Edward Markey, a Representative from Massachusetts, has actually done some good for all of us by putting together a report on how aggressively law enforcement is spying on us via our cell phones. It’s the Wild, Wild West it seems when it comes to privacy these days as cell phone carriers admit they responded to 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year. Remember back in 2006 when cell phone companies were sued for spying without warrants? They were given immunity back then. This is exactly what we get in return. Sprint now has 221 employees dedicated to processing and responding to government requests for its data, while AT&T has more than 100. It’s nice living in the land of the free!
In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.
AT&T alone now responds to an average of more than 700 requests a day, with about 230 of them regarded as emergencies that do not require the normal court orders and subpoena. That is roughly triple the number it fielded in 2007, the company said. Law enforcement requests of all kinds have been rising among the other carriers as well, with annual increases of between 12 percent and 16 percent in the last five years. Sprint, which did not break down its figures in as much detail as other carriers, led all companies last year in reporting what amounted to at least 1,500 data requests on average a day.
Read the full article here.