Wow, talk about a breach of security. Apparently some Verizon employees are out of a job following their exploits of dipping into President-Elect Barrack Obama’s cell phone records. I just can’t imagine someone’s mindset thinking that they could get away with something like this. All I can say is that I hope they didn’t jeopardize national security or sell this information to a third party because if they did I bet that unemployment is going to be the least of their worries.
Also, just on a sidenote, this has me wondering just what type of clearance an employee has to have with a wireless company to have the neccessary credentials to access records and call logs like this, whether you realize it or not this can be some pretty sensitive information. But with all of this being said, I wonder if the President’s cell phone records are a matter of public record once he takes office just like any other elected officials would be? Just wondering out loud…
(CNN) — Verizon Wireless has fired employees connected to a breach of records from a cell phone used by President-elect Barack Obama earlier this year, a Verizon source told CNN on Friday. An Obama spokesman said Verizon Wireless workers looked through an old phone’s billing records.
The source would not say how many people were terminated, but said “we now consider this matter closed.” Verizon reported the breach Thursday, and Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the transition team had been notified Wednesday. Gibbs said the president-elect no longer uses that phone, which has been inactive for months.
The fired employees were hired “to take care of customers,” the Verizon source told CNN, and were not authorized to access customer records unless asked to do so by the customer.
The source also said the employees in question could not have read text messages, if Obama sent or received them, and would not have been able to access the content of any voice mail messages, although they would have been able to see if any had been left.
“This was some employees’ idle curiosity,” the source said, adding that records of no other customers of note were breached.
Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology said the employees probably had access to the dates and times of calls, the length of calls and the telephone numbers of those Obama spoke with. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said Thursday that the company initially put all employees who had access to the account — “whether authorized or not” — on leave during an investigation.
McAdam said the device on the account was a simple voice flip-phone — not a BlackBerry or other smartphone designed for e-mail or other data services — meaning none of Obama’s e-mail could have been accessed.
Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, has launched a separate internal investigation to determine if Obama’s information was shared only among employees or whether “the information of our customer had in any way been compromised outside our company, and this investigation continues,” McAdam said in an internal company e-mail obtained by CNN.
The company has alerted “the appropriate federal law enforcement authorities,” McAdam said.