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Monday, September 03, 2007


The latest data breach by AT&T couldn’t have been timed better. It came only a day before it was announced by GWB that he “wants the power to grant legal immunity to telecommunications companies that are slapped with privacy suits for cooperating with the White House’s controversial warrantless eavesdropping program.” Give it up or lose it…not much difference anymore. In an article by, AT&T, along with Verizon, would gain the most from Bush’s move, resulting from action that was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. But in the matter of the breach, it is yet another case of the laptop of a company performing services for another company left in the trunk of an employee’s car, in this case containing former AT&T employee unencrypted personal data including names, Social Security numbers, and other “personal details.” ComputerWorld covered this story just one day prior to Bush’s ploy to halt investigations of AT&T’s and Verizon’s actual level of involvement in the NSA spying episode. Were they coerced, or did they just throw our private information to the federal wolves? I’d like to know, if only because I am a customer of Verizon, but my gut feel is it is something we all need to know to make our case against Bush and his flunkies for their surveillance on innocent citizens. AT&T learned of the theft on July 31, but didn’t tell anyone until August 20; completely unacceptable. One former employee whose information was lost, Tony Walton, called the toll-free number provided by AT&T and was told that he shouldn’t worry because the data was encrypted, which it wasn’t. And Walton made an excellent comment, a point I have been making since this whole identity crisis began, the fact that one free year of credit-monitoring service provided by AT&T “may not be good enough.” It definitely will not because the sophistication of this new brand of crooks is far more advanced than our ability to thwart them. And guess who else is making out like a bandit in this whole scenario? You guessed it…the big three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

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