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

Obama's cell phone records breached

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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. Apples for sale

    All cell phones can now be hacked.Spies can listen to your conversations even if the phone is turned off.Read PC magazine or google it.

    November 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Todd

    "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."

    What are you talking about?

    American unions are weaker now than they have been since before the Great Depression - and there isn't a union in the country that can stop an employee from being fired if they break the law or don't meet the requirements of their employment agreements/contracts.

    Stop regurgitating Rush Limbaugh's uninformed gibberish!

    November 21, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Kim J

    Where was this outrage from the Dems when Palin's email account was breached. If I recall you were all blaming her. How's bout noting that Obama should have stopped using a cell phone when he began his run.

    November 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. susan

    with pay... so I pay my verizon bill to pay their salaries while they sit home and do nothing, or worse, they're in Hawaii or the Bahamas, WITH pay...

    November 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Rezko loves Obama

    Its Obama's fault his phone records were breached. He shouldn't have sought the limelinght...he shouldnt have used an unsecure line. Obama is a big clown who should be making balloon animals for 5 year olds, not running the country.

    November 21, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. G.R.I.T. - Girl Raised in the South

    Kim J: Actually, what we were blaming Palin for was using a personal e-mail account to transact state business. We didn't really blame her for getting the account hacked, just that she shouldn't have been handling government business through her personal e-mail. There are numerous reasons why the governor should not have done this, which I won't get into here. Suffice it say that Palin actually did something she shouldn't and there is no rule, ethics or otherwise, to prevent a presidential candidate from using his personal phone.

    November 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. JF

    Good!!! Someone should be spying on this guy!!!!

    November 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Michael, Houston Texas

    Just like the dimwit in Tenn should be thrown in jail who hacked Sarah Palin email account, so should these idiots at Verizon. Although I hate the fact that Sarah Palin breathes that same air as me, right is right. And the President should be able to be human and do human things like...use his cell phone without people hacking into it. He is man who has a job, not a immortal God.

    November 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. FAYE, NV

    First, Palin should not have been using state computers for personal e-mails. No one should intrude on another person personal e-mail or cell phone no matter how tempting it is.

    In my hometown Winnsboro, LA children in school can say Obama name while at school. Students we be reprimanded if so. Also, there in Winnsboro, LA at some diners you can not wear an Obama/Biden shirt into their business. In this small town you can mention President elect Obama at school nor eat in a public place with an Obama shirt on.

    November 21, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Joe the Schmoe

    Isn't leave with pay just vacation.


    November 21, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Lani in Los Angeles

    Immediate leave without pay! Those people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    November 21, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. hilary

    Kim J–everything was made a big deal of where Palin was concerned. By the way, the person who hacked into her account was charged.

    November 21, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Dave, Central Illinois

    So, are all you Obamites that ripped Palin when her emails were hacked going to do the same to Obama for using a personal phone as a federal employee? It turns out that the Palin hacker is the son of a Democrat politician. So, where was your outrage then? Too funny!

    November 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. What the heck!

    Maybe the CEO dismissed them without pay because he's done it himself. I don't get rewarding bad behavior. Heck, do wrong and get a few days off, with pay, to go do a little christmas shopping, give me a fricking break! And where's the respect, he's the future President of the United States, for goodness sake!

    November 21, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. John, Air Force Vet

    Well-big whooop! Fire and charge them with the highest crime (s) allowed!

    November 21, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Marek

    "Where was this outrage from the Dems when Palin's email account was breached. If I recall you were all blaming her. How's bout noting that Obama should have stopped using a cell phone when he began his run."

    Palin was using an unsecure yahoo email address to do state business. Obama used his cell for campaign business, that's not exactly a security issue. So you can't begin to come pair him using his cell for campaign business to her using an unsecure yahoo email address for confidential state business. LET"S BE REAL!!

    November 21, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Dianne

    For Verizon President Does Not Punish Violators

    Why are you so angry about union workers. You said probably, which means you donot actually know.
    Before spreading rumors, check it out. You seem to follow the thoughts of management. We all know management could not be responsible for the expensive cost of salaries and golden parachutes. I wonder how many union workers would it take to equal just one of these guys payday?

    November 21, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Matt

    LOL Barack stand in line with Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber and ask how they felt when people looked at their private things. At least it wasn't democratic government officials like Joe. You liberals are a joke to complain because I remember the same names gloating a couple months ago thinking it was funny. Jokes on you now isn't it.

    November 21, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Marek

    Obama and his team are not even worriesd about it. Like they said it was a "simple flip phone." It was probably one of his throw away phone. Some you need to quit making so much out of nothing and get over Mccain loosing the election to Obama.

    November 21, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. vic

    Time to clean house and fire some people – none of this suspended without pay...they need to be fired and prosecuted.

    November 21, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Janice

    I cannot believe that these people are on leave "with pay". In other words they are on vacation.

    November 21, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. MikeH

    Patriot Act.

    They needed to know all of Obama's contacts, so when Bush declares martial law, Blackwater Brownshirts can arrest and 'disappear' all who would be a threat to the new order.

    November 21, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Ve-lie-zon

    After all, it may be a good that this happened to someone of the stature of President Obama. Now I can call the Verizon people and ask them again whether my ex-girlfriend (who has an unexplainable ability to always know with details who I am talking to) has breached my cellphone account. For at least five times, Verizon has told me that breaching or hacking are impossible and cannot happen to one of their customers; well, at least not to those not running for the presidency.

    November 21, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Dana from NY

    They were put on leave? LOL Shouldnt they have been fired??
    And Verizon just lost their biggest customer-could you imagine the commercials they could have made.... STUPID people!!

    November 21, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama is turning out to be one leaky guy.

    November 21, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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