I Love My State Telecom Regulators!

by on June 21, 2006

That’s probably the only time you’ll ever see that headline on TLF, but my hometown paper has a front page article describing how Missouri telecom regulators have subpoenaed AT&T for details on any information they might have shared with the NSA:

The subpoenas, along with a growing number of legal challenges here and elsewhere, set the stage for confrontations between civil liberties and national security – and between state and federal governments.

The challenges accuse the government of abusing anti-terrorism laws, and AT&T of allowing government agencies to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mails without legal authority.

For its part, AT&T says it is in a tough spot – the company says it is bound by national security laws not to reveal what it might have done.

Confrontation of some sort seems all but certain. The regulators served their subpoenas Monday after receiving a letter last week from AT&T that says the company cannot and will not answer any questions.

Frankly, I hope AT&T’s spot gets a lot tougher before this is all over. Maybe next time they’ll take the high road like Qwest and tell the NSA to come back when they have a warrant.

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