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Which Companies Cooperated With the NSA?

Feb 06, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

An article on CNET today raises an interesting question: It’s a given that some companies cooperated with the National Security Agency (NSA) in their secret spying initiative, but which ones?

A number of early reports cited executives at “major telecommunications companies” who opened their networks to the NSA, but because the legality of such cooperation is still murky, no company has stepped forward and admitted participation.

A survey of telecom companies by CNET has identified 15 large telecom and Internet companies who said that they did not participate in the spying, and 12 that declined to comment, in some instances citing “national security.”

CNET notes that there are a number of reasons why one of these 12 companies may have chosen not to respond, beside the obvious, such as an overworked media department or the company’s attorneys weren’t available for counsel.

The survey found that cable companies and wireless provides had the greatest likelihood of distancing themselves from the NSA.  Cingular Wireless, Comcast and Cox Communications all said they had not turned over information or made their networks available to the NSA.

The survey also found that companies who operate undersea communications cables, a.k.a., backbone providers, were the least likely to respond to CNET AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Global Crossing, and NTT Communications, among others, all refused to answer CNET’s questions.

The article is the first in a two-part series.  The second installment will run on CNET tomorrow.

Keep checking in at our CSO Security Feed page for updated news coverage.

Managing Editor

Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.

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