that did the government phone system for them) But everyone knew better at the company than to prank call the President.
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Glaice
Brutal Video Vault
Premium
join:2002-10-01
North Babylon, NY

Re: Some more details on the cell phone breach

That doesn't stop them from doing it once Bush is out of office in January..

knightmb
Everybody Lies

join:2003-12-01
Franklin, TN

Re: Some more details on the cell phone breach

That's true, I guess he will get a lot of prank calls after Jan 20

I think a good point though, at least in the Verizon case, if you have more than one human involved with access to something they shouldn't be accessing, expect it to get accessed, LOL.
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caco
Premium
join:2005-03-10
Whittier, AK

Re: Some more details on the cell phone breach

One of the news articles says President-elect Obama hadn't used the phone in some time.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Data used by NSA did have oversight - the US gov't

2 different animals related to Verizon actions:

1 - data provided to the NSA to gather info on terrorism did have gov't oversight whether anyone thinks they should have provided that data or not.
2 - employees acting on their own to satisfy their own curiosity is not in the same ballpark. And actions to punish employees for doing so by Verizon is std procedure and appropriate.
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My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
Ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?
jc100

join:2002-04-10

2 edits

Re: Data used by NSA did have oversight - the US gov't

Dude I'm so sick of your posts.

1) Data given to the government had NO OVERSIGHT as they were warrantless wiretaps

2) Employees readily admitted to spying on Americans (Soldiers, Aid Workers, etc) and being told to do so by their higher ups.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Data used by NSA did have oversight - the US gov't

said by jc100:

1) Data given to the government had NO OVERSIGHT as they were warrantless wiretaps
Of course there was oversight by the government - just not the courts(which is only 1 part of the government).
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My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
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Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: Data used by NSA did have oversight - the US gov't

Read the constitution before you post next TK, and try and understand why liberals won the election (Hint: Due to republications who pretend to stand for small government and bs everyone)
LowRider

join:2006-06-23
Douglasville, GA

Re: Data used by NSA did have oversight - the US gov't

Democrats ran the congress for the last two years. if they would of tried harder they could of stop alot of things. but for some reason they just FOLLOWED the REPUBLICANS.
»www.senate.gov/pagelayout/histor···ydiv.htm

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA
Yup. Left hand of the gov't didn't know what the right hand was doing.
Absolute power corrupts..absolutely.
cornelius785

join:2006-10-26
Worcester, MA
i sort of agree there was 'oversight', but that's because the bush administration ordered it. they ignored to whole bit on getting a warrant for millions of phone lines and possible internet connections.

i don't mind so much telecoms getting off hook completely. why really pisses me off is that people that ordered are getting no attention and are not being held accountable.
jc100

join:2002-04-10
Oversight.. by Whom? The people who gave the blank check to go about the program any way they saw fit. Ya, that's real checks and balances taking place. Maybe you need to read the constitution a bit better where it says there are courts in our system to make sure the government doesn't get too powerful. Judicial system. Ever heard of that before? Probably not.
amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

1 edit

Re: Data used by NSA did have oversight - the US gov't

said by jc100:

Maybe you need to read the constitution a bit better where it says there are courts in our system to make sure the government doesn't get too powerful.
I think there's also something about guilty until proven innocent?

If you think 18 USC 2511's recognition of Executive power is unconstitutional, or was abused by that branch (or, misapplied by Congress when they referred to it as the basis for so-called "immunity"), the solution is to take your grievance to the court. Not sit around talking about how the current administration "broke the law."

I understand the EFF *finally* did this. Too bad they wasted a year on personal-injury lawsuits. All that did was force Congress to put even *more* congressional intent behind 18 USC 2511(!). A very important element in determining whether the President abused that law.

Mark

packetscan
Premium
join:2004-10-19
Bridgeport, CT
If you call NSA "listeners" passing around phone sex conversations among themselves, between army and their wifes.
- yea i can see how that is beneficial to the war on terror.

This is a Verizon problem.. why did they not have a lock on the account? - I haven't seen a company that can't lock records so a Manager or Supervisor must unlock the records.

Verizon dropped the ball yet again.
amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
said by FFH5:

2 different animals related to Verizon actions:
Right. One was defined as legal by law (18 USC 2511). The other isn't.

Not surprising Karl blurs the two.

