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Verizon steps in it.

From CNN:

“This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorization, accessed and viewed President-Elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account,” Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless president and CEO, said in a statement.

“All employees who have accessed the account — whether authorized or not — have been put on immediate leave, with pay.”

The Obama transition team was notified Wednesday by Verizon of the breach, said team spokesman Robert Gibbs. He said the president-elect no longer uses the phone.

Whether or not he still uses the phone is immaterial to be honest. This shows a breakdown in the privacy for the Verizon customer base. I’m cringing as I read the spin doctors at work. The degree to which Obama’s information was compromised isn’t the point. The fact that it was violated at all is.

I’m pleased to see that the employees in question were put on leave until this matter gets sorted out.

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Comments
  • Bill

    Big fucking deal – this is what our government does to every citizen with Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. Until this program is scuttled, let’s not feign shock.

  • Dave Lewis

    @Bill

    You misunderstand me. I’m not shocked or feigning it. I think that all of the telecoms need to have their “come to $deity” moment. The warrantless wiretapping is a farce that must be dragged into the open and dealt with by the incoming administration.

    The fact that the Verizon employees looked at his records does not in anyway excuse them because the Bush administration sees fit to violate the rights of the American populace. It’s a non sequitur.

    Thx for the comment.

  • Matt

    Heh. 16.5 hours later: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/21/obama.cell.phone/index.html

    “This was some employees’ idle curiosity” Pretty dumb on their part, they either didn’t read the employee rules and regulations or just didn’t care. It doesn’t really have anything to do with any of the NSA’s wiretapping. They were just being stupid.

    Oh, also, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 allows for non court ordered surveillance within the United States for up to one year (certain stipulations apply, but are easily prolonged). Long before Bush was ever President.

    Look up the (under the Clinton administration) 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). CALEA mandated that the telcos aid wiretapping by installing remote wiretap ports onto their digital switches so that the switch traffic would be available for snooping by law enforcement. The FBI spearheaded much of the domestic wiretapping back then.

    It’s not so much “this is what our government does to every citizen” as it is watch out for what you say over the phone, because it is very legally possible to have your conversations recorded if certain keywords on the watch lists trigger, especially considering what’s been going on in the world in the last 5-10 years. Just my 2 cents.

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