Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/21/obama_verizon/

Verizon suspends staff for ogling Obama's phone bill

Verizon staff caught snooping

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 21st November 2008 11:17 GMT

Staff at Verizon face disciplinary action after accessing Barack Obama's phone bill and taking a peek at who the president elect had been calling.

The breach was spotted by Verizon, which has put all staff who accessed Obama's account on paid leave while it establishes who had legitimate reason to view the info and who was just having a snoop. The latter will face disciplinary action which could include dismissal.

The account was for a handset no longer in use, and there's no question of the content of calls or data sessions being compromised.

This does demonstrate again the fallacy that only legitimate individuals have access to such private communications. Telco employees have access to an increasing amount of information including handset locations and call records, which in Europe are stored for a couple of years for law enforcement purposes. While you may trust the police with your data, you might not feel the same about the BOFH and his mates having access.

Verizon should be commended for spotting the breach and reacting so proactively. It would be nice to think that all operators would be so open and honest in the same situation. ®