Red-faced Verizon Wireless has fired an undisclosed number of employees who couldn't resist the chance to peek into Barack Obama's cellphone records, CNN reports.
It was an old, flip-top phone, not his famous BlackBerry, and the account had been inactive for months. No text messages or voicemail contents could have been accessed. The employees were satisfying "idle curiosity," a source told CNN, and the employees were not authorized to access customer records.
Verizon said, in an internal memo, that it has launched an internal investigation into whether the records "of our customer had in any way been compromised outside our company, and this investigation continues."
The company has also notified federal law enforcement agencies.
While this appears to be little more than a case of bad behavior, it does highlight again the issue of telecom spying –and sharing with the NSA – on customer data. Obama supported legislation giving telecom companies immunity from lawsuits for such transfers .