4,000 New Yorkers Call on Officials to Investigate Phone Companies' Privacy Violations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK — On behalf of more than 4,000 New Yorkers, the New York Civil
Liberties Union has again called upon Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the
Consumer Protection Board to investigate allegations that AT&T and Verizon
have improperly shared telephone records of New York residents with the National
“The FCC has refused to exercise its authority to investigate this violation
of privacy, and Congress has failed to demand answers,” said Donna Lieberman,
NYCLU Executive Director. “Even the New York Public Services Commission, which
is directly responsible for regulating telecommunications companies, has refused
to investigate, claiming that it has no jurisdiction over consumer privacy
issues. Now 4,033 more New Yorkers have added their names to a second request
urging Spitzer and the Consumer Protection Board to take action and vindicate
According to reports in USA Today, at least three major telecommunications
companies — AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon — voluntarily provided customer
information to the NSA. The information gathered includes telephone numbers
called, time, date and direction of calls.
On May 23 the FCC announced that it would not pursue complaints about the
phone companies’ alleged collusion with the NSA. In a letter sent the next day,
the NYCLU and its 48,000 members demanded that the New York Department of Public
Service initiate a state-level investigation. But the NYCLU received a response
from the department on June 14 stating that it refused to initiate an
In the past two weeks, 4,033 additional New York
residents have signed on to the NYCLU’s latest request for an investigation.
ACLU affiliates in 19 other states have filed similar complaints with Public
Utility Commissions or sent letters to state officials demanding investigations
into whether local telecommunications companies allowed the NSA to spy on their
For more information on the ACLU’s nationwide campaign to end
illegal NSA spying, go to www.aclu.org/nsaspying.
initial letter to the DPS and its new letter to Spitzer and the CPB are
available at www.nyclu.org/pdfs/nsa_wiretap_letter_052406.pdf
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