Getting spied on by the NSA

I try not to get political here (only because I don’t know much about politics), but when I read that some major phone companies have allowed the NSA to collect their phone call records, I couldn’t help but send a mass-email to a number of contacts.

At the Daily Kos, at least two posts have been written in regards to this matter: Paranoia and State of the Nation.

Here’s the law that stands out for me (my emphasis added):

Under Section 222 of the Communications Act, first passed in 1934, telephone companies are prohibited from giving out information regarding their customers’ calling habits: whom a person calls, how often and what routes those calls take to reach their final destination. Inbound calls, as well as wireless calls, also are covered

The “State of the Nation” posts shares the strong suggestion to make phone calls to whatever companies are allowing this and to tell them that this is against the law.

I haven’t heard anything defending AT&T, BellSouth, SBC, Verizon, Cingular (owned by AT&T and BellSouth) and MCI (owned by Verizon), so it seems unlikely that this is something to just brush off.

If this means I’ll have to switch from Verizon [Wireless] and SBC (for my landline and DSL connection), I’ll do just that.

Please go through the links listed above and take action.

Update: At Yahoo News, via USA Today, are “Questions and answers about the NSA phone record collection program“. My gripe? Why could some providers refuse to provide this information to the NSA?

Update 2: Think Progress wrote that “Telcos Could Be Liable For Tens of Billions of Dollars For Illegally Turning Over Phone Records“. Nice.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

3 thoughts on “Getting spied on by the NSA”

  1. Why can some refuse? It’s not that some can. It’s that some choose to refuse.

    Look at Yahoo and MSN. They chose to hand their infomation right over when the Justice Dept came knocking. Google on the other hand fought it until they had no choice – And even then they were able to reduce what they had to hand over.

    Now some companies may just hand it over because they don’t have the legal resources to fight it (even if their in the right). Some hand it over because they just don’t see it as something worth the fight (despite having the funds). Some fight it even when they can’t win. Some fight because they think their right. Some fight it just because they can (think the McDonalds’ coffee lawsuit).

    As far as Verizon… I’m a bit confused. Were they not the company that was the first major company to fight handing infomation over to the Goverment? Of course their ISP and Wireless phone divisions are a bit diffrent I would assume.


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