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“On Hold:” The Case of the Disclosed Phone Records

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 By Dondrea Warner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR, Contact
December 7, 2007

Portland, OR – On hold for a year? It's been that long since the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon first requested an investigation by the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, to determine whether Verizon illegally released phone records to the National Security Administration. Back then, the PUC put the matter "on hold," pending action in other states.

This week, the ACLU has made a formal request to reopen the case. The ACLU's Andrea Meyer says it's time for the Commission to quit stalling.

"Consumers have rights of privacy. If the government needs this information, they must go through the warrant process. They can have this information, but they can't skirt the law -- that's what we believe has happened, and we have a right to know the truth. The PUC needs to require Verizon to answer basic questions about their policies and practices of how they release our telecommunication information so it can be determined if any laws were broken."

Oregonians aren't alone in their questions and concerns; ACLU chapters in more than two dozen states are working to discover if telecommunication companies honored NSA demands to provide private calling information.

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