Verizon admits to turning over phone records

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(Host) Vermont’s dominant phone company has admitted to Congress that it turned over customer phone records to the government without a warrant.


And the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says the admission by Verizon has a direct bearing on a case in Vermont.


Richard Saudek represents the ACLU in a case before the state Public Service Board.


The board has opened an investigation into whether phone companies violated customer privacy by sharing information with the government.


(Saudek) “There are some telling new things in these letters, and I think the main one is that they are basically saying that they don’t really check into whether these requests have a legal foundation and were taken through the appropriate steps of warrants and the court.”


(Host) Verizon and other phone companies are trying to block the PSB investigation. The companies have sued in federal court, and they’ve asked the board to put the case on hold indefinitely.


Saudek says the latest disclosure to Congress is more evidence that the case should proceed.


(Saudek) “The ACLU has taken the position that the case should be revived and should go forward. And this I think simply adds to the reason for that.”


(Host) The companies want Congress to grant them immunity from lawsuits stemming from any breach of customer privacy.

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