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Tuesday, May 16th 2006

Who? Us?

Verizon and Bell South deny giving phone records to the NSA as a USA Today story claimed.

“One of the most glaring and repeated falsehoods in the media reporting is the assertion that, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Verizon was approached by NSA and entered into an arrangement to provide the NSA with data from its customers’ domestic calls,” the company said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Verizon said it was not asked by the government agency to provide, nor did Verizon give out, customer phone records from any of its businesses, or any customer call data.

Last week USA Today reported that the National Security Agency was secretly collecting phone records from the country’s three biggest phone companies — Verizon, Bell South, and AT&T– in an effort to detect terrorist plots.

BellSouth Corp., the No. 3 U.S. local telephone carrier, spoke out against the USA Today story on Monday, denying that it handed over customer phone records.

Can’t fault me for being upset over the USA Today story at the time, but hopefully it turns out to be blown a little out of proportion.