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AT&T and Verizon Pressured to Reveal U.S. Surveillance Efforts

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AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) are getting pressure from shareholders to release information on their roles in government surveillance efforts.

The New York Times reported that shareholders from New York State's comptroller and a large investor firm are stating that these carriers hurt customers' trust by not disclosing the information shared with the government.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) have published transparency reports. The New York Times also noted that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have been forthright in looking to release more information on government requests.

It was recently revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency paid AT&T $10 million per year for database access of phone records. Harold Feld, senior VP for Public Knowledge, noted how there are stronger laws protecting phone information than there is for internet traffic. Feld noted the benefit from working with the government, "From an economic perspective they have less incentive to fight” pressure from the government. The carriers have wanted to stay on the good side."

AT&T and Verizon are both currently reviewing Trillium Asset Management's proposal for disclosure and transparency.

Posted-In: CIA The New York TimesNews Media Best of Benzinga

 

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