Cell Phone Data Privacy & Law Enforcement

For the first time ever, cell phone companies were subjected to make an accounting of law enforcement requests for customer’s data. This accounting was ordered via a congressional inquiry. Reportedly, there were at least 1.3 million demands made by law enforcement for mobile phone users’ caller location, text messages, and other data. [SIDEBAR: It should be also noted that some sources are saying that the 1.3 million figure id a gross understatement.]

According to the New York Times, AT&T receives more than 700 requests a day from law enforcement seeking their customer’s personal communication information. Sprint receives at least 1,500 requests per day.

The cell-phone information requests have caused controversy based on privacy issues. For the most part, customers’ information has been released without subpoenas. There is fear of, and opposition to, the abuse of this type of data gathering. The New York Times states that: “A lawyer for the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] said he was concerned not only about officials gathering phone data on people with no real connection to crimes, but also about the agencies then keeping those records indefinitely in internal databases.”

My take on this issue is that a multitude of conspiracy observers are worried about people being injected with “the chip.” Meanwhile, I say that we are voluntarily carrying the chip around with us on a daily basis; “smart phones” equipped with GPS.

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