AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth are all denying that they’ve handed over customer phone records to the NSA. Think Progress digs up an interesting tidbit that might come in handy as they continue to issue their denials:

Ordinarily, a company that conceals their transactions and activities from the public would violate securities law. But an executive order signed by the President on May 5 allows the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, to authorize a company to conceal activities related to national security. (See 15 U.S.C. 78m(b)(3)(A))

There is no evidence that this executive order has been used by John Negroponte with respect to the telcos. Of course, if it was used, we wouldn’t know about it.
Seriously, what happened to my country?

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