It Was a Bright Cold Day in April, and the Clocks Were Striking 13.
Well, look at that. AT&T’s actually figured out a way to turn the bad press over its cozy relationship with the National Security Agency into a product endorsement: offer a surveillance service to owners of small- and medium-size businesses.
Today the NSA-preferred telecom announced AT&T Remote Monitor, a package of IP video cameras and environmental sensors with which to surveil business locations and the employees who work in them. “It’s a unique and affordable option for a small business that wants to keep in touch with various locations,” Steve Loop, executive director for business development at AT&T, told the New York Times. “It saves them a lot of time in their day from having to physically go to all of their locations.”
Bet that’s exactly how the NSA felt when AT&T provided it with access to millions of email messages, Web-browsing sessions and phone calls. Anyway … AT&T’s touting the service as an easy way to monitor employees, customers and operations, which folks like restaurateur Beaux Roby says is a necessity. “It is Big Brother,” Roby said, “but in this day and age, you need these type of tools.”
And AT&T is, of course, ready and willing to provide them–whether it’s busting time-wasting employees, filtering the Internet for widespread copyright infringement or building that massive database of Americans’ phone calls.