Investors Press AT&T, Verizon to Detail Spying Cooperation
Both AT&T and Verizon have been dead silent during the entire Snowden affair, but investor pressure may force the companies to shed a little more detail on their cooperation with the NSA. According to the New York Times
, shareholders are now pressuring both companies to follow the lead of companies like Google and Yahoo and begin issuing surveillance transparency reports, disclosing the volume and type of consumer data being shared with the government.
Leading the charge is the $160.7 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, which argues that AT&T and Verizon's silence harms consumer trust, and therefore investor value
“AT&T’s failure to disclose what customer information it shares with U.S. and foreign governments presents significant risk to shareholder value,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the fund. “Transparency allows investors to make informed decisions about corporate behavior. Publishing regular reports on requests for information from governments would be an appropriate response to shareholder and customer concerns about trust and privacy in the digital world.
You'd be hard pressed to find companies that have been more cooperative with domestic surveillance than AT&T and Verizon; that cooperation often going well above and beyond what was asked of them into the realm of advising government on how best to break the law
and allowing government access to every shred of data on their network
(pdf). Their silence has spoken loudly during the entire Snowden affair.
Granted you could probably argue that the money AT&T and Verizon make off of either direct payments by organizations like the CIA
or the multi-billion dollar government contracts
won in part by surveillance cooperation -- are far more valuable to investors than the concerns of consumers, so this transparency effort may not see meaningful traction.
Re: Jab, body blow, uppercut Of course they all do it. RinkyDink Communications, however, has absolutely no leverage to stand up for anything lest they be "randomly audited" by the SEC and shut down if they don't play ball. Verizon and AT&T get the heat because are they only organizations large, rich, and strong enough to actually stand a snowball's chance in hell of fighting the abuses...not only because they handle most of the traffic.
Of course being that they are, after all, Ma Bell Reincarnate, they'll just take the lucrative contracts and hush money and keep their mouths shut. (Although I'd like to believe the higher-ups at the old Ma Bell would at least have tried to stand up for something...)
I've always wondered, though, if the reason T-Mobile doesn't have a better spectrum position in the USA has anything to do with them possibly not playing ball with the spy grid.
investors have reason to worry GigaOm headline: Ciscos gloomy revenue forecast shows NSA effect starting to hit home
by David Meyer NOV. 14, 2013
"In the last quarter, on which Cisco was reporting on Wednesday, the company saw a sudden 21 percent revenue drop in its top 5 emerging markets: 25 percent down in Brazil, 18 percent down in India, Mexico and China, and 30 percent down in Russia."
"If Cisco really is an industry bellwether, big problems lie ahead. Analysts had expected growth of 6 percent, not revenue decimation, and Ciscos gloomy prognostication swiftly saw a 10 percent drop on the companys share price in after-market trading."