Media Blog

BellSouth Demands a Retraction

BellSouth has become the first of three phone companies mentioned in USA Today’s NSA-phone records story to ask for a retraction:

BellSouth Corp. has sent a letter to USA Today and the newspaper’s parent company, Gannett Co., demanding the retraction of a story which said the phone company shared its customers calling records with a federal spy agency, according to a Thursday report in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal. The letter demanded that the newspaper retract the “faults and unsubstantiated statements” in the May 11 article, which said BellSouth and some of its rivals shared bulk calling data with the National Security Agency, the Journal said.

In other news related to this story, CBS News has a new poll out that shows support for the phone-records program:

On another issue much in the news these days, the CBS poll finds Americans narrowly approve, by 51-44 percent, of the government collecting phone records to use in the fight against terrorism.
But when asked if phone companies should be sharing such information, Americans are strongly opposed. Sixty percent don’t think the phone companies should be sharing this data with the government, while 32 percent think they should.

According to this poll, Americans are okay with the government having the records, but not with the phone companies turning them over. It’s interesting how that’s the aspect of the USA Today story that’s being disputed.

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