I am participating in a visit to the Verizon Campus in California as part of the #VZWbuzz program. All opinions are my own.
I spent some time today with marketing folks from Verizon Wireless here in California. I was brought here to learn more about their products, their technology, and their green initiatives. That I did, but I also happened to be here on the day that news broke that Verizon may have handed over customer information to the federal government.
Verizon Wireless Information Release – Nothing New
While to many people this is cause for alarm, for me it’s not an issue. First because I know that this kind of collection of information has been going on for as long as telecommunications have been a part of our lives. Back in the late 1970’s, I worked for the local phone company and we complied with orders to tap lines – back then a physical process where equipment was actually attached to the telephone line in the central office – daily.
What’s changed is how easy it is to gather the information now. But that also poses another problem. There sheer volume of it. Still, I have the same stand as I had in the 1970’s. I have nothing to hide. If the government, or anyone else, wants to listen in to me talking to my husband on the phone, so be it. If I had something so secret that I didn’t want my own government to hear it, I’d relay the message in person or by letter. I have no trade secrets, no information of value, so what do I have to fear?
So it was interesting to be here in the heart of the issue. What could Verizon do? If they did indeed release that information, they would have had to have been compelled to by law. And if they were, certainly other telecommunication companies were compelled to do the same. It’s highly unlikely that all of the “bad guys” use one particular cellphone company. I think it’s much more likely that all of the companies were made to provide the same information, but we’ve not been made privy to those details.
So why isn’t Verizon making noise? Because from experience, I know that if you are compelled to provide that information, you’re not allowed to discuss it.
I for one would much rather hear about the green initiatives and the HOPELine and anticipate getting on with the business of making changes where we can. If you want to stop the government from collecting the information, go to the source.
We complain when the government doesn’t keep us “safe” from things like the Boston Bombing. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t say protect us, but don’t spy on us.
What do you think? I’m I wrong in thinking if you have nothing to hide what’s the issue?
Oh, and as an after thought, have you ever seen the information you’re giving up to God-knows-who when you add those “free” aps and games to your phone? Seriously, I’d be MUCH more worried about some unknown entity having access to my phone contacts – tell me again why they need that so I can play a game on my phone?