If, as the NY Times says, Verizon is now denying it cooperated with the NSA program to monitor its customers’ phone records, then why have its Customer Relations managers since Friday been acknowledging their participation? It just boggles the mind. The sheer ineptitude of the company’s corporate communications astonishes.
As I reported in an earlier post, I called Verizon’s Customer Relations staff and spoke to Sandy in the California office. She confirmed that Verizon HAD participated in the NSA operation. Mind you, I have nothing against Sandy. My problem is with the corporate executives handling this issue who couldn’t get their story and facts straight. Why has it taken SIX DAYS for the company to determine that it didn’t participate? They couldn’t have responded immediately with this denial?
The Times story postulates that perhaps MCI, a unit Verizon bought last January, might be providing records of customers’ long distance phone calls to the NSA. That might explain why Verizon now feels it can say that it isn’t cooperating. But if MCI is or had been cooperating and that company is now owned by Verizon, how can it say is isn’t participating?
…The statement by Verizon left open the possibility that MCI, the long-distance carrier it bought in January, did turn over such records — or that the unit, once absorbed into Verizon, had continued to do so. The company said Verizon had not provided customer records to the National Security Agency “from the time of the 9/11 attacks until just four months ago.”
That last quotation would indicate that starting four months ago, after Verizon bought MCI, the former DID provide customer records to the NSA. I’m sorry but something still smells stinky here. I’d call this a flat-out partial denial.