TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: US Panel Wants Answers from Wireless Firms on Privacy

US Panel Wants Answers from Wireless Firms on Privacy

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 25 Sep 2006 15:39:33 -0500

WASHINGTON - Top executives of Verizon Communications <VZ.N>, Sprint
Nextel Corp. <S.N>, Cingular and T-Mobile USA have been 'invited' to
testify Friday at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing
into the use of deceptive measures to obtain personal information,
known as pretexting, the panel said on Monday.

The same panel will hear on Thursday from Hewlett-Packard Co. <HPQ.N>
chief executive Mark Hurd, former chairman Patricia Dunn, general
counsel Ann Baskins and other company officials about HP's use of
pretexting to investigate boardroom leaks.

The heads of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin Martin, and
Federal Trade Commission, Deborah Majoras, have also been invited to
testify at the Friday hearing, which is on the broader issue of

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on investigations has spent
the past seven months looking into data brokers and their use of
pretexting to obtain consumers' call records and other private

The panel's concern about unauthorized access to telephone records
gained new prominence after HP acknowledged its investigators used
false identities to obtain the telephone records of directors,
employees and journalists.

Last week, Hurd said he approved an e-mail ruse to track down
boardroom leaks, saying it was important to discover who gave
confidential information to news reporters. He was appointed chairman
of HP after the board asked Dunn to resign for her role in the

HP is now under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department,
California's attorney general, the Securities and Exchange Commission,
and the House panel.

Copyright 2006 Reuters News Service.

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