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Verizon staff snooped on Obama`s mobile phone account



24.11.2008

Mobile phone carrier Verizon has disciplined staff in the light of evidence that some workers have been snooping on Barack Obama`s account information.


Verizon noticed the breach and has put all staff who accessed the President-elect`s account on paid leave while it investigates who was using the information as part of their job and who was spying on the account without a legitimate reason. It is likely those staff falling into the latter category will be dismissed.


President and CEO of Verizon, Lowell McAdam, said in a statement: "This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorisation, accessed and viewed President-elect Barack Obama`s personal cell phone account ... We apologise to President-elect Obama and will work to keep the trust of our customers."


The handset in question was no longer in use and was a simple voice flip-phone rather than a Blackberry or other smartphone.


The USA does not have the same rules about mobile phone records that exist in Europe. Verizon and Telco employees are able to access handset locations and call records, whereas in Europe such details are stored for a number of years for privacy reasons.


The revelation may well answer the question as to whether the President-elect will give up his smartphone when he takes office.

 

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