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Verizon Denies NSA Reports

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) said on Tuesday that the National Security Agency never asked the company for customer phone records. This claim comes despite several media reports to the contrary that ran in several national papers and online last week.

Verizon denies that it "was approached by NSA and entered into an arrangement to provide the NSA with data from its customers' domestic calls," according to a statement from the company, issued today.

Verizon says it never was asked for -- and never provided -- any customer phone records to the NSA. The company also states that it does not track local calls and hand them to the NSA, noting that phone companies don't generally make records of local calls.

That said, the company declines to confirm or deny whether it has any involvement with the NSA's classified surveillance program against al Qaeda, the existence of which the Federal government has acknowledged.

Verizon's assertion came a day after BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) provided a lengthy statement denying that it had sold its customer data to the feds. The companies' claims contradict a report in USA Today last week, which said that the NSA has been secretly collecting the phone records of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon, and BellSouth, to create the largest such database in the world.

— Carmen Nobel, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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