From the conference call Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) of the Intelligence Committee had with bloggers this afternoon, with the question coming from Shopfloor.org:
Question: Is there a broader issue here, as well? We can talk about the specific telecom companies, but I wonder whether there isn’t a broader issue of being a good corporate citizen, being a citizen of America with certain obligations and responsibilities, as well, if you’re a telecom company or another company all together.
Bond: I think you’ll find regrettably a few in the Congress and some on the outside who are vocal who think there is no such thing as a good corporate citizen. They view any business that creates jobs and provides goods or services to be inherently evil. But I think the point of the matter is, that the carriers – telecommunications companies – are a vital link in our national security, both working with us when ordered to listen in on communication from terrorists abroad, and for the longer term, in working with us to ensure cyber-security – protect not only our government but private institutions and individuals from hackers.
So, we have many areas of cooperation with carriers and others. And if anybody who cooperates with the government can be sued by the radical fringe, so-called public interest groups that contend we shouldn’t have any secret intelligence, we ought not to do anything that isn’t totally disclosed – thus, in my view, (will) leave us totally vulnerable to the kind of attacks like the disaster of 9/11.
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