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Cell Carriers Responded Last Year To 1.3M Law Enforcement Data Requests 155

Posted by timothy
from the surely-it's-because-the-requests-were-well-formatted dept.
Stirling Newberry writes "The New York Times reports: 'In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a daunting 1.3 million demands for subscriber data last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.' One stinging statistic: AT&T responds to an average of 700 requests per day, and turns down only 18 per week. Sprint gets 500,000 requests per year. While many requests are backed by court orders, most are not. Some include 'dumps' of tower data, which captures everyone near by at a certain time."
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Cell Carriers Responded Last Year To 1.3M Law Enforcement Data Requests

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  • First Post (Score:5, Funny)

    by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:46PM (#40587559)
    Sent from my iPhone
  • by olsmeister (1488789) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:47PM (#40587573)
    230*24*365=2,014,800 [google.com]. TFS says they the industry responded to 1.3M. Can they possibly have that many pending? Where are Verizon's stats?
  • In Soviet ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xtal (49134) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:48PM (#40587579)

    Damn, it's not funny anymore.

    • Re:In Soviet ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ThePeices (635180) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:02AM (#40588121)

      In Soviet ... Damn, it's not funny anymore.

      Anymore?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:58AM (#40588447)

        In Soviet ... Damn, it's not funny anymore.

        Anymore?

        You're young, so we'll forgive it. It really was funny, once.

        There once was a time in which American history books touted the United States of America as a free nation, and among other things, they cited per-capita incarceration rates as a statistic.

        It was around the 80s, which would have been about the time Yakov Smirnov created the comedic character of a (Cold-War era) Russian visitor to the United States.

        Alpha site: DDR. (Failed. A surveillance state implemented in paper reports and in meatspace-based informers, it collapsed under the weight of its own bureaucracy)
        Beta site: PRC. (Great firewall, YHOO selling out dissidients, testing grounds for CSCO, Nagios gear, etc.)
        Production-ready: USA. (Redacted.)

        "Funny once", said Mycroft.

        • by MickLinux (579158)
          Couple of points: 1) Soviet Union communism really was hyper fascism (Max Eastman) so there really is no difference between them and Nazi Germany. 2) as a rule of thumb, the more that freedom is spoken(or even thought, the less free a country actually is. If you have to compare yourself to monsters for support, it may be because you are yourself a monster.
    • Re:In Soviet ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pitchpipe (708843) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:42AM (#40588359)
      It hasn't been funny for a while. The law enforcement class is becoming a separate body from the average citizen class. (I know this through personally speaking with a friend who is a law enforcement officer, he has changed in a way that separates him from the way your average person thinks. It has made him paranoid of your average person.) It is becoming more of an enforcing arm of the aristocracy, bringing in funds for the state and prisoners for the aristocratic owners of the private prisons. If things keep heading down this path I fear they are going to get seriously out of control. I wish the ruling class could see this, and had the will to do something about if before that happens (because god damn, voting doesn't seem to do anything anymore). I don't want to live in those kinds of "interesting times".
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wish the ruling class could see this, and had the will to do something about if before that happens

        Yeah, those stupid rulers. How could they get themselves into this situation??

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rsmith-mac (639075)

        It has made him paranoid of your average person.

        If you're not paranoid of the average person, you either live in a bubble or haven't been paying attention to the rest of the world.

        The average person will gladly lie, cheat, and steal (or worse), and is only stopped by immediate negative consequences for those actions. The average person should not be trusted - they'd take everything you had if they reasonably believed they could get away with it forever.

        • by jhoegl (638955)
          So then if 80% of the world is average...
        • by rsborg (111459)

          It has made him paranoid of your average person.

          If you're not paranoid of the average person, you either live in a bubble or haven't been paying attention to the rest of the world.

          The average person will gladly lie, cheat, and steal (or worse), and is only stopped by immediate negative consequences for those actions. The average person should not be trusted - they'd take everything you had if they reasonably believed they could get away with it forever.

          This applies equally well to Law Enforcement Officers, the Aristocracy and Politicians. Combine with Acton's Law [1], and you get ripe conditions for mass abuse of power, and selling out the public as a whole.

