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Cell phone giant company Verizon Wireless threatened legal action against an Internet information company that sells cell phone numbers obtained through Internet searches. But the Bellevue, Wash.-based Intelius Inc. responded through a spokeswoman that its has discontinued its cell directory service, which allowed customers to enter a name to get cell phone, unlisted and non-published numbers. Intelius launched the service as a test product a few months ago, but the company said it is “no longer being offered by Intelius due to lack of demand.” Intelius still offers reverse phone searches, which allow customers to obtain any publicly available information about a phone number, including the name of the person on the phone’s account. On Jan. 29, Verizon Wireless issued a public statement demanding that Intelius Inc. abandon its plan to sell cell phone numbers. After being informed of Intelius’ comments about the status of its cell phone directory service, Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Debra Lewis said the company’s earlier statement “still stands.” In the statement, Verizon Wireless said will take “whatever steps might be necessary, including litigation” to protect customers’ cell phone numbers and privacy. “This is a violation of Americans’ privacy,” said Verizon Wireless’ vice president and general counsel Steve Zipperstein. “People expect their cell phone numbers to remain private.” Verizon Wireless issued the statement in reaction to an Intelius Web site announcement of its cell phone directory service. Verizon Wireless’s statement said Intelius plans to use sophisticated Internet searches and data mining techniques to gather cell phone information from personal Web pages and other sources. “Verizon Wireless has long refused to release our customers’ numbers and we call on legislators and policy makers to ensure that what a consumer wants to be private stays that way,” Zipperstein said.

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