Verizon denies turning phone records over to NSA

Verizon denies turning phone records over to NSA

[JURIST] Verizon Communications [corporate website] said Tuesday that it did not turn over phone records to the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website], nor was it asked to do so, as was reported [USA Today report; JURIST report] last week. The denial from Verizon follows an announcement from BellSouth that it could not find evidence [AP report] that it was involved in the program. Of the three companies implicated in the report, Verizon, BellSouth, and AT&T [corporate websites], only AT&T has failed to deny involvement in the program, leading observers to speculate that the NSA only requested records from long-distance companies like AT&T. Verizon did not deny that MCI, its long-distance arm acquired earlier this year, allowed the NSA to access records, but made assurances that MCI would be brought into compliance with Verizon's privacy policies. AP has more.

Meanwhile, BellSouth and AT&T were joined as defendants in the lawsuit filed late last week against Verizon in federal court in New York for alleged participation in the NSA data-collecting program. The complaint seeks over $200 billion in damages for violations of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 [text] and the Stored Communications Act of 1986 [text]. AT&T already faces a class action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation [advocacy website] because the company allegedly allowed the NSA to use its infrastructure [JURIST report] to wiretap US citizens. CNN has more.