          LEO's need to be held to a higher standard. The problem is ultimately the issue of who funds them - the 1%, by cutting the funding of such organizations, hold them hostage to their whims. When was the last time you heard of a CEO getting a traffic ticket?

          [1] http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/absolu [phrases.org.uk]

          • Re:In Soviet ... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by dgatwood (11270) on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:34AM (#40589867) Journal

            When was the last time you heard of a CEO getting a traffic ticket?

            Someone told me once that S.J. got them almost weekly for driving around without a license plate. Eventually, all the Cupertino cops recognized his car and didn't bother pulling him over anymore, but that took a few years.

        • Re:In Soviet ... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:27AM (#40589843)

          The average person will gladly lie, cheat, and steal (or worse), and is only stopped by immediate negative consequences for those actions. The average person should not be trusted - they'd take everything you had if they reasonably believed they could get away with it forever.

          That is an argument that leads to fascism via technocracy. If it really were true we would never have developed as a civilization because the one thing necessary for civilization to work is trust. Not trust based on some version of hellfire and brimstone but the trust that while men are imperfect, we are fundamentally good-natured. [psych.ubc.ca]

          • by MickLinux (579158)
            If that was what was needed-- trust that people are generally good, then 1) society would be a perfect place for con artists, and 2) society would never have happened. After all, if you look at our ancient documents[bible, yes, but also Anabasis, Epic of Gilgamesh, and others] you will not see evidence that people thought that others were generally good natured. On the other hand, you will see that nations were built by those who were good natured despite others' evil[though they seldom recieve historical
        • Re:In Soviet ... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by strikethree (811449) on Monday July 09, 2012 @11:27AM (#40592225) Journal

          The average person will gladly lie, cheat, and steal (or worse), and is only stopped by immediate negative consequences for those actions. The average person should not be trusted - they'd take everything you had if they reasonably believed they could get away with it forever.

          Hm. I saw your post and knew immediately something was wrong but it took a bit of reflection to really nail it.

          The average person would do what you claim to "outsiders" but the numbers change dramatically when talking about "insiders". Insiders are friends, family, other people in a group that they belong to (such as a city, state, or country). An outsider is someone who is specifically excluded from at least one group. Your perceptions demonstrate how many groups you are included and excluded in/from.

          Outside of group mechanics and psychology, I still suspect your numbers are off. I suspect less than 10% of the population would intentionally cause serious harm to you without provocation even if they thought they could get away with it. For more minor infractions (saw you drop a $20 and do not return it) the number may indeed be high enough to say things like, "the average person".

          Ultimately, I do not think your post should be modded down. The perception you have appears to be growing and people need to be aware of it and address it so it does not become a divisive force. Ultimately friendliness is the only thing that will keep this world a pleasant place to live.

        • The average person will gladly lie, cheat, and steal (or worse), and is only stopped by immediate negative consequences for those actions. The average person should not be trusted - they'd take everything you had if they reasonably believed they could get away with it forever.

          No, this is true more of the average sociopath. Unfortunately in a society where as many as 3% of people could be classes as sociopathic, it's hard to trust the remainder who aren't. You come into contact with so many people these days that it's hard to weed out the sociopaths fast enough and as soon as you do figure it out they move on to another victim. This breeds an atmosphere of distrust and cynicism.

      • by Ramley (1168049)

        I fear they are going to get seriously out of control.

        We're waaaay past "seriously out of control" already. Perhaps a segment of the population is beginning to wake up to it, but it could be far too late to find a way to take action to stop the madness.

      • Re:In Soviet ... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:44AM (#40588861) Homepage

        It hasn't been funny for a while. The law enforcement class is becoming a separate body from the average citizen class. (I know this through personally speaking with a friend who is a law enforcement officer, he has changed in a way that separates him from the way your average person thinks

        Most geeks think differently than your average person. So do most accountants. So do most veterans. (Though how they think differently varies wildly depending on the branch they served in and/or their specific specialty.) So do most engineers. Etc... etc... I suspect you suffer from confirmation bias.

        • While you have a point, I have spoken to the police a few times recently and there is indeed a sense of distance that is not explainable through what you describe. No, my interactions with them were not adversarial. LOL. I have a perfectly clean police record. :)

      • by mbruns (6147)

        Unfortunately, it's getting worse and worse.

