Thursday, 4:30 PM
ACLU plans cell blast to protest phone company 'spying'
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
Four Massachusetts mayors are joining the American Civil Liberties Union in a "cell-phone call-in" today in which people are urged to call Verizon and AT&T to ask that phone records not be shared with the federal government.
The group, which has a rally scheduled today at the State House, is demanding a public hearing about the National Security Administration's access to private phone records.
"The law says we have a right to a public hearing, so the stonewalling has got to end," said Newton Mayor David B. Cohen, in a statement. "The issue here is one of government transparency and accountability."
Cohen and three other Massachusetts mayors joined the ACLU in a lawsuit filed on May 24, 2006, with the state Department of Telecommunications and Energy. The lawsuit asked for a public hearing about the sharing of phone records with the NSA.
The other mayors who joined the lawsuit are Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville; Mary Clare Higgins of Northampton; and Michael D. Bissonnette of Chicopee.
Information is available about the protest on the ACLU's Massachusetts website.