BellSouth to USA Today: NSA story is bogus
Telecom giant calls paper's report false, unsubstantiated
From Jennifer Westhoven
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- BellSouth is demanding that the newspaper that said it provided private phone records to the National Security Agency retract its article.
The telecommunications giant sent a letter to USA Today on Thursday asking it to retract last week's story that BellSouth and two other companies helped the NSA compile a massive database of records on domestic phone calls.
BellSouth faxed the letter to the attention of Craig Moon, the newspaper's president and publisher, and its general counsel, BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher said. The letter calls for the paper to retract the "false and unsubstantiated statements the paper made regarding BellSouth."
"We did receive the letter this afternoon. We're reviewing it, and will be responding," said USA Today spokesman Steve Anderson.
Earlier this week, USA Today said it stands by its story, but that it would investigate the denials issued by BellSouth and Verizon.
AT&T, the third company named in the article, has not denied the story outright, but said it would not provide such information without legal authorization.
USA Today reported that the NSA doesn't record or listen to conversations. Rather, the article said, the agency uses the data -- including phone numbers, times and locations -- to look for patterns that might suggest terrorist activity.
The Bush administration has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of such a program.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.