        Take a look at these 2 police recruitment videos: http://boingboing.net/2012/07/07/police-recruitment-videos-from.html [boingboing.net] Which police force do you want to vote (and pay) for?

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Law enforcement is para-military. The problem is that they are often filled with ex-military and such to where it's more military, without the para. That results in a definite us-vs-them mentality. You are either a cop or a robber. The only "innocent" people are criminals who haven't been caught yet.

        It helps marginally with survivability because if you treat everyone as a felon, then the few times you run across a real one, that might save your life. Abuse 99% of the time to get a return 1% of the tim
  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:50PM (#40587601) Homepage Journal
    While many requests are backed by court orders, most are not.

    Many: Adjective: A large number of

    I think your perspective is skewed
    • by ZosX (517789)

      While some requests are backed by court orders, most are not.

      While some requests are backed by court orders, many are not.

      Both are correct. fixed that for you.

    • by Attack DAWWG (997171) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:14PM (#40587763)

      Most means more than 50%.

      You could have 660,000 requests of the 1.3 million not backed by court orders, and that would be just over 50%, so it would be "most."

      The rest, 640,000 or so, would still certainly qualify as "many." Even if there were only 100,000 requests backed by court orders, that would still be "many." It may be way way too few, but that's beside the point.

      I don't know what the real numbers are in this case, but technically, you are incorrect.

      • Many is going to mean "a whole bunch of". It is subjective, however, common use means "a significant amount". Contrasting that with "more than 50%" leads to no little comparative value whatsoever. The issue is that it is an obvious sensationalism.
      • by EnempE (709151)
        Lets just put it down to a rounding error shall we?

        Most means more than 50%.
        Allow me to run with that fact for a second
        If it was not exactly 1.3 million requests, say 1.32 million requests and half of the actual figure was converted to a percentage against the concatenated figure of 1.3 million then you could end up with 50.76% both backed and unbacked by court orders. Rounding that to the nearest significant figure would show that 51% were backed and unbacked, which in both cases is a majority. Ba
      • Does it really matter other then to crown the most anal retentive person, 600,000 or 700,000 out of 1,300,000 does not make that much difference they both are a staggeringly high number of requests not backed by a court order.
        • Did you even read the post you are replying to?

          I was making the point that it is appropriate to use the word "many" whether it's 100,000 requests, 640,000, or whatever.

          I also said, "It may be way way too few, but that's beside the point." You seemed to ignore that entirely in your last sentence. I wasn't arguing what should or should not be the case, but how to use the word "many."

          Or maybe you were replying to another post--the sibling post above yours, for example? If that's true, then I apologize.

  • More lousy editing. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:52PM (#40587607)

    230 per hour is 2 million requests a year. Obviously its wrong, if all the carriers handle 1.3 million per year. Per the article, it is 230 "Emergency" requests per day, with 720 Lawful (Subpoena, court order, etc).

    Not to mention its a partial article, "This article has been truncated pending paywall integration."

    Hate to say it, /. quality is seriously starting to flounder.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Yes, my fingers typed hour when my brain meant day. My error.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:31PM (#40587877)

      Slashdot commenters have been complaining about falling quality for over a decade. Has it occurred to you that maybe Slashdot has never actually been very good?

      • That's what I always figured. But you never hear anyone say that /. is getting better. So based on that, my scientific conclusion is that /. quality is about the same as it has always been, or is slightly worse. Discuss.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Clearly the 230 per hour refers to the busiest hours of the day. And the requests probably don't come through that fast after midnight, presumably because there are fewer enforcement officers at their desks at that time.

    • by BronsCon (927697)

      Hate to say it, /. quality is seriously starting to flounder.

      Starting?

    • So that's 5530 per day, 720 (13%) of which are lawful. So 87% of the requests are illegal, and AT&T turns down 18 (0.04%) of the total # of requests per week. Those are some stark numbers.
      • by dgatwood (11270)

        I think it is worth pointing out at this point that the blanket protection from prosecution that the government gave out for illegal wiretaps was not a license to continue violating privacy laws, and AFAIK did not extend to future crimes committed by these carriers. So the only real question that remains is which state's Attorney General is feeling litigious today?

