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May 12, 2006

USA Today reports NSA obtained call logs from communications companies

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USA Today reports NSA obtained call logs from communications companies

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Friday, May 12, 2006

American newspaper USA Today reported on Thursday that the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) collected millions of call logs from telecommunications companies in 2001. The report comes almost four months after a previous NSA controversy involving the monitoring of international calls placed within the United States.

Members of Congress called for answers from the government about the report detailing the agency’s collection of records from telecommunications companies of American phone calls.

The top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said that he was very shocked about the NSA revelation. “It is our government, it’s not one party’s government. It’s America’s government. Those entrusted with great power have a duty to answer to Americans what they are doing,” said Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

AT&T, Verizon Communications, and BellSouth, three major telecommunications companies in the United States, began releasing logs of millions of phone calls to the NSA shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to the USA Today report.

Earlier this year, the New York Times released a report stating that the NSA had been monitoring certain phone calls placed between the United States and other countries. Nominated CIA director Michael Hayden commented on the NSA program on January 23, 2006, stating: “The purpose of all this is not to collect reams of intelligence, but to detect and prevent attacks.” Hayden was the head of the NSA during the programs’ durations.

President George W. Bush assured Americans that their privacy is being “fiercely protected.” “We’re not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans,” commented Bush after leaving for a commencement address at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Biloxi.

According to the report, the information released by the telecommunications companies does not detail the content of the calls. The identities of those that placed and received the calls were recorded.

The Supreme Court of the United States has previously ruled that logs of numbers dialed are not considered ‘private’ because they are being communicated to the telephone company.

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May 4, 2005

U.S. newspaper circulation continues 20-year slide

U.S. newspaper circulation continues 20-year slide

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Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Circulation figures dropped an average 1.9% among 814 U.S. newspapers according to research by the Newspaper Association of America industry group. The drop, which continues a 20-year declining trend, is one of the worst 6 month slips since a 1984 circulation peak.

Factors such as cable TV and the Internet are named as challengers in the competition for reader attention. Also contributing are scandal-driven changes in the way circulation is calculated. Concerns over the credibility of circulation figures given by some newspapers have gripped the industry and caused 3 of the top-twenty papers to have their figures excluded from the report [see below]. A paper’s circulation is the key figure looked at by advertisers when making spending decisions.

Posting slight increases were two rare circulation gainers USA Today and The New York Times. Many papers said drops were partly due to intentional distribution cuts, such as to hotels and schools for example. Another cause was that circulation drives were less successful due to the US National do-not-call registry hampering telemarketer ability to contact potential subscribers.

USA TOP 20 PAPERS
Average daily circulation of the nation’s 20 biggest newspapers for the six months ended March 31, as reported Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The percentage changes are from the comparable year-ago period.
1. USA Today, 2,281,831, up 0.05%
2. Wall Street Journal, 2,070,498, down 0.8%
3. New York Times, 1,136,433, up 0.2%
4. Los Angeles Times, 907,997, down 6.5% (a)
5. Washington Post, 751,871, down 2.7%
6. New York Daily News, 735,536, down 1.5%
7. New York Post, 678,086, up 0.01%
8. Chicago Tribune, 573,744, down 6.6%
9. Houston Chronicle, 527,744, down 3.9% (a)
10. San Francisco Chronicle, 468,739, down 6.1% (a)
11. Arizona Republic, 452,016, down 3.2% (a)
12. Boston Globe, 434,330, down 3.9%
13. Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., 394,767, down 1.6%
14. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 391,373, down 2.4%
15. Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, 378,316, up 0.33% (a)
16. Philadelphia Inquirer, 364,974, down 3% (a)
17. Plain Dealer, Cleveland, 348,416, down 5.2% (a)
18. Detroit Free Press, 347,447, down 2.0%
19. St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, 337,515, down 3.2% (a)
20. The Oregonian, Portland, 335,980, down 1.8%
Newsday of New York’s Long Island; the Dallas Morning News; the Chicago Sun-Times and Hoy, a Spanish-language newspaper in New York, were not allowed to include their circulation figures as a penalty for misstating figures in the past. The first three were among the top 20 a year ago.
(a) Includes Saturday circulation.
  • Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (reported by Chicago Sun-Times)



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See also

  • “U.S. communications watchdog revisits do-not-call registry” — Wikinews, April 19, 2005


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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