TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Question About News Report Re: Airport "Pay and Cell Phones"

Question About News Report Re: Airport "Pay and Cell Phones"

Ed (
Fri, 11 Aug 2006 12:19:52 -0400

I'm very interested in learning how "calls from public phones at the
airport may be monitored, as well as cell phones" got into this story.

I just got off the phone with AP reporter Leslie Miller at the DC
bureau, (212)776-9400 who told me emphatically that she never put that
in her story.

Can anyone explain how this got into the story and on this list? Such
random public and cell phone monitoring without probable cause would
be unconstitutional, but then, so is much of what's going on today in
the name of "national security".

-ed cummings

> At 01:25 AM 8/11/06, wrote:
> TELECOM Digest Fri, 11 Aug 2006 01:28:00 EDT Volume 25 : Issue 295

> Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 22:53:50 -0500
> From: Leslie Miller, Associated Press <>
> Subject: Passengers May Expect Double/Triple Screening

> Passengers can Expect Double/Triple Screening, Pay and Cell Phone Monitoring
> By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer

> Beginning Friday...snip...In addition, calls from public phones at
> the airport may be monitored, as well as cell phones ... snip ...

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Your question got me to thinking and I
looked into the wire service report a little further. It appears
there were _two_ wire service reports, about a minute apart. (That
sometimes happens, which is why the 'News Today' feature which I offer
at sometimes prints
the same story two or three times in a row.) The first version of the
airport security story was attributed to 'newswire' (rather than a
specific reporter's name) contained the remarks about 'payphone and
cell phone monitoring'; the second version a minute or less later was
attributed to Leslie Miller and did not make those statements, and was
a bit different in other respects as well, such as length of the
article, etc. My error was using the first account which came but
attributing it to Ms. Miller (the second acount). As you pointed out,
so much of what is happening in the name of 'national security' is
very questioable from a constitutional point of view, my attitude was
'well, why wouldn't they do that as well?' Apparently, Associated
Press had more than just one person working on the story and neglected
to reconcile or otherwise piece together their accounts. Of course, I
should have more carefully identified (as best I could given limited
resources) who wrote what. I still maintain however that it would be
foolish to think that a telephone call at the airport would of
necessity be untouchable or private. PAT]

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