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AT&T is celebrating Data Privacy Day, after allegedly handing every single one of us over to the NSA

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Gee, thanks AT&T. Though isn't this a bit like Jeffrey Dahmer celebrating the Year of the Child?

You'll recall that the good Germans over at AT&T allegedly let the National Security Agency set up shop in their own basement, without a court order, simply because a Bush administation official told them it was okay. Nice. What law school did you guys go to? I don't recall reading the "court order required unless some guy says it's okay" rule.

The following notice was reportedly posted on AT&T's intranet. Apparently, their employees needed a good laugh:

We're recognizing Data Privacy Day with new privacy initiatives
January 27, 2009

We announced today our continued commitment to protect consumer online privacy by recognizing Data Privacy Day. In an effort to increase consumer awareness of privacy issues on the Internet, AT&T Services announced the launch of The Privacy and Online Reputation Project, a new pilot program with iKeepSafe in Florida where school counselors will receive handbooks on how to educate students on privacy issues.

AT&T Services will work with iKeepSafe and the Florida School Guidance Counselor Association to provide a handbook to school counselors that gives an overview of what students are posting on the Internet and bring school counselors up to date on existing cyber ethics tools for social networking. The handbook will inform students how to protect themselves and includes a Parent's Primer with information about how to connect with industry for assistance when needed.

In line with Data Privacy Day, AT&T Services will also host the American School Counselors Association's 10 finalists for Counselor of the Year in Washington, D.C. for a discussion on the challenges these school leaders are facing when it comes to protecting students' online safety and privacy.

"Data Privacy Day is an especially important time to take a look at the issues we are facing with online privacy, particularly when it comes to the students in our schools who are on social networks," said Dorothy Attwood, chief privacy officer, AT&T Services. "We look forward to working with school counselors and iKeepSafe to give these important educators the materials they need to protect students' identities online."

"Students, parents, and educators need to understand the importance of privacy and reputation in today's rapidly changing digital world. Guidance counselors especially need to understand that the rules applied to the offline world also apply to the online world when it comes to future academic and employment opportunities," said Marsali Hancock, president of iKeepSafe. "AT&T has played an integral role in helping to provide school counselors and parents with insightful information and necessary tools to keep them up to speed on what kids are doing online. We are thrilled to work with AT&T on this initiative."

Data Privacy Day was created in 2008 to promote privacy awareness and education among teens in the United States and now provides the opportunity to further international collaboration and cooperation on privacy issues. In addition to working with school counselors, and educating its employees and customers, AT&T Services is also supporting the Data Privacy Day Symposium held on Capitol Hill organized by the Information Technology Association of America featuring remarks by Congressman David Price and Member of European Parliament, Alexander Alvaro.

To help consumers have a safer online experience, AT&T operating companies offer a full library of supportive Internet safety and security tips and interactive safety games for kids, all available at Information on privacy can be found on In addition, consumers can go to to review practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help them be on guard against Internet fraud, secure their computer and protect their personal information.

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