Yesterday MO noted a Wizbang post showing that the latest NSA wiretapping brouhaha story was collapsing as the telecommunications companies in question began to deny the claims that they were logging every call in the US and turning the data over to the Gestapo.
A little birdie tipped Murdoc off to this at Think Progress:
New Presidential Memorandum Permits Intelligence Director To Authorize Telcos To Lie Without Violating Securities Law
In recent days, AT&T, Bell South and Verizon have all issued statements denying that they’ve handed over phone records to the NSA, as reported by USA today.
There are three possibilities:
1) The USA Today story is inaccurate;
2) The telcos left enough wiggle room in the statements that both the USA Today story and their statements are accurate; or
3) The statements from the telcos are inaccurate.
Ordinarily, a company that conceals their transactions and activities from the public would violate securities law. But an presidential memorandum signed by the President on May 5 allows the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, to authorize a company to conceal activities related to national security. (See 15 U.S.C. 78m(b)(3)(A))
There is no evidence that this executive order has been used by John Negroponte with respect to the telcos. Of course, if it was used, we wouldn’t know about it.
True? Wouldn’t be surprising. Used in this case? Very possible. Warranted? Perhaps.
Murdoc’s got some fairly strong feelings about this issue. What do you guys think about the idea that the telcos may be lying because of a Presidential memo?