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NSA secret court order to Verizon leaks: your bulk call logs are belong to us!

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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NSA secret court order to Verizon leaks: your bulk call logs are belong to us!
A classified court order has been leaked to The Guardian, showing clearly how the National Security Administration has requested call logs data on millions of phone conversations of Verizon customers.

Now we all know the government, and also private data mining companies, are snooping, but the extent of it seems breathtaking. Government has long argued that this is a public domain information, like looking at unopened envelopes, as the calls aren't associated with names, addresses, content and so on, but there are notions that call locations triangulation is also recorded.

For starters, the unique serial number of the phone you call from is recorded, too, as are time and duration, and these, together with the eventual location tracking, speaks volumes to anyone who's looking. Now these are all deemed for use as bulk call logs, meant for data mining, so that no probable cause is needed, yet the Electronic Frontier Foundation finds the whole matter pretty disturbing, especially in light of the recent AP journalists' snooping scandal. Gary Pruitt, the president of the Associated Press, agrees completely:

These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.

This is a pretty new phenomenon, as now for the first time in history you always carry a rather tell-all device on you - your smartphone - and the issue might get to the Supreme Court one day. Despite that the court order only states to collect bulk logs for three months back, and the NSA doesn't really associate your name and address with it, they certainly could if the need arises, so you'd better get used to the times - even if you are not on Verizon, we'd wager to guess the other carriers have received similar NSA court orders, too.

AT&T, for example, keeps your tower info indefinitely, Verizon for one "rolling" year, and Sprint for 18-24 months, and there are similar procedures for text messages. T-Mobile charges law enforcement $150 for an hour's worth of info what phone number was close to which towers, Verizon rakes in $30-$60 for 15 minutes, whereas AT&T likely charges $75 an hour with two to four hours minimum. 

See the full text of the NSA court order obtained by The Guardian in the slideshow below.

source: TheGuardian

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posted on 06 Jun 2013, 03:07 3

1. msa1988 (Posts: 418; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)

Not surprised at all, but this doesn't bother me. Some things you just have no control over. As long as you aren't doing anything illegal, who cares?

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 04:43 5

4. YaBoiDre10 (Posts: 84; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

That's silly. So what you're pretty much agreeing to is being guilty till proven innocent. "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" - Benjamin Franklin.

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 07:00 5

6. medicci37 (Posts: 1331; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

To say that you have nothing 2 fear because your not doing anything illegal is insane. Do you know nothing of history? This is why history keeps repeating itself. Cause some people refuse to learn from the past

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 23:09 1

12. WM6.5Sucks (Posts: 42; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Heh, you'll realize soon that the word "illegal" is SUBJECTIVE! I.e. make sure you don't search anything "illegal" that interest you on your smartphone, you may not know that you are. ;-D

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 03:41 3

2. FoneAddict (Posts: 259; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)

America = Big Brother Society.

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 04:39

3. YaBoiDre10 (Posts: 84; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

Your calls are "BELONGING" to us. Wow so many grammar mistakes on this website.

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 04:45 4

5. YaBoiDre10 (Posts: 84; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

And what's crazier is when you try to tell the blind smart phones were designed to track the American people you're labeled a tin foiling hat wearing conspiracy nut. SMH

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 08:14 1

7. Cellphonator12 (Posts: 29; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Wow, this is what happens in the best (worst) communist countries! The time when they'll come and get you just because they're in the mood to do so, is getting closer. No worries, as long as the Lakers play tomorrow, it's ok!

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 10:16

8. YaBoiDre10 (Posts: 84; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)


posted on 06 Jun 2013, 12:50

9. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)

Well if your going to do anything illegal just leave your phone home and use a prepaid one.

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 19:48

10. TBomb (Posts: 834; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)

I get the jist of it... but wheres the serious problem? I'm asking to be informed not to start a brawl.

posted on 06 Jun 2013, 21:21

11. lsutigers (Posts: 821; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)

Well the federal government has a huge surveillance system called DCSNet (FBI Digital Collection System Network). It can intercept/wiretap any phone call, landline or wireless on any carrier and/or text message at any given time. It's run by Sprint for the gov't on a dedicated fiber backbone network. Not sure if this is what the article is referring to but it sure sounds like it.

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