James D.

Cowie 32 North Street Portland Maine 04101 207-774-2365 ELECTRONICALLY FILED ON 08-16-06 THIS IS A VIRTUAL DUPLICATE OF THE ORIGINAL HARD COPY SUBMITTED TO THE COMMISSION IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS ELECTRONIC FILING INSTRUCTIONS August 16, 2006 Mr. Dennis L. Keschl, Administrative Director Maine Public Utilities Commission 242 State Street, 18 State House Station Augusta Maine 04333-0018 RE: MAINE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION Request for Commission Investigation into Whether Verizon is Cooperating in Maine With the National Security Agency’s Warrantless Domestic Wiretapping Program Docket No. 2006-274 OPA Letter filed August 15, 2006 Chairman’s remark during August 7, 2006 deliberations

RE: RE:

Dear Mr. Keschl: Regarding OPA Letter filed August 15, 2006 The Complainants want the Commission to know we support and endorse OPA’s letter and the reasons given in it for requesting action by the Commission. The Complainants consider OPA’s letter to be a supplement to the letter we filed August 8, and we hope the Commission will consider the requests in both letters and act on them. Regarding a remark by the chairman during August 7 deliberations Attached is an August 8 Portland Press Herald article that reported on the Commission’s deliberations of this case, and which included a remark by the chairman to the effect that the PUC has limited jurisdiction as an economic regulator and is not a court with wide jurisdiction. The Complainants understand the Commission is not a court of law, but we wonder whether the Commission’s authority is limited to economic regulation. Indeed, the MPUC Laws page on the Commission’s web site contains eleven chapters under Part 7: Telecommunications, a number of which, like the privacy statute §7101-A of

Chapter 71, do not appear to involve only economic regulation, nor, strictly speaking, do the Commission’s regulatory responsibilities on matters such as assuring telephone service quality or consumer protections. In any event, the Complainants are glad Maine’s Legislature assigned to the Commission the responsibility of upholding Maine’s telecommunications privacy concerns expressed in §7101-A, we believe the Commission has all the jurisdiction and authority it needs to do so in this case, and we trust that it will. Sincerely yours, James D. Cowie Lead Complainant Cc: Andrew S. Hagler, Esq. Donald W. Boecke, Esq., Verizon William C. Black, Esq., OPA Wayne R. Jortner, Esq., OPA John M. R. Paterson, Esq., MCLU Christopher B. Branson, Esq., Complainant

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ATTACHMENT
Tuesday, August 8, 2006 PUC asks Verizon to pledge truth By GREGORY D. KESICH, Portland Press Herald Writer Copyright © 2006 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc. AUGUSTA — The Maine Public Utilities Commission delayed a decision Monday on whether to investigate if Verizon Communications illegally turned over Maine customers' telephone records to the National Security Agency. Commission Chairman Kurt Adams gave the company two weeks to return a statement signed by a responsible Verizon executive, swearing that the company's public denials of illegal activity are the truth. "I would order that Verizon affirm and attest that each of these statements are true and not misleading, and that the affirmation be from an officer of the company under oath and such officer having knowledge of the matters at hand," Adams said. "Following the receipt, we would deliberate and make a final determination whether to dismiss the case, seek more information or open an investigation." Adams said the company could resolve questions put to the commission in April by 22 Maine Verizon customers. The customers requested an investigation into whether the telecom giant violated privacy laws by cooperating with a domestic surveillance program. A company spokesman reached after the hearing could not say how Verizon would respond to the order. Verizon has maintained that it cannot confirm or deny its role in a domestic surveillance program without revealing state secrets. "Until we see the written order, all we can say is that we stand by our earlier statements," said Peter Reilly, a Verizon spokesman in Maine. It is unclear whether Verizon could comply with the order without prompting litigation from the federal government. On July 28, the U.S. Department of Justice issued an opinion that the government would sue the Maine PUC to prevent it from opening an investigation. The government has filed suits in New Jersey and Missouri to prevent the release of information. A call to a Department of Justice spokesman Monday was not returned. Reaction to Adams' order was mixed. Public Advocate Stephen Ward called the order "useful," and said it does not preclude an investigation in the future. Ward said Verizon executives know they would risk criminal sanctions for swearing to something that is not true, and people have gone to jail for lying to the PUC. Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, said the order could be a good first step, as long as the commission doesn't stop after getting the statement. "I doubt that Verizon will come forward to answer all the issues of the complaint," she said. "Verizon has had multiple opportunities to do that before . . . and they have refrained. We'd like to see an independent investigation."

In explaining his position, Adams quoted from unsigned press releases issued on May 12 and May 16 by Verizon's public relations office in New York. The company said it "was not asked by NSA and did not provide customer phone records from any of these businesses, or any call data from those records." In the later statement, the company said: "Verizon does not and will not provide any government agency unfettered access to our customer records, or provide information to the government under circumstances that would allow a fishing expedition." Adams said those statements, if true, could answer all the questions posed by the complaint filed by James Cowie of Portland and 21 other Verizon customers in Maine. Cowie, a retired PUC staff member, said the statements do not answer all of his questions. While Verizon denies "providing" information to the government, it does not address whether it leased access to switching equipment, which could have allowed the NSA to mine data, Cowie said. Similar allegations have been made by Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, who claims to have stumbled onto a Defense Department monitoring program operating at an AT&T facility in San Francisco. Cowie said he was concerned the PUC would not get enough answers without an invest- igation. "They have not asked Verizon a single question," he said. "I'm very disappointed. They have not done anything yet." In his opening comments, Adams said the PUC was in a difficult position. While state law guarantees the privacy of Maine phone customers, the federal government has a strong interest in protecting secrets. "If it was any other agency, we would have a consumer interest in pursuing an investigation," Adams said. "But this case is different." Adams said the PUC has limited jurisdiction as an economic regulator and is not a court with wide jurisdiction. Sharon Reihus, the only other member of what is supposed to be a three-member board, supported his position.