How worried are you over police cell phone surveillance practices?
SilverHawk 2 years ago
There was an article in Ars Technica today that laid out some of the practices of police departments across the country vis a vis mobile phones. The ACLU used open records laws to find out how police were conducting surveillance on cell phone users, and to put it mildly, I am not happy. Among things that were being done, very often without a warrant and with the assistance of network providers who have established price tables for their "services": obtaining a persons photos and video, voicemail records, and SMS content. I know many people think along the lines of, "Oh, well those are people who have done something wrong. It doesn't impact me." Well, wrong, there are very limited protections in place to prevent it from being you, whether you've done anything or not.
And then there are "tower dumps" available from your friendly provider AT&T/Sprint/Alltel/Verizon/T-Mobile for prices ranging from $50 to $500. If you were in range of a tower and made a call, and police bought a "tower dump" of it, congratulations, your call is now part of police records.
This may sound a little tin foil hat, and you might think it would happen somewhere else, but not in your town. Well, the police chief of my city just resigned this week when it was revealed that the FBI is investigating the department for recording citizens' cell phone calls, without warrants or judicial oversight. If it can happen here it can happen anywhere.
Oops, I almost forgot the link to the article. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/04/documents-show-cops-maki...
So what do others think. Am I being paranoid and upset over nothing, or are we entering a future where almost everything we say, write and photograph should just be expected to be subject to police review?
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