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Australia Cellphones Communications Electronic Frontier Foundation Privacy Your Rights Online

Australian Police Use Telcos For Cell "Tower Dump" of All Connected Users' Data 60

AHuxley (892839) writes The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Australian federal and state police are using a no warrant cell phone tower metadata access technique called a "tower dump". A "tower dump" provides the identity, activity and location of all cell phones that connect a cellphone tower(s) over time (an hour or two). The metadata from thousands of phones and numbers connected are then sorted. Australian law-enforcement agencies made 330,000 requests for metadata in 2012-13. AHuxley links to some U.S. views on the same kind of massive data grab: The Wall Street Journal says they caputure innocent users' data; the Chicago Police Department is being sued for information on its purchases of equipment associated with this kind of slurping; and the EFF asks whether warrant protection for users' data will be extended by voice-comm companies as it has been for ISPs. I wonder what people would think of an occasional "postal zone dump" employing the same kind of dragnet but for communications on paper.
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Australian Police Use Telcos For Cell "Tower Dump" of All Connected Users' Data

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:12AM (#47406529)

    Only an idiot would think the distance makes the news irrelevant. Oh wait, did I call you an idiot. Yes, I did. I guess my threshold for bullshit is getting shorter these days.

    If you think having a supranational "Five Eyes" is healthy for your society, you are not just a mere idiot (look for the etymology of the word), you are fucking retarded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:18AM (#47406549)

    Because I should be able to choose to carry a powered radio around that the government is not allowed to randomly spy on for whatever today's made up scary threat is. It's called freedom, and we need a lot more restrictions on law enforcement and a lot fewer on actual regular people.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"