Would Al Qaeda use a family share plan?

Since 2004, the FCC has collected data on cell phone carrier outages, but the agency refuses to make their findings public. Why?  Because they contend it could be useful to terrorists. Bob Sullivan at the MSNBC blog The Redtape Chronicles thinks the data could be useful to cell phone customers. His FOIA requests for the ...

605471_razr_phone25.jpg
605471_razr_phone25.jpg

Since 2004, the FCC has collected data on cell phone carrier outages, but the agency refuses to make their findings public. Why?  Because they contend it could be useful to terrorists. Bob Sullivan at the MSNBC blog The Redtape Chronicles thinks the data could be useful to cell phone customers. His FOIA requests for the data were turned down both for security and for "competitive harm" reasons. So, Sullivan turned to Roger Cressey, the former chief of staff of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, and asked why the government might want to protect phone outage records from terrorists. There is nothing mysterious behind it, it is corporate competition protection," said Cressey... "The only reason for the government to not let these records get out is then one telco provider could run a full-page ad saying 'the government says we’re more reliable.'"

Cressey added that he couldn't imagine a scenario where the reports would be valuable to terrorists.

Still, DHS contends that terrorists could exploit weaknesses in the network. Al Tompkins, a FOIA expert from the Poynter institute also weighs in:I can't think of one problem that has gone away because it's kept a secret," he said.

Since 2004, the FCC has collected data on cell phone carrier outages, but the agency refuses to make their findings public. Why?  Because they contend it could be useful to terrorists. Bob Sullivan at the MSNBC blog The Redtape Chronicles thinks the data could be useful to cell phone customers. His FOIA requests for the data were turned down both for security and for “competitive harm” reasons. So, Sullivan turned to Roger Cressey, the former chief of staff of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, and asked why the government might want to protect phone outage records from terrorists.

There is nothing mysterious behind it, it is corporate competition protection,” said Cressey… “The only reason for the government to not let these records get out is then one telco provider could run a full-page ad saying ‘the government says we’re more reliable.'”

Cressey added that he couldn’t imagine a scenario where the reports would be valuable to terrorists.

Still, DHS contends that terrorists could exploit weaknesses in the network. Al Tompkins, a FOIA expert from the Poynter institute also weighs in:

I can’t think of one problem that has gone away because it’s kept a secret,” he said.

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