I felt chills run down my spine as I was reading this article. And then, I started having flash backs to this article from truthdig.com. The article titled “Inside the Data Mine” was so packed with information that my head was spinning by the time I was done. I felt a little sick when I was done reading about the relationship between the White House and the telecommunications industry. I’m not one to fall for conspiracy theories… but here’s a couple doozies….Upon reading an article in USA Today alleging government spying on American communications, Philadelphia resident Norman LeBoon wondered if communications on his Verizon land line were being shared with the government. After a string of e-mails, LeBoon says he finally reached “Ellen” in customer service, who had this to say: “I can tell you, Mr. LeBoon, that your records have been shared with the government, but that’s between you and me. … They [Verizon] are going to deny it because of national security. The government is denying it and we have to deny it, too. Around here we are saying that Verizon has ‘plausible deniability.’ ”
And this conversation that took place during the Senate Judiciary meeting on the Bell South/AT&T merger. This really sent me back to Catch 22…Sen. Arlen Specter asked AT&T’s Whitacre whether the company provides customer information to the government. To which Whitacre responded only with a parroted, “I will tell you that we follow the law, we don’t break the law.” When you read the transcript, you can almost hear Specter’s blood pressure rise as he pushes back.
Specter: Are you declining to answer my question, Mr. Whitacre? Whitacre: We follow the law, Senator. Specter: Does AT&T provide customer information to any law enforcement agency? Whitacre: We follow the law, Senator. Specter: That is not an answer, Mr. Whitacre. You know that.The exchange continues for pages until Specter gets fed up, telling Whitacre, “You said that. I don’t care to hear it again,” ultimately stating for the record that the response is contemptuous of the committee.
Talk about the creeps….