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Verizon’s willingness to give the federal government unfettered access to its customers’ phone records is paying off handsomely for the telecommunications giant. Verizon announced on August 16: The U.S. Department of the Interior has selected Verizon to participate in a $10 billion, 10-year contract to provide cloud and hosting services. This is potentially one of Verizon's largest federal cloud contracts to date. Verizon is one of 10 companies that will compete to offer cloud-based storage, secure file transfer, virtual machine, and database, Web, and development and test environment hosting services. The company is also one of four selected to offer SAP application hosting services. Each of the 10 agreements awarded under the Foundation Cloud Hosting Services contract has a potential maximum value of $1 billion. Put simply, not only has Verizon not suffered a loss of customers since revelations of its collusion with the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans’ phone records, but now the company is being paid billions for its cooperation.
Readers should recall that as required by provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments of 2008 (FISA) and the Patriot Act (as amended in 2005), the Department of Justice revealed to Congress in April the number of applications for eavesdropping received and rejected by the FISA court. To no one’s surprise (least of all to the architects and builders of the already sprawling surveillance state), the letter addressed to Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reports that in 2012, of the 1,789 requests made by the government to monitor the electronic communications of citizens, not a single one was rejected. That’s right. The court, established specifically to judge the merits of applications by the government to spy on citizens, gave a green light to every government request for surveillance.