Cell Phone Corporations Help Government And Law Enforcement Spy On You [alt-market]
July 15, 2012 Leave a comment
This article was written by Susanne Posel and originally published at Occupy Corporatism
Your wireless company is tracking you with GPS, recording your phone calls and text messages . . . and they are selling the information they collect to other corporations, nations, governments – anyone willing to pay for the data. The US government is one of the wireless corporations’ biggest clients. They are collecting yotabytes of data from multiple sources on all American citizens.
Congressman Ed Markey compiled a report with information from numerous cell phone corporations that showed just how much data law enforcement receives from prominent cell phone carriers.
AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile were requested to hand over personal client data to federal agencies and local law enforcement at an alarming rate.
- 1.3 million = total number of law enforcement requests for “text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.”
- 116 = average number of requests the tiny Cricket fields each day.
- 700 = average number of requests AT&T fields each day.
- 1,500 = average number of requests Sprint fields each day.
- $8.3 million = the total amount in bills that AT&T sent to law enforcement and government agencies to comply with their requests. (That was up from $2.8 million in 2007.)
Sprint, catering to the illegal data mining of government agencies, has also made their job easier by providing an automated web interface specifically designed for law enforcement which allowed them to retrieve more public information than from any other cellular phone carrier.
The Obama administration is attempting to force a rewrite of Congressional law regarding cellular phone privacy rights. In United States v. Jones Americans have protection under the US Constitution against GPS surveillance by local law enforcement and federal agencies under the 4th Amendment.
Because of the information that can be obtained from GPS technology and cellular phone devices, a search warrant was an absolute requirement.
Law enforcement would typically make a request for multiple forms of data from one particular person under the guise of hunting down a bank robber or serial killer; however, these claims were more often than not erroneous and simply a formality to justify the data mining.
Text messages are like gold to the federal and local agencies retrieving information on citizens because it is cheaper for them to obtain from the cellular phone corporations. As the rise in requests continues, the requests for legal wiretapping decreases. Simply put: why jump through legal hoops to get information when the corporations readily give it to law enforcement at the expense of the privacy of their clients?