AT&T doesn’t want to tell you what it has disclosed to the NSA

Jacob Siegal
New report rips a hole into AT&T’s justification for throttling its ‘unlimited’ data users

While some tech companies are publicly denouncing the privacy-encroaching practices of the NSA, others are happy to continue playing ball with the government agency. The Associated Press reports that AT&T sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday proclaiming that the service provider “isn’t required to disclose to shareholders what it does with customers’ data.” The letter also said that customer data is well protected and that AT&T only complies with government requests to the extent that is necessary under the law.

The letter was prompted by a group of shareholders who were frustrated with AT&T’s silence regarding its dealings with the NSA.

“It’s outrageous that AT&T is trying to block the shareholder proposal,” said Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director at the ACLU of Northern California. “Customers have a right to know how often their private information is ending up in the government’s hands.”

Whether or not AT&T would be willing to disclose the information anyway, the provider claims that any surveillance or tracking that is in progress on its customers is classified information that it has no right to share. An AT&T spokesman had nothing to add when reached for comment.

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