CNET News.com asked telecommunications and Internet companies about cooperation with the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping scheme.
The question asked: "Have you turned over information or opened up your networks to the NSA without being compelled by law?"
|Adelphia Communications||Declined comment|
|AOL Time Warner||No |
|Cable & Wireless*||No response|
|Charter Communications||No |
|Cingular Wireless||No |
|Citizens Communications||No response|
|Cogent Communications*||No |
|Level 3*||No response|
|NTT Communications*||Inconclusive |
|Qwest Communications||No |
|SAVVIS Communications*||No response|
|Sprint Nextel||No |
|T-Mobile USA||No |
|United Online||No response|
|Verizon Communications||Inconclusive |
|XO Communications*||No |
* = Not a company contacted by Rep. John Conyers.
Bottom Line: "Major telecommunications companies" have reportedly opened their networks to the NSA. Because it may be illegal to divulge customer communications, though, not one of the companies has chosen to make its cooperation public.
It is interesting to note the number of companies who decline to comment, or are cagy in their response. Why might they be doing this? Do they wish to avoid the wrath of their conservative customers (because they don’t assist the NSA)? Or their liberal ones (because they do assist the NSA)? Or are they concerned about national security issues?
In a related item, it is interesting to note that Bush’s father, when he was CIA director in 1976 "complained that some major communications companies were unwilling to install government wiretaps without a judge’s approval", and that such a refusal "seriously affects the capabilities of the intelligence community." Yup. During the Ford Administration, there was a debate on warrantless surveillance, and the cast of charactors included Bush (the Elder), Cheney, and Rumsfeld. That was 1976, two years before FISA. Have times changed?