Verizon Wireless has said that some employees had accessed and viewed President-elect Barack Obama's personal cell phone account without authorization.
The carrier said all employees who accessed the account, either with or without authorization, which had been inactive for months, had been put on immediate leave with pay. "We apologize to President-elect Obama and will work to keep the trust our customers place in us every day," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement. The phone was a simple flip-phone and not a smartphone or a BlackBerry used for email or data services.
Verizon said it was looking into the kinds of access that employees had, and that those who accessed the account for legitimate business purposes will be placed back in their positions and those who accessed the account improperly will face disciplinary action. Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson would not comment beyond the official statement.
The news comes as some security experts question whether Obama will need to stop using his BlackBerry as he assumes the presidency, mostly because of concerns over security breaches such as this.
- see this article
- see this Verizon press release
- see this article on Obama and his BlackBerry
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