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Thursday, 19 September 2013 09:36

Verizon Communications attacks NSA doubters

Written by Nick Farrell

Nothing wrong with a bit of spying

A member of the NSA fanclub, Verizon Communications has waded into other tech companies who think that there is something wrong with giving their customers’ data over to spies. John Stratton, the head of Verizon's enterprise business, during a business trip to Tokyo accused US technology companies of "grandstanding" in public comments about their forced cooperation with U.S. spy agencies.

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo want authority to disclose more about their dealings with the US. National Security Agency after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed sweeping domestic classified surveillance operations. Stratton said he appreciates that it is important for the technology firms to "grandstand a bit, and wave their arms and protest loudly so as not to offend the sensibility of their customers."

However he said that national security was more important than other concerns. In other words it is every tech company’s duty to hand over the personal data of its customers to the authorities. To be fair he is being consistent. Documents leaked by Snowden are some showing that the NSA obtained massive quantities of data about phone calls placed over Verizon's network.

Stratton said his company is obliged to cooperate with the laws in countries where it operates.

"There is another question that needs to be kept in the balance, which is a question of civil liberty and the rights of the individual citizen in the context of that broader set of protections that the government seeks to create in its society," he said.

Nick Farrell

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