Michael Kieschnick / Working Assets & Gar Smith / EAW – 2006-05-12 22:57:13
ACTION ALERT: Hang up on NSA’s Accomplices: AT&T, Verizon, and Bell South
Michael Kieschnick / Working Assets
(May 12, 2006) — In light of new revelations about the big telecommunications carriers’ handing over domestic calling records to the National Security Agency, I am writing to let you know where Working Assets stands on the NSA’s increasingly alarming activities.
Working Assets believes that the warrantless monitoring of phone conversations ordered by the Bush administration is illegal and unacceptable. As reported yesterday in USA Today (linked below), AT&T, Bell South and Verizon sold customer call records to the NSA.
We also unequivocally oppose the disclosure of domestic calling records to the NSA by our nation’s telecommunications providers. Working Assets would never, under any circumstances, give (let alone sell) records to the Bush administration without a warrant or court order.
In fact, as Working Assets’ President, I recently signed on to an amicus brief supporting the ACLU’s law suit against the National Security Agency. We are the only telephone company participating in this lawsuit. ( Details here,)
Working Assets has never been approached by any government agency seeking our help in illegally accessing the content of conversations by our customers, and we would refuse any such request.
We are actively engaged in opposing warrantless monitoring, in pushing for full disclosure by the government regarding the scope of the monitoring, and in protecting citizens from intrusive and illegal exercises of governmental power.
Additionally, we are fighting Bush’s nomination of General Michael V. Hayden, the architect of the NSA’s illegal wiretapping program, to head the CIA. (Click here to take action:.)
If you are a member of AT&T (including Cingular and SBC), Bell South or Verizon, your telecom company willingly sold the private telephone records of American citizens to the Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying operation. Please contact your provider now, and let them know that this is simply unacceptable.
• Contact AT&T: http://www.consumer.att.com/contact?source=body
• Contact Verizon: http://www22.verizon.com/CustomerSupport/ContactUs/
• Contact BellSouth: http://www.bellsouth.com/contactus/index.html
You may also be interested in a new book we are publishing, entitled How Would A Patriot Act?, a compelling analysis of how the NSA’s wiretapping fits into a larger scheme by the Bush Administration to violate Constitutional restrictions on executive authority in an unprecedented manner. here to find out more about the book:
As a telecommunications company, it is our special privilege to facilitate communications among our fellow citizens, to enable conversations on matters personal, commercial, social and political.
It is therefore our special obligation to oppose warrantless interference into those communications, whatever the government’s justification may be. We will keep you posted on new developments as they arise.
Michael Kieschnick is the President of Working Assets.
• Please use our ActForChange site to tell your Representative in Congress you want some answers — under oath — about the telecom companies’ cooperation with the NSA’s illegal domestic wiretapping program. Click here:
It’s Time to Hang-up on Big Brother
Gar Smith / EAW
(May 12, 2006) — As the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Business Reporter David Lazarus points out, AT&T, Verizon and Bell South broke their own laws by secretly selling our the privacy right of milions of phone customers.
When a president violates the Constitution, the recourse is impeachment. When a company breechs a contact, there’s a more immediate remedy — you simply cease doing business with that company.
There are other phone companies that refused to take part in George W. Bush’s crimminal conspiracy. Qwest was one company that “did the right thing.” So, too, Working Assets.
Before switching phone service, there is one last thing Americans can do to send a strong message to AT&T, Verizon, Bell South and the Big Brotherhood of the Bush administration.
When your next phone bill comes, don’t pay it.
It’s time for a nationwide payment boycott. The phone companies won’t cut off your service for missing one month’s payent. But when the second month rolls around, they will certainly be missing you as a customer.
In the meantime, imagine the impact if 30 million Americans (or more) made the decision to stand up for the US Constitution by refusing to pay their phone bills to these corporate enemies of freedom.
Gar Smith is co-founder of Environmentalists Against War and Editor Emeritus of Earth Island Journal. These comments reflect a personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the opion of EAW or Earth Island.