  • the only way to not be tracked, sniffed, snooped and all around spied on is to shut off all the technology and live old school. how long till they pass a law requiring you to buy a smart phone (for your own good of course)? I support "socialized medicine" but that psycho obamacare shit is not the way to do it because now we can all be forced to buy anything they want including gear to spy on ourselves.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:12PM (#40587751)

      Hopefully Obamacare will provide adequate quantities of haloperidol for you.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:37AM (#40588319) Journal
        It's a surprisingly common problem, unfortunately. People with the nucleus of an actual point 'Yo, the onrushing surveillance state is bad, m'kay', then encounter some sort of strange cognitive hiccup that causes them to latch onto the nearest potentially-hostile object like a belligerent drunk at closing time, rather than something much more plausible that doesn't make them sound like a drooling nutcase.

        Had the grandparent poster simply ranted about the CALEA(which did include some direct state funding of infrastructure 'upgrades' to support wiretapping, and obviously serves to bundle buying telecommunications services with paying for wiretapping infrastructure) and has been in play since 1994 he would have been on totally solid ground.

        If he wanted something a little more sweeping, he could have discussed the 1970's and earlier situation(which, while technologically crude, was so bad that FISA, in 1978, counted as 'reform'...), then gone on to FISA, ECHELON should probably show up somewhere, possibly given the whole 'Clipper' situation a nod, then done CALEA, and then finished with an overview of how post-2001 has been an energetic sprint downhill, with substantial(but largely classified) evidence of extralegal surveillance, despite generous boundaries for what constitutes 'legal', the 2008 retroactive immunity bill, and so forth.

        It Isn't. That. Bloody. Difficult. While parts are formally classified, or just-not-talked-about in public, large swaths of the US surveillance apparatus were simply built right in the open, with publicly available laws, phone-tapping technology advertised on the vendors' web sites, and NSA datacenters too large to hide from orbital observation. And yet, no matter how easy we make it, people just will not be satisfied without some sort of shadowy conspiracy that makes them sound totally nuts...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But only on the surface. You think there aren't lots of crimes everyday, many of which might have some evidence from one or more cellphones? 230 an hour? Across a country?

    Statistics, they seem big if you present them that way, but another makes to look different.

  • Strange math (Score:4, Informative)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:56PM (#40587635)

    "...they responded to a daunting 1.3 million demands for subscriber data...' One stinging statistic: AT&T gets 230 requests for data per hour, and turns down only 18 per week. "

    So if AT&T alone gets over 2 million, where the heck does the 1.3 million come from?

    ((24 * 365) * 230) - (18 * 52) = 2 013 864

    • Re:Strange math (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:19PM (#40587807) Homepage

      ...they responded to a daunting 1.3 million demands for subscriber data...' One stinging statistic: AT&T gets 230 requests for data per hour, and turns down only 18 per week.

      The summary is mistaken. From the article:

      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.

  • Percentages -- (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bookwyrm (3535) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:58PM (#40587653)

    Not to sound dismissive of the situation, but I have to be kind of curious -- does anyone have the statistics/numbers for how the increasing number of requests to carriers for subscriber data aligns with the increasing number of people using cellular devices (and that some people now have multiple cellular devices)? It would be useful to to understand if the rate of increase of requests is far in excess of the rate of increase in subscriber growth (and perhaps decrease in land-line usage), mimics it, or is smaller than it. (I am assuming it is exceeding the subscriber growth rate considerably, but it would be nice to have the breakdown.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      This is Slashdot - we only deal in facts when they're not likely to disturb a Two Minute Hate.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now that we have a new perpetual war, can we just drop the last one, the drug war, to keep the populace more pacified and distracted from the increasingly invasive surveillance and searches and confiscations. We don't need that old tired war anymore. It served its purpose by providing all the legal hooks as stated and of course the funding and pretense to militarize the civilian police force and make all domestic citizens suspects of SOMETHING.

    Crashing the currency broke the backs of those in a position t

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:09PM (#40587731)

    Sprint gets 500,000 requests per year.

    Are each of those requests for data from one user each? Or is it something like one request per SMS message? Could they be trying to collect whole conversations one request at a time?

