Law Enforcement Cell Phone Tracking Rampant
Eric Lichtblau in the New York Times writes about a report from cell phone carriers in response to a Congressional Inquiry about law enforcement requests cell phone tracking warrants, subpoena and informal requests.
The report was received by Co-Chairs of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Committe., as a response to a letter written In March, 2012 to AT&T asking for information.
The reports notes a huge upswing in use of cell-phone surveillance.Even some members of Congress were suprised. [More...]
Lichtblau says the reports "document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years, with the companies turning over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests." Also:
The reports also reveal a sometimes uneasy partnership with law enforcement agencies, with the carriers frequently rejecting demands that they considered legally questionable or unjustified. At least one carrier even referred some inappropriate requests to the F.B.I.
Which law enforcement agencies are using them? All of them, all over the nation:
[T]he widened cell surveillance cut across all levels of government — from run-of-the-mill street crimes handled by local police departments to financial crimes and intelligence investigations at the state and federal levels
We're also paying a hefty price for the records turnover:
AT&T, for one, said it collected $8.3 million last year compared with $2.8 million in 2007, and other carriers reported similar increases in billings.
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