Sprint Promised an Open and Transparent Conversation About Merger Issues, But Has Since Gone Silent While Experts Continue to Raise Alarm

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2018
Press Contact: Carli Kientzle at carli@npstrategygroup

 

One Week Ago, Sprint Promised an Open and Transparent Conversation About Merger Issues, But Has Since Gone Silent While Experts Continue to Raise Alarm

Trita Parsi Implores Americans to Consider the Real Concerns of Sprint-TMobile Merger

Washington, D.C. – Sprint Spokesperson David Tovar has proven that Sprint and T-Mobile are all talk when it comes to reassuring the American people that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger won't harm American national security. After initiating a Twitter exchange with Protect America’s Wireless (PAW), Tovar went silent when questions got tough.

  • Last Tuesday, PAW tweeted in refute of Sprint’s unsubstantiated claims that the merger would “enhance security,” a false claim that isn't backed by any evidence or data. Tovar responded calling for “open and transparent” discussion regarding the real and serious national security concerns the merger poses. PAW asked for Sprint to disclose if Huawei or ZTE equipment is used in their networks, and for confirmation that no Saudi or other foreign interests will be represented on the New T-Mobile board. Suddenly, Tovar wasn’t so interested in conversation. He said he refused to “debate” PAW, and ended the conversation he initiated. Unfortunately, no degree of clarity has been gained from this exchange.

In the absence of answers, members of Protect America’s Wireless (PAW) have continued to raise the alarm. In an op-ed for The American Conservative, Trita Parsi detailed concerns of Saudi involvement in tech, and within the Sprint-T-Mobile merger. He implores readers to seriously consider the national security issues raised by the merger, and ultimately hit Saudi Arabia where it hurts-- the pocketbook-- by dismantling the lockstep relationship currently held between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

In a report by the Associated Press, Ali Al-Ahmed, PAW member, journalist, and T-Mobile customer, revealed that he has been the subject of attempted hacking and surveillance purpotrated by the Saudi’s. Al-Ahmed is a known critic of Saudi Arabia, a country known for their cyber espionage and premeditated assassinations of “enemies”. The article raises serious concern in regards to Saudi access to our networks and phones; as would be the case if the Sprint-TMobile merger is allowed to proceed.

To top it off, late last week in a piece for The Vancouver Star, Canadian experts called for Huawei to be ousted from their developing 5G networks. The call comes on the heels of an Australian report which states, “Huawei officials were pressured at some point in the past two years to provide password and network details to infiltrate a foreign system”. Sprint has used Huawei equipment in its networks, and will not say if the infrastructure has been removed, despite orders to do so five years ago. Softbank, majority owner of Sprint, still retains close ties to Huawei, and is working with the tech giant to develop 5G technology.  

If one thing was proved this week, it’s that without substantial, transparent answers, the Sprint-TMobile merger cannot be allowed to proceed.

  • Read the full Twitter exchange here.
  • Read Trita Parsi’s op-ed here.
  • Read the New York Times piece on Saudi assassinations here.
  • Read the AP report on Ali Al-Ahmed here.
  • Read the Vancouver Star piece here.
  • Learn more about Protect America’s Wireless here.

###