Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The NY Times has a story about how U.S. Telecom companies have been working with the NSA in providing data and routing information through U.S. based switches, allowing the Intelligence agency access to desired information.
Several officials said that after President Bush's order authorizing the N.S.A. program, senior government officials arranged with officials of some of the nation's largest telecommunications companies to gain access to switches that act as gateways at the borders between the United States' communications networks and international networks. The identities of the corporations involved could not be determined.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Walden O'Dell has resigned as CEO of Diebold, one of the major players in the electronic voting market. Mr. O'Dell is famous for a 2003 letter saying he would help "Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president". As it turned out, Ohio was a pivotal state in the following year's elections, and was one of several states with many voting abnormalities.

Mr. O'Dell is resigning for unstated "personal reasons". The business markets are reportedly reacting favorably to the resignation.

Diebold voting machines continue to cause great concern over reported problems in their system.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Washington Post is reporting that the huge telecom company BellSouth has withdrawn an offer to donate a damaged building to the police department of New Orleans because the city has proposed offering free WiFi.

According to the officials, the head of BellSouth's Louisiana operations, Bill Oliver, angrily rescinded the offer of the building in a conversation with New Orleans homeland security director Terry Ebbert, who oversees the roughly 1,650-member police force.

City officials said BellSouth was upset about the plan to bring high-speed Internet access for free to homes and businesses to help stimulate resettlement and relocation to the devastated city.

While the company disputes the city's version of events, it is true that BellSouth and others have consistently been fighting municipal efforts to bring free Internet access to local users.

Customers of BellSouth might consider contacting the company to see if they will indeed follow through on their promise to help the police, and the people of New Orleans. Also, since telecom is a federally regulated industry, others might consider contacting their elected federal representatives to express their thoughts regarding efforts against free Internet access.

via BoingBoing