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The Telecom Immunity Battle: A Red Herring?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Cheryl Biren-Wright     Permalink
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Last November, Ellen Nakashimo of the Washington Post wrote, "The immunity provision sought by the White House would wipe out about 40 lawsuits that accuse AT&T, Verizon Communications and Sprint Nextel of invading American’s privacy and constitutional rights by assisting the government in domestic surveillance without a warrant."

Surprisingly, despite the lack of oxygen in my office as a result of my preoccupation with impeachment, I found myself picking up the phone and dialing CREDO Mobile. Feeling a little light-headed, of course, I asked haltingly "What network powers CREDO Mobile?" A friendly voice chirped, "Sprint, it’s very reliable."

I learned that CREDO "rents" the service from Sprint. When I commented that CREDO/Working Assets serves then as a middleman with some of the money still ending up in the hands of alleged privacy offender Sprint, I was told I would have to email any other questions, but that I would receive a response within 24 hours. 25...36...40 hours and counting. I’m not holding my breath.

Okay, so CREDO is powered by Sprint. It’s gotta be powered somehow I guess. But, given the nature of the emails from DFA and CREDO with regards to telecom immunity, full disclosure would have been appropriate. Something else to keep in mind should you choose to go this route, while your personal information and phone records will not be going to the NSA without a warrant, your customer information will be going to another federal agency. Remember how 10% of your monthly cell phone charges can go to Democracy for America? Those transactions are considered individual political contributions. As a result, when subscribers sign up for DFA Wireless, their personal information is captured so it can be accurately reported to the Federal Election Commission as a political contribution.

While not-for-profit groups like DFA, the ACLU and MoveOn team up with the for-profit Congress to convince us they want to hold the Bush administration accountable, I have to ask what does accountability look like to these people? While they are all quick to point out the transgressions of the administration, their solution has been to wait them out and hope for better in 2009. Do I want to donate 10% of anything to that cause? Hell no.

Hey Chris, Jim, Glenn, Michael and Caroline, members of Congress: Please, do us all a favor. Stop the distractions. Join us in the call for impeachment. I’ll donate the oxygen masks.

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Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of Opednews.com.

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with guests such as Noam Chomsky, (more...)

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