Verizon Wireless CEO and President Lowell Adams released a statement admitting that President Elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone records were breached during this year’s Presidential Race. While few details have emerged about the breach, his words hint that the misconduct may have been widespread.
While Obama was famously connected during his campaign via a Blackberry smartphone device, the subject of this breach was a simple flip phone that belonged to the President Elect personally. While Verizon claims that no one accessed Obama’s voicemail, there is evidence that a number of employees accessed his account.
Here’s Lowell Adam’s publicly-released statement:
This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorization, accessed and viewed President-Elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account. The account has been inactive for several months. The device on the account was a simple voice flip-phone, not a BlackBerry or other smartphone designed for e-mail or other data services.
All employees who have accessed the account – whether authorized or not – have been put on immediate leave, with pay. As the circumstances of each individual employee’s access to the account are determined, the company will take appropriate actions. Employees with legitimate business needs for access will be returned to their positions, while employees who have accessed the account improperly and without legitimate business justification will face appropriate disciplinary action.
We apologize to President-Elect Obama and will work to keep the trust our customers place in us every day.
This smacks of a schoolboy prank, wherein word spread within Verizon about the details of then-Presidential hopeful Obama’s account. It will be interesting to see how many gawkers couldn’t resist sneaking a peek at his account details and what kind of punishment Verizon metes out to its frat-boy charges.
Questions remain about this violation of our new President’s privacy. Just how many Verizon employees accessed Obama’s records? What, if anything, did they do with the information found in his records?