Monday, March 20, 2006

How did the Bells Get a Free Pass?

It took Dave Burnstein at DSL Prime to point this out to me: "Telcos massively help governments to spy, whether in the U.S., France, or China. The EFF suit against AT&T for illegal wiretaps makes public what everyone in the business knows. AT&T has a former CIA director on the board, and every company has a high-level liaison. Just reading newspaper reports about all the “intelligence intercepts” make it obvious surveillance is pervasive. Occasionally, a telco will quietly complain that security demands have escalated so much they want higher government reimbursement, but mostly no one talks about it. " Leslie Cauley at USA Today has been writing about telecom for a while (and has a book out about the history and fall of AT&T). Her article about the NSA wiretaps and the Tele-Barons cooperation might go a long way to explain the RBOC friendly FCC. The Tele-Barons help the Gov't and the Gov't helps the Tele-Barons. Meanwhile all of the Boys Club gets rich. But at what expense?

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