October 16, 2007

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders - washingtonpost.com

Verizon has been busy illegally supplying information to the Feds.

They are correct, however, that it isn't their job to second guess the government. That leaves aside the fact that it isn't the government's place to be illegally requesting the information in the first place.

Verizon is just licking the boots of power, following the servile lead of the Congress during the past half decade.

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders - washingtonpost.com:
"The disclosures, in a letter from Verizon to three Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating the carriers' participation in government surveillance programs, demonstrated the willingness of telecom companies to comply with government requests for data, even, at times, without traditional legal supporting documents. The committee members also got letters from AT&T and Qwest Communications International, but those letters did not provide details on customer data given to the government. None of the three carriers gave details on any classified government surveillance program.

From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times, it said in the letter. The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said. The information was used for a range of criminal investigations, including kidnapping and child-predator cases and counter-terrorism investigations.

Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.

The letters were released yesterday by the lawmakers as Congress debates whether to grant telecom carriers immunity in cases in which they are sued for disclosing customers' phone records and other data as part of the government's post-September 11 surveillance program, even if they did not have court authorization. House Democrats have said that they cannot contemplate such immunity without first understanding the nature of the carriers' cooperation with the government."

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