May 25, 2006

Massachusetts Mayors Enter the Wiretap Fray [7:49 am]

Mayors demand phone inquiry [pdf]

Four Massachusetts mayors are filing a complaint with the state department that oversees telecommunications companies, part of a national campaign by the American Civil Liberties Union to demand information on whether the nation’s largest security agency has gained access to private phone records.

[...] Massachusetts will play a prominent role in the campaign, because it is believed to be the only state where mayors can file complaints that require public hearings before the state Department of Telecommunications and Energy, said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

The mayors of Newton, Somerville, Northampton, and Chicopee are requesting a public hearing with the department to question whether the companies violated the law. The ACLU has asked that the Federal Communications Commission and 20 state public utilities commissions take action.

“We’ve gone from, `Can you hear me now?’ to `Who can hear me now?’” said Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette of Chicopee.

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