Wednesday :: May 17, 2006

Bush Gives Telecoms License To Lie - But AT&T Case Moves Forward

by Steve

Following up on my post from yesterday about the telecoms' willingness to state that they haven't given phone records or data to the NSA, and my question on why they would stake the credibility and reputation of their firms on word parsing if in fact they were lying about these denials, we now find out about the presidential memo from earlier this month that now allows the telecoms to lie without worry of a securities inquiry or enforcement action from the SEC.

Three things:

1. I guess we can now formally distrust anything the telecoms say in denial of the USAT story;

2. Since when does a presidential memo hold any water in a court of law or override statutes on the books?

3. I guess if the White House issued such a memo then that in essence confirms the story itself.

Silly me; I actually thought that credibility and reputation meant something to a large corporation. The court cases should be fun now, and I'm sure that Arlen "Single Bullet" Specter will get to the bottom of this.

Look, what we are seeing from the telecoms appears to be word games, flying under the cover of a suspect presidential memo that allows them to lie publicly. The lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T has already shown that the telecoms have allowed the NSA to install equipment in their switch rooms that can access the billions of data bits directly from the telecoms in their own facilities, so arguing whether or not the telecoms have “given” anything to the NSA is now beyond the point. The judge in the EFF case against AT&T just ruled today that although he will agree to keep the evidence sealed that details the secret onsite NSA data mining methodology, he will nonetheless allow EFF to use the evidence against AT&T, which means that the trial will go forward and the Administration will probably be unable to kill this case.

Hat tip to ThinkProgress

Steve :: 10:39 AM :: Comments (9) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!