coordinating the rebel attack on the at&t deathstar

A few days ago, I mentioned recent evidence indicating that three of our nation’s largest long-distance carriers, AT&T, Bell South and Verizon, were handing over details concerning millions of phone calls made by regular Americans to the National Security Agency without so much as a warrant, or, for that matter, even a hint of suspicion. Since that post, a lot has happened. Most notably, The Department of Justice has stepped in to squash the class action suit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. That doesn’t mean, however, that the fight has to end… Following is a comment recently left by Murph, outlining what he plans to do:

Check out Working Assets response to the spying. Working Assets gives part of their profits to, among other causes, the ACLU, and has signed onto the ACLU’s suit against the NSA, and are hitting this hard as a marketing point. They offer cell service in both A2 and Ypsi, looks like at competitive rates to my current Verizon plan.

They push their calls through Sprint’s network, apparently; Sprint has informed them that Sprint did not provide any information to the NSA. Additionally, Sprint doesn’t have access to Working Assets’ customer information, such as name and address.

Sounds like I know who my next cell plan will be through.

So, if you want to start transitioning your business away from those companies that turned your data over to the federal government without so much as a warrant, and if you can’t get Qwest where you are (Qwest denied the NSA’s request), try going the Working Assets route like Murph… I’ve been thinking about Working Assets for the past few years, but I’ve never taken the leap. Now I’m thinking might be a good time. (I’m also thinking of upping my Skype usage.)

If you have other solutions, please leave a comment.

In preparation for writing a letter to SBC/AT&T, I decided to read what public comments, if any, had been made the company’s executives in the past few days. Maybe I’m just missing it, but I don’t see that they’ve responded anywhere to the news. (Maybe they’ve amended their posted privacy policy, but I don’t have the time right now to dig back into the web archives and see if that’s the case.) Hopefully, they respond to my email. If they do, I’ll repost their letter here… And maybe I’m just missing it, but why aren’t there press camped out on the doorstep of AT&T’s CEO, Ed Whitacre, demanding an explanation?

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  1. mark
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to mention it, but that image comes from the EFF.

  2. Dale
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    WA also gives you a pint of ice cream free for each of the first 12 months of your service with them. Sign up through me and I get six additional pints of ice cream. For real.

  3. mark
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Are you happy with their service, Dale? I mean, other than the ice cream part?

    And how do I tell them that you sent me – is there some kind of code or something?

  4. trusty getto
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been using Working Assets for years, and they are great. I got the ice cream offer (and ate every last drop), and I’ve never had a problem with their service. The rates are competitive, though I can’t recall what they are. My long distance bill is usually under $15 with them.

  5. chris
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    The stupidity of this whole thing just sends me into such a state of inertia. If they are trying to tell us that the way they plan on protecting us from further terrorist attacks is by reviewing the number of phone records they have requested then we are all gonna fuckin’ die!

    I mean, how fucking rotary dial.

    When the CEO of Qwest tells you “no”, then it is time to start designing some cyborgs.

    And why isn’t anyone talking about how Christianne Amanpor had her phone records subpeoned, when her husband was working for the Gore campaign…or was it Kerry? whatever, you know what I mean. Cause that is just so…Watergate.

  6. mark
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I just received this note from a reader named Kate.

    There is a long distance service called Earth Tones which gives 100% of its profits to the PIRGs. We get it. It might not be the cheapest, but its reliable. They have cell service in some areas. Working Assets only gives 1 or 2% of the profits to worthy causes. Just thought you might like to know about it.

  7. j7uy5
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    why aren

  8. ChelseaL
    Posted May 15, 2006 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    We’ve had Working Assets for years and have been happy with it.

  9. Ted Glass
    Posted May 15, 2006 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    On The Media this weekend was on the subject of NSA wire-tapping and the role of the press. It was very good.

    (Brooke Gladstone was joined by George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.)

  10. be OH be
    Posted May 16, 2006 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    We’ve also used Working Assets for years and have no complaints. However, we don’t make many long distance calls at all and our average bill is usually around $5.00. Join for the Ben & Jerry’s, stay for the social activism.

  11. mark
    Posted May 16, 2006 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all of your thoughts. I’m going to try to make a decision this weekend. (And I still haven’t written my letter to AT&T.)

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