Apparently, Verizon and T-Mobile are not sharing their call data with the NSA directly, despite being mentioned as such in sensitive government documents. Sprint and AT&T are said to have “long cooperated with the government,” which probably means they had some idea about all of this spying stuff for a while now.
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Then again, it might not even matter what companies are cooperating with government agencies or not, according to the leaked court order. The collected call logs and metadata from Verizon Business Network Services, and AT&T actually pass through the same system that most other calls do, a backbone if you will. That means, no matter what carrier you have wireless service with, your calls have been passed along that same system so it’s likely everyone has been affected by this surveillance program.
Strangely enough, Verizon and T-Mobile are actually foreign-owned companies. Verizon Wireless is actually a joint venture between Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc and Verizon Communications Inc. On the other hand, T-Mobile is owned by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG.
Since the requests are top secret, it’s possible that company owners may have actually been unaware of the dealings which is why we’re seeing so many tech companies involved claiming negligence on the matter. Still, it’s hard to believe that someone at the affected companies didn’t know what was going on as the government had to get backdoor access somehow.
According to the Wall Street Journal, legal proceedings may be in order since the two aforementioned companies are foreign-based. It will be interesting to see what kind of legal action they take, if any at all.
I think it’s safe to say at this point, the entire situation has gone to hell. At first, it was believed only call logs and metadata were being recorded, but some time later information dropped about PRISM, a comprehensive top-secret surveillance program. Through PRISM, government agencies like the NSA and FBI were able to track sensitive data across various networks like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and more.
Sure, the government may not be focusing on the average Joe, but it’s downright silly to dismiss all of this information with a “for your best interests” attitude. At some point, if this system is left unchecked it will come back to haunt you.
I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling a little uncomfortable right now. What about you?