T-Mobile, Verizon not under U.S. data watch due to foreign ties -WSJ

June 13 Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:25pm EDT

June 13 (Reuters) - Telecom providers T-Mobile US Inc and Verizon Wireless do not directly contribute to the controversial U.S. surveillance program, partly due to their overseas ownership ties, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Legal complications could arise from any participation by the two firms in efforts by the National Security Agency to monitor Internet and phone data of millions of Americans, the newspaper reported. ()

T-Mobile is majority-owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG , while Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc and Britain's Vodafone Group Plc.

However, the chances of the two companies' networks not being monitored are small because most calls at some point pass through networks controlled by U.S. companies that do work with the NSA, the Journal said, citing a U.S. official.

The NSA has standing court orders with top U.S. mobile service providers AT&T Inc and Sprint to disclose information on calls over their network, the paper said.

Several companies, including Google Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc have come under scrutiny following disclosures last week in the Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers for their role in the NSA data collection program.

T-Mobile US, Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless and Sprint declined to comment on the report.

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Comments (3)
galvodog6 wrote:
Of course not. THe NSA spies overseas and gives that data to those countries, and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) , which has been given information gathered in the US-run PRISM system, as well as Unit 8200, all apy on americans and give that information ro our spooks.. therefore no laws are broken, no treaties violated

Jun 13, 2013 11:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rmm200 wrote:
So foreign owned network companies in this country are not monitored?
It is only for us stupid Americans?
Somehow, this does not make me feel better. But it sure gives the lie to the claim this is about protecting us.

Jun 13, 2013 12:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gysgt90 wrote:
I have just ended my account with Verizon. If it means that I will have to go back to writing letters by hand to communicate with others, so be it. I am tired of this administration and our governments involvement in the violations against the Constitution of the United States. Every discount card I use for groceries, gas, home repairs materials, or anything else is terminated. If the “Big Brother” wants to find out more about me from now on, it will have to be done by talking to people because I’m going off the radar as much as I can. Not because I am doing anything illegal, but because I’m tired of “Big Brother” getting deeper and deeper into my life.

Jun 14, 2013 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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