    I'm just trying to figure out if these 500k requests mean 500k individuals being investigated or of it's more like 1,000 people across the whole country.

    • by KookyMan (850095)

      I'm assuming the request can be as specific as one call/SMS to basically a data dump of a cell tower (Basically everything about every phone within range of a certain tower.)

      So, optimistically we're talking between 1.3 Million (low end) and 1.3 Billion (high end [assuming 1,000 devices within range of a given tower or group of towers for triangulation]) data points of information. Everything from who someone was talking to, when, to text message conversations, to where was this customer and who may have be

  • I'm tired so I hope I haven't gotten these numbers mixed up:

    So there are roughly three hundred million people in the USA and 1.3 million requests? Since they mention emergencies I presume they are including 911 calls. There are probably some requests for the same people but they don't say. But with what they give, this means one out of every 230 has either called 911 this last year, or has been investigated.

    Really?

  • You never know.. There might be a terrorist out there.... cue [youtube.com]

  • I have to ask, with or without fight? Because, as we know, it is too expensive for them to keep log for all the users..... LOL, Who am i kidding?
  • Many and Most (Score:5, Informative)

    by BondGamer (724662) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:22PM (#40587827) Journal
    How can many have court orders but most do not? Shouldn't it be some and most? I went to read the article to find the answer and was not shocked to find out the summery is misleading. Of the 700 requests per day, 230 were without court order or about 33%. A lot less than "most".
  • More Prisons! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fullback (968784) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:26PM (#40587845)

    Aren't 25% of all the prisoners in the world already in American prisons? The police are just trying to stimulate the economy by improving the top line in the prison and criminal court industry.

    Hey, it's not personal; it's business. Wars, invasions, thousands of otherwise unemployable feeling you up at airports (and bus and train stations soon!), militarized police forces, small town sheriffs with tanks and full battle gear and tens of thousands of people listening to all of your conversations and reading your email.

    Land of the free, my ass. Land of the pansies who won't stand up to anyone.

    • http://www.pdfernhout.net/beyond-a-jobless-recovery-knol.html [pdfernhout.net]
      "Still, even with no net new jobs created during the 2000-2009 decade, the US GDP increased from about US$10 trillion a year in 2000 to about US$14 trillion a year in 2009 (according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis). This increase in GDP came from several sources. Much came from increased productivity (more produced per worker through automation) and from improved design (with new designs being easier to make or use). Some came through techn

  • Frog's Almost Done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:38PM (#40587935)
    You know how to boil a frog..you put him in cold water an slowly raise the temperature until he's boiled.. well.. if they didnt want us to know this, we wouldnt. Its just another step in boiling the frog, and I gotta tell ya.. Im seein bubbles down here..
    • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:46PM (#40587991) Journal

      I don't know if that works for oppression, but I remember reading somewhere that if you actually did the experiment, the frog would jump out if it is actually possible to do (i.e. the pot is small enough, water level, etc)

      What's the public policy analogue of jumping out of the pot, though...

      • What's the public policy analogue of jumping out of the pot, though...

        That is a good question..
      • by green1 (322787)

        What's the public policy analogue of jumping out of the pot, though...

        Emigration.
        Problem is that it's getting to the point that it could possibly take more technology than we have currently available to emigrate to a place that is actually "outside of the pot" (ie. a spacecraft capable of taking us somewhere habitable)
        Back to the part about "if it is actually possible to do"

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:42AM (#40588363) Journal
        Clearly you aren't doing it correctly...

        If the frog jumps out of the pot, you taze its amphibian ass, charge it with resisting arrest, zip-tie its limbs and dump it back in the pot.

        And if the frog turns out to have a decent lawyer, you lose the tape and plant a dimebag from the evidence locker on it.
      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog#Scientific_background [wikipedia.org]

        Other experiments showed that frogs did not attempt to escape gradually heated water. An 1872 experiment by Heinzmann demonstrated that a normal frog would not attempt to escape if the water was heated slowly enough,[17] which was corroborated in 1875 by Fratscher.[18]

        Goltz raised the temperature of the water from 17.5Â C to 56Â C in about ten minutes, or 3.8Â C per minute, in his experiment which prompted normal frogs to attempt

    • You know how to boil a frog..you put him in cold water an slowly raise the temperature until he's boiled

      Not actually true. [snopes.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We need an official Tor discussion forum.