Mark
Antonlm

join:2004-09-15
Birmingham, AL

They should be fired

If they did this without specific business reasons.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: They should be fired

Fired and then turned over to the feds to be dealt with. And the best part---NON-UNION! VZW is non-union so they don't have anyone to stand up for them and complain that it would be unfair to fire them.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by Antonlm:

If they did this without specific business reasons.
They were fired:
»news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-101061···1_3-0-20

Madness
Like a flea circus at a dog show

join:2000-01-05
Quincy, MA
kudos:1

Bell

I find it odd that a Bell System logo was posted for this story. This BS would've been unheard of back then!

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: Bell

said by Madness:

I find it odd that a Bell System logo was posted for this story. This BS would've been unheard of back then!
It was, just that some of the article was was more accepted at the time than it is now but it is easier to do today, and the media is more hair triggered to get the first word out. Also, news dissemination is much faster due to the internet, computers, and automated offices than it was in the 50's, 60's.

As far as the employee firing, depending on their level/position in the company, they could have been fired and the media would most likely never post it, if they heard about it.

Many folks forget that Bell and the US government were very cooperative with each other in the 50's and 60's. Even after the split, in the 80's, a briefcase full of blank John Doe warrants would give access to all the records, with the information filled out on the spot if the investigator found something he wanted to copy (different technology than today, they had to go to the telco office to copy it).
--
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swhitney2003
Premium
join:2003-06-13
NH
said by Madness:

I find it odd that a Bell System logo was posted for this story. This BS would've been unheard of back then!
I wan't a telegraph line.

Shamayim
I already have a Messiah.
Premium
join:2002-09-23

1 edit

Vz & AT&T: We're shocked, shocked!

Karl framed the issue perfectly. One standard of outrage for the favored elite, another for the rest of us poor schlubs.

And I can't help feeling that if this had been John McCain's privacy that was breached, no one would care.
--
Who is Jesus? and Why it matters (to YOU).

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: Vz & AT&T: We're shocked, shocked!

said by Shamayim:

Karl framed the issue perfectly. One standard of outrage for the favored elite, another for the rest of us poor schlubs.

And I can't help feeling that if this had been John McCain's privacy that was breached, no one would care.
Nothing new about that, I went through one of the anti-porn/child abuse internet monitoring sites some time ago and the escort was giving us some information on some of the "kids" talking (made this sailor boy blush) on the screen. Most were normal sick Joes, but probably an eighth (just my poor memory) of the scum she pointed to were said to be untouchable because of money or politics. And it was both male to boy and male to girl conversations (and yes, women do it too, but there were none on that day).

Always has been and always will be, with money and connections you are treated differently unless you screw up big time and in public, piss off someone even more elite, or irritate the media.

As far as McCain, you are not implying the media has bias are you? [innocent look]
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA
said by Shamayim:

And I can't help feeling that if this had been John McCain's privacy that was breached, no one would care.
At least not unless it got out that he had phone sex with Bible Spice. I mean, she had to blow someone to get on the gee oh pee ticket because it certainly had nothing to do with her intelligence.

I Use Dial

join:2004-01-04
Morgan Hill, CA

1 recommendation

Heil Obama!

Heil Obama!
viperlmw
Premium
join:2005-01-25

Re: Heil Obama!

said by I Use Dial:

Heil Obama!
FUD!
soothsayer15

join:2002-03-01
Irving, TX

Standard Idiots in the Workplace Issue

I've worked at different companies were employees had access to regular & VIP accounts. People were made well aware who should not be in certain accounts and the consequences for doing so. But every few months some moron would get caught going through their boyfriend/girlfriend's(or husband/wife's)account or some VIP's account and get fired. People do idiot things like that at almost any kind of job. They even act shocked when they are told they are being fired.
Craig08

join:2008-03-31
.

AT&T, Verizon

The biting irony... given immunity from civil prosecution and now the look on Obama's face. Average Joe must really be screwed.
RL1138

join:2008-11-14
Wallingford, CT

1 edit

The whole thing is a joke

The whole situation makes me sick and I blame both parties for it. The "oversight" is a joke considering the courts are bypassed. I don't count on the government providing oversight to themselves. That's the inmates running the asylum. Furthermore, I don't think any of this will do a thing to stop terror but will provide the elite a little nice tool to blackmail each other with and on lower levels, listen in on phone sex. Way to go on the war on terror. I feel so much safer.