Was Phone Surveillance Done In Hawaii?


HONOLULU (KHNL) After USA Today last week reported three phone companies provided phone records to the National Security Agency, state Rep. Brian Schatz said Hawaii's phone customers have a right to know if it happened here.

"Hawaii's citizens have a special right to privacy that is different from other states," Schatz said. "We actually have a Hawaii state constitutional right to privacy."

Schatz wants the state Attorney General to determine whether Hawaiian Telcom provided the NSA with phone records of customers.

Hawaiian Telcom says it first started looking into this issue when it was first reported the NSA was compiling a database of phone records.

Hawaiian Telcom said it has not received any requests from the NSA. The company said it has a duty to protect its customers' records while complying with legal requirements.

President Bush has said the government does not listen in on the phone conversations of ordinary Americans, but he has defended domestic surveillance as a tool needed to catch suspected terrorists.

"It's ridiculous to think we can't protect the lives of Americans and protect the privacy of Americans," Schatz said. "What we need is a congress and a president who can protect our privacy as well as our lives from the terrorists."