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There has been much speculation about the role that AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth may have played in efforts by the National Security Agency to collect customer phone records as part of a secret Bush administration surveillance programme.

On Tuesday, BellSouth issued a denial of the reports.

“As a result of media reports that BellSouth provided massive amounts of customer calling information under a contract with the NSA, the company conducted an internal review to determine the facts. Based on our review to date, we have confirmed no such contract exists and we have not provided bulk customer calling records to the NSA.

BellSouth has built a successful business because of the trust that our customers have placed with us. We will continue to take our obligations to our customers seriously.”

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