Verizon Communications -- the nation's second largest telecom company -- has admitted it turned over the private telephone records of its customers to the government 94,000 times since 2005. Verizon made the admission in a letter to Congressional Democrats. The Washington Post reports that in about 700 of the cases, Verizon turned over records even when federal investigators did not have a court order. AT&T and Qwest also responded to inquires from Congress but declined to say how often they handed over customer records. All three companies refused to answer most questions about their involvement in the government's domestic surveillance program.
Report: U.S. & Iraq Negotiate Blackwater's Exit
U.S. and Iraqi officials are reportedly negotiating Baghdad's request that the private military company Blackwater be expelled from the county within six months following last month's deadly shoot out in Baghdad. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports Blackwater is attempting to expand its operations elsewhere. The company recently outbid Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and Raytheon for a five-year, $15 billion Pentagon contract to fight terrorists with drug ties. The U.S. government reportedly wants to use contractors to help its allies thwart drug trafficking and provide equipment, training and people.