Friday, May 12, 2006

TelCO lawsuits, NSA revelation is old news, disappointment

I was discouraged to hear the news lately. I'm sure you all know by now. I'm not here to debate about whether or not it is right or wrong - that would be reverse progress. It is obvious how backwards and wrong this datamining is.

The obscure fact is however, this was predicted a few weeks ago at the very least. came out with a report that should have raised more questions:

"AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company."

Nonetheless, as usual, claims like this get ignored. But now that this allegation has legitimacy in America's eye, so now you too can sue your TelCo, according to's recent blog post. I'm sure the big three telephone companies are now a little concerned.

While I think a lawsuit may be extreme, and will eventually be absorbed by the consumer in the long run - I am more than willing to sacrifice a buck or two because of this for some security in knowing my telephone company actually has a backbone.

Qwest was the only phone company to withhold from the NSA their customers' data and I applaud them for this decision. The NYT is today posting an article explaining why Qwest withheld the info.

From the article:

"In a statement released this morning, the lawyer said that the former chief executive, Joseph N. Nacchio, made the decision after asking whether "a warrant or other legal process had been secured in support of that request."

Mr. Nacchio learned that no warrant had been granted and that there was a "disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process," said the lawyer, Herbert J. Stern. As a result, the statement said, Mr. Nacchio concluded that "the requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommunications Act."

The corporations in our country seem to lack any kind of values or integrity today. This can even be illustrated abroad, in companies like Yahoo Inc. who have notoriously given Chinese government officials the information to imprison journalists working towards freedom in China. These companies repeatedly claim they do not have any stance on issues - yet they cave to government demands rather than remaining neutral. Because of this pattern, we should have seen the recent data-mining by our major phone companies far in advance.

Not only was that corporate pattern of privacy destruction alarming, but while in office, George W. Bush has managed to trounce on more of our civil liberties than one could imagine. The Patriot Act should serve as a solomn reminder of when our country started reversing itself to the level of those who attacked us, all because we lack a strong leader who caves to the demands of ranking security officials craving blood, money and power.

Once again, we should have seen this all coming. To all of you out there, this should serve as a wake up call. Switch your service, start a lawsuit, write a letter to congress, impeach Bush.

Thank God we still have freedom of the press in America. In the future though, tell your congressman to wake up and smell the news of the day instead of having it handed to them.

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