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AT&T Tells Shareholders to Mind Their Own Business on NSA Wiretapping, Privacy Invasion

Phillip Dampier December 9, 2013 AT&T, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't No Comments

i hear youAT&T shareholders concerned the company is risking its reputation and future profits by excessively cooperating with the National Security Agency have been told to mind their own business by company executives.

AT&T roundly rejected a resolution demanding greater transparency offered by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who administers the $160.7 billion NYS Common Retirement Fund, which has investments in AT&T.

AT&T recommended the resolution be excluded from the ballot for AT&T’s annual shareholder meeting this spring, noting shareholders have no business getting involved in the “ordinary business operations” of AT&T, which are under the purview of company executives.

In his shareholder resolution, DiNapoli said there was a real issue of customer trust at stake for AT&T. Customers upset with AT&T could switch providers, hurting revenue.

But with Verizon also providing access to customer records, wireless customers may have few alternatives. AT&T also passes along information about non-customers whose calls happen to cross into AT&T’s extensive network.

In November, the New York Times found AT&T is well-compensated for monitoring and disgorging customer records to federal officials, earning at least $10 million annually. AT&T also has important business before the Obama Administration regarding the future of the landline telephone network, its multi-billion dollar wireless service, and its campaign for greater deregulation.

The news does not inspire confidence in Stop the Cap! reader Earl, who shared the story with us.

“With AT&T it’s always about the bottom line, even at the price of privacy.”

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