David Price Letting Telecom Lawbreakers Off the Hook?

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Called David Price, my local Congressman, this afternoon to see if he planned to vote NO on tomorrow’s House Bill HR 6304 which proffers blanket immunity to those telecoms, like ATT (Bellsouth, Cingular), that knowingly broke Federal and State wire-tapping laws on behalf of our current lawless madministration.

His current stance: no opinion.

In fact, his office said he won’t be expressing an opinion until after his vote!

Sounds like he’s preparing to defend the indefensible – issuing what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls the ” Congressional seal of approval on illegal surveillance” but maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What’s the big deal? The millions of folks that are represented by the EFF in a class-action suit against AT&T because their “private domestic communications and communications records were illegally handed over to the National Security Agency (NSA)” won’t get their day in court (more here).

Not all telcos, notably QWEST (here) went along with this incredibly intrusive and illegal operation. Will Price put ATT and Verizon ahead of our citizenry and strip them of their fundamental Constitutional protections?

Contact David and let him know that warrantless searches are not acceptable.

Washington, D.C.
U.S. House of Representatives
2162 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.1784

Fax: 202.225.2014

Durham
411 W. Chapel Hill Street
NC Mutual Building, 6th Floor
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919.688.3004

Fax: 919.688.0940

Raleigh
5400 Trinity Road
Suite 205
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919.859.5999

Fax: 919.859.5998

Chapel Hill
88 Vilcom Center
Suite 140
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: 919.967.7924

Fax: 919.967.8324

Can you hear me now? Not if you’re the FCC!

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Following in the footsteps of Bush’s Justice department, the FCC has thrown in the towel on further investigations of allege crimes by Bellsouth, Verizon and others.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will not pursue complaints about a spy agency’s access to millions of telephone records because it cannot obtain classified material, the FCC’s chairman said in a letter released on Tuesday.

Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, had asked communications regulators to investigate a newspaper report that AT&T Inc. (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and BellSouth Corp. (BLS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) gave access to and turned over call records to help the National Security Agency fight terrorists.

“The classified nature of the NSA’s activities makes us unable to investigate the alleged violations,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in the May 22 letter to Markey.

Verizon and BellSouth have denied turning over telephone call records to the NSA. BellSouth has demanded USA Today retract claims in its story.

“We can’t have a situation where the FCC, charged with enforcing the law, won’t even begin an investigation of apparent violations of the law because it predicts the administration will roadblock any investigations citing national security,” Markey said in response to Martin.

Reuters

Nothing to see here. Move along, move along…

Utility Commission on the ball…

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Kudos to the folks running our NC Utilities Commission!

When the USA Today story fingering Bellsouth’s complicity in the NSA scandal broke I called our North Carolina Utilities Commission to lodge a complaint. The receptionist told me a “consumer specialist” would call within the hour to get details about my case. “Sure,” I said, pretty much expecting I’d have to call back over several days to reach the right person – that’s what we’ve grown to expect from all levels of government, right?

Within the hour, I got that call. The gentleman was direct, knowledgeable and filed the complaint without hesitation. He also said he’d follow up with any developments.

Today he did.

The case has been forwarded to the FCC, which is acting as a clearinghouse for a number of states. In addition, my case will continue at the State level until resolved by the FCC investigation.

This level of competence and service by the Utility Commission folks gives me confidence that they’ll be able to handle any fastballs the communications monopolists throw Chapel Hill’s way as the community forges ahead on the municipal network project.

FCC to the rescue? Call Bellsouth’s CEO Ackerman about their FCC violations.

Friday, May 12th, 2006

[ UPDATE: ] Bellsouth denies USA Today charge, claims no sharing of records.

(more…)

Bellsouth’s Billion Dollar Mistake

Friday, May 12th, 2006

[ UPDATE: ] Bellsouth denies USA Today charge, claims no sharing of records.

According to CNN and other news sources, Bellsouth denies USA Today’s claim that it participated in the massive NSA privacy breach.

In several reports, Bellsouth spokesman Jeff Battcher claims

Battcher said BellSouth’s customer service department had received only 26 complaints about reports that private phone records may have been relayed to the government.

26 sounds quite low, especially since I know 5 folk, including myself, that called when the story broke.

Verizon and ATT are still on the hook.
(more…)

Punish the Peeping Toms

Friday, May 12th, 2006

If you’re concerned about the widespread domestic surveillance telephone companies, like Bellsouth, have performed on innocent Americans for the last five years, please contact the following folk:

These companies violated not only their published privacy policies and federal statutes but are complicit in one the largest violations of our Constitutional rights in our history.

[ UPDATE #2: ] Bellsouth denies USA Today charge, claims no sharing of records.

According to CNN and other news sources, Bellsouth denies USA Today’s claim that it participated in the massive NSA privacy breach.

In several reports, Bellsouth spokesman Jeff Battcher claims

Battcher said BellSouth’s customer service department had received only 26 complaints about reports that private phone records may have been relayed to the government.

26 sounds quite low, especially since I know 5 folk, including myself, that called when the story broke.

Verizon and ATT are still on the hook.[ UPDATE: ]

Call 404-249-2000, Bellsouth’s CEO Duane Ackerman’s office. Report Bellsouth’s violations of both their own corporate integrity, privacy and ethics policies AND their FCC regulatory and legal requirement to safeguard customer records.

Can you hear me now, NSA? Not if you’re the Justice Department.

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

From CNN and the AP via AudioActivism and Daily Wireless.

X-posted from Brian Russel’s AudioActivism

Domestic spying inquiry killed

AP is reporting that the US Department of Justice has stopped its investigation of the warrantless phone spying done by the NSA at the approval of George Bush.

“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR [Office of Professional Responsibility] has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey. Hinchey’s office shared the letter with The Associated Press.

We can’t depend on our Federal government’s law enforcers to corral Constitutional abuses.

(more…)

Can you hear me now, NSA?

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

I like to keep it local on Concerned Citizen, but this report does have a local angle.

(more…)

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