    I didn't see this issue mentioned in Roger's *latest* notes post, so for now, mature adults should visit and post at one or both of these unofficial tor discussion forums, these tinyurl's will take you to:

    ** HackBB:
    http://www.tinyurl.com/hackbbonion [tinyurl.com]

    ** Onion Forum 2.0
    http://www.tinyurl.com/onionforum2 [tinyurl.com]

    Each tinyurl link will take you to a hidden service discussion forum. Tor is required to visit these links, even though they appear to be on the open web, they will lead

  • Someone steals my identity (from cards in a wallet robbed from my house) - signs up a bunch of cell phones in my name, then steps out on the bill. The police get me to fill out a form, and I spend hours dealing with 3 different cell companies, and debt collection agency.

    Do you think the police checked any cell tower data to find the perpetrator?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:59PM (#40588097)

    From someone who just went through TSA hell today, this country is done. Not because the TSA stomped all over me after I did something big; rather, because the TSA displayed an amazing level of fascist arrogance at a slight thing. I chuckled when the agent went through my credit cards, individually, in my wallet. He said, "Is something funny?" (in that cop-talk, fascist fashion). I just turned, and went to collect my stuff.

    I'm prepared to turn my back on my country, because this is not what I signed up for. I do want the police around - to enforce laws that don't violate the constitution. I don't want them to display a complete fascist power-corruption. I'm scared. I'm truly scared, that this is pre-war Germany, all over again.

    This cell carrier thing just reflects the overall sentiment in this country to just go along with illegal government activities. Maybe they're scared too. I certainly didn't stand up to the TSA agent. Should I have? I don't know. But I don't like where this is heading. I'm starting to think that this will lead to a violent revolution Certainly that would be better than slipping into a fascist country, though I think we're already there.

    Laws are so broad now that EVERYONE is a criminal. Or, certainly exposed to being prosecuted and convicted, and thrown into jail for decades, though they've done nothing wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I once was hand carrying a laptop with classified information on units going to Iraq and a lot of logistical information relating to the matter. This happens all the time, because you can't exactly FedEx classified equipment. "Hey, you're going to XYZ? Here, take this and give it to So and So." I was traveling on government orders, at government expense, using government ID, carrying a laptop with bright stickers on them detailing the level of classification (hidden in a bag). So naturally I was flagged for

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:05AM (#40588137) Journal

    The PATRIOT act doesn't trump the fourth and fifth amendments. Any one of these "requests" that isn't an actual warrant issued by a neutral magistrate is a crime, and every government obedience enforcement operative (I will not call them "law enforcement" officers when they're breaking the law), has participated in depriving people of their civil rights under color of authority, which is a federal crime.

    Anyone who votes for either Ruling Party candidate this time around, keep this in mind.

    -jcr

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Calm down, dear. Asking isn't a crime, and neither is telling, absent some law to prevent it.
    • by wiredog (43288)

      So when you call 911, and they can't find your address, they shouldn't ask the phone company where you called from?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The question may sound a bit naive, but what is a court order other than a form of routine rubberstamping by some low paid pot-bellied DMV style clerk?

    • The question may sound a bit naive, but what is a court order other than a form of routine rubberstamping by some low paid pot-bellied DMV style clerk?

      Not exactly [wikipedia.org]

      Very good. You got me to do your googling for you -- lazy bastard!

  • Large number look great and add punch to articles. The issue is when one can break them down to a realistic level.
    1.3 million requests sounds like a big number but so does 327,577,529 which is the number of cellular phones used in the US. That means that 0.4% Of the cellular phones in the US were inquired about through cellular carriers. Considering the number of police investigations in the US I would call that a very small number.
    It also depends on how the requests come through. Here are some instances wh

  • Ok, but what I really want to know is what about my phone? I bet a lot of unreasonable surveillance would stop if cell phone companies sent people a notice a few months after the government requested information.

    Then again there are 350-million people in the US, if there are that many phones maybe these are all reasonable requests.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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