November 21st, 2008
10:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama's cell phone records breached

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/21/art.phones.gi.jpg caption=" Obama's cell phone records appear to have been breached."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Records from a cell phone used by President-elect Obama were improperly breached, apparently by employees of the cell phone company, Verizon Wireless said Thursday.

"This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorization, accessed and viewed President-Elect Barack Obama's personal cell phone account," Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless president and CEO, said in a statement.

"All employees who have accessed the account - whether authorized or not - have been put on immediate leave, with pay."

The Obama transition team was notified Wednesday by Verizon of the breach, said team spokesman Robert Gibbs. He said the president-elect no longer uses the phone.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. RJ, Phoenix

    Hey, "Another O and Joe supporter"
    Where in the report did it say this was politically motivated, let alone a Republican that accessed the records?

    Sounds like it was one of you Obama-bots trying to get some street cred for knowing who the big "O" talks to.

    November 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. ron

    Leave with pay? Why aren't these people in a windowless room with a bright light, lack of sleep and the threat of prison. This is a breach of National Security, we should be demanding to know why they are spying into the Presidents personal information.

    November 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. White girl, Iowa

    He should have used to AT&T...

    November 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. mn

    I am curious to know how this was discovered?

    November 21, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. rbn alexandria, mn

    Why are any of our phone/internet records not kept securely? IWhat is security anymore? Either have it or do not! Why is it a Federal crime to steal from mail from a country mail box? Stealing is a sin that all seem to agree has remained a sin unlike other problems we can't seem to pull together on. Why not have it be a Federal crime to take any private information from another that is not just hear say? The revenew from the fines would probabley be great plus we can shut these creeps up & expose them like sex violaters. An additional bonus is that they will lose their voting rights forever making counting easier. Just call me for anymore great ideas! I would love to smear tactic types finally go to hell.

    November 21, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. ck

    Gosh, guess Obama wont be the only one in on that call at 3am!!

    What a moron! Can we expect him to keep secrets when he is prez?

    This is simple stuff folks, and O doesnt get it!!

    November 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Silence Dogood

    from "Logic" – "Obama didn't authorize the access of Joe's Personal records " – what line of reason and forensic investigation led you to this bold statement?

    Yeah and a mob boss doesn't personally pull the trigger in a mob hit.

    Think beyond the cartoon image and question the government, even Obama, always....

    November 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Verizon President Does not Punish Violaters

    When confronted and caught, Verizon gave the employees time off with pay. They were likley union employees and could not be fired - this is what is wrong in America – at the auto companies, cities and towns, states, US government, and anywhere else theree are unions.

    Why can't Verizon do what is right, and simply fire the employees on the spot

    November 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. s

    "With Pay"?

    Are you kidding, this is the president! They should be FIRED!!!!

    November 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. National Security at Risk

    Presindent elect Obama needs to toss his cell phone away - and only use secure lines from now on --

    November 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Karen -San Antonio

    Privacy went out the window 7 years ago thanks to the terrorist who never should have been allowed to enter our country in the first place. So now we have to pay the price, but come on...Obama's privacy should no more be violated than that of President Bush's. This situation should be handled in a more serious manner than the "violators" being put on leave WITH PAY. That is nothing more than a vacation at the security of our country's expense.

    November 21, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. David

    immediate leave... WITH pay....

    Quite a union they have there.
    Do an unauthorized record search, and get a vacation, just in time for the Thansgiving holiday.

    November 21, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Betty, CA

    It is time we get serious with these telecom hackers and snoopers. For the fact that this is a President-to be, Verizon should have enforced tighter security on his account from the moment Obama became the President elect. Verizon should without delay, turn over this scrupulous employee to the FBI for immediate prosecution. All other people with Verizon account, be ware!

    November 21, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Franky

    Uh-Oh, there onto us, we gotta hide, LOL!! Na'h, I'm playing, I'm playing...

    With so many stuff I've seen over here in the hood I would recommend EVERYBODY to be careful in what they use, who they talk to or what they do. Because if his cell phones records can be breached, imagine other peoples...

    November 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Wait, even those who accessed the account with authorization were put on leave with pay? So people were authorized to do something that required disciplinary action, and then the people that weren't authorized didn't even get fired? Ridiculous!

    November 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Oh

    Maybe I shouldn't renew my Verizon contract in January...

    November 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Bryan in Indiana

    Wonder if O'Reilly and the rest of the right wing nutjobs at Fox News will be as outraged over this as they were about the kid who breached Palin's Yahoo mail account. Hmmm...probably not.

    November 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Pete, OH

    Whoever claims Obama politicized "Joe the Plumber" is either naive or lying to say the least. Obama met Joe the plumber once in a Campaign stop and had an honest exhange of information.

    IT WAS McCAIN THAT TOOK THE STORY AND BLEW IT OUT OF PROPORTION. McCain was singing Joe the Plumber like a lyric all through his Campaign as if Joe the Plumber is smarter than any other American. We know what the result of that was, right?

    November 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Rob

    Wait a minute. Wasn't it Barrack's mastery of the cell phone and email that was one of the reasons why he should have been president? I seem to remember an ad campaign pointing out that McCain shouldn't be president because he couldn't use email. Well, at least he didn't get hacked.

    So, what is the rate when you go over your minutes talking to Oprah?

    Besides, Barry shouldn't have anything to worry about. One 'social' visit by his good buddy Bill Ayers and I'm sure Verizon will stop.

    And Obama08, with your little claim of Republican involvement, quick, get under your bed. The black helicopters are hovering over your mommy and daddy's house right now! They're on to you!

    November 21, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. mossad sensored my post!

    but the good people of the world will catch you and

    put you criminals away and toss the key away forever, mossad!

    November 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Al, NY NY

    If anyone who moaned about the lipstick fido's e-mails being breached and doesn't have a problem with this instance, they are completely clueless and totally partisan. The guys who hacked her hacked into her e-mails are in big trouble as should be the Verizon employees (Obama haters???) who did this. Any righties here have a disagreement with that?

    November 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. H. McCarthy

    This is no surprise to me. I worked in the cellular world for almost ten years. The retail staff in these stores are mostly younger, with no college degree, and the turn over rate is very high. This was probably some kid that couldn't resist temtation once he figured out Barack Obama had Verizon. This will probably happen at his credit card companies too. Someone being nosey and checking his statement, just because they have the access. I dont believe its a huge conspiracy.

    November 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Iowa Mom

    I don't care what motives they had, political or not, the idiots should be fired.

    Time off with pay, nice vacation for them.

    November 21, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    I think the Bush/Cheney administration authorized the breach.
    For fun.

    November 21, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Don_N

    If a student who breached Palin's public email account was prosecuted by federal authorities, why aren't these employees being prosecuted?

    November 21, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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