In December of 2005, the New York Times reported that the government, in a secret program authorized by George W. Bush, was spying on Americans phone calls without court orders and without warrants.
Later reports, each more disturbing than the last, revealed that the NSA had gotten major phone companies, including AT&T, MCI and Sprint, to help them spy on Americans phone calls, compile a database of their customers phone records, and in AT&Ts case, data-mine their customers phone and internet activities.
What's really sinister about this is that, although Verizon and BellSouth denied having cooperated with the government after USA Today's bombshell report, AT&T has neither confirmed or denied their involvement. For example:
After the May 11th bombshell report, even though Verizon and BellSouth denied directly cooperating in the sinister domestic spying program, Verizon didn't confirm or deny having any relationship to the program. Even in Verizon's press statement talking about this, they only talk about companies they had before the MCI merger.
Apparently, Verizon knew what MCI was doing and what was really going on. Stay away from both of them.
The Case Against BellSouth
BellSouth is merging with AT&T
Bell South is closely connected to AT&T -- they both jointly own Cingular Wireless. Now, AT&T is trying to buy out BellSouth.
Assuming BellSouth's denials are true, then it's very likely that at the end of the year, when the AT&T/BellSouth merger goes through, that BellSouth customers will end up getting spied on, too. BellSouth users: this is your cue to get away from that company like rats on a sinking ship.