Disclosures Spotlight Tightrope for Phone Firms

Fresh disclosures about the U.S. National Security Agency’s vast data-gathering operation have cast a new spotlight on the difficult balancing act for telecommunications providers as they try to maintain customers’ trust while complying with extensive government requests for information about their activity.

Carriers like Verizon Communications Inc. are the guardians of sensitive data about their customers, including who they call and where they are located. But it is precisely that information that security officials are interested in as they try to hunt down potential or suspected terrorists.

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