In this New York Times article published recently, it was revealed that cell phone carriers received over 1,300,000 demands for customer records by state and federal government “law enforcement” agencies last year. This was the first public accounting of this kind to be published, and it is disturbing to say the least.
Keep in mind that this is not a total number of illegal monitoring of phone conversations, but specific demands that personal information about cell phone customers be turned over to the state gendarmes.
“The information represents the first time data have been collected nationally on the frequency of cell surveillance by law enforcement. The volume of the requests reported by the carriers — which most likely involve several million subscribers — surprised even some officials who have closely followed the growth of cell surveillance.”
Sprint received by far the most requests to turn over private customer information, which amounted to over 1500 requests per day. In addition, they gave the least detail of all other carriers concerning the figures of what they released. AT&T now responds to more than 700 requests per day, and of course many other cell phone companies are releasing this private information about their customers daily.
Privacy rights have been destroyed, and this tyrannical spying will only worsen over time.
Many may remember, but several of the phone companies were sued in 2006 due to their illegally turning over private customer information in Bush’s secret eavesdropping program. This was done without due process, as no court warrants were presented. But the Bush administration protected the phone companies at the time, and those companies “ultimately were given immunity by Congress with the backing of the courts.”
Today, any “law enforcement” official can simply claim that the illegal surveillance is an emergency, and does not have to present any court warrant in order to gain private information, including demanding the use of GPS systems to locate individual citizens. This is a travesty!
A single “request” by “law enforcement” can and does in many cases involve hundreds or even thousands of customers, so the real number of those spied upon is much higher than the 1.3 million reported. It most likely affects tens of millions of people annually, and this is done without their knowledge. The records for this data are incomplete, so there is no way to be sure of just how many millions of people have their privacy compromised each year.
This is just one small piece of the puzzle, so what other forms of illegal citizen surveillance is happening? Are we all being watched every minute of every day? Remember, the biggest threat to this government are the people; especially those who would question authority, or distrust the state apparatus.
Watch your back my friends!