Sneaky Telcos

4:55 PM -- It's interesting to look over the non-comments by the nation's biggest phone companies, when they're asked about their roles in spying on alleged terror suspects:

AT&T, Sprint and Verizon remain tight-lipped about their role in the wiretapping program or their stance on the issue, even when asked a neutral question about whether they feel their voices are being heard on Capitol Hill. "AT&T is fully committed to protecting our customers' privacy," a company statement says simply. "We do not comment on matters of national security." Sprint's spokesman said: "Due to the sensitive nature of the immunity for telecoms topic, our ongoing policy is to refrain from discussing this matter." And a spokesman for Verizon declined to comment for similar reasons.

If their actions were defensible, why won't they defend themselves?

As Sen. Ted Kennedy said recently, if the telcos broke the law, Americans "deserve to know the size and scope of their lawbreaking."

That doesn't mean they necessarily need be on the hook for billions of dollars, but they should be forced to come clean and detail exactly what they did outside the law.

Apparently AT&T, Verizon, and others haven't stopped helping the government spy on their customers. Even if the telcos get immunity from the lawsuits filed against them for warrantless wiretapping, shouldn't we hear what actions these telcos took to get themselves sued in the first place?

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

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