Jun 06, 2013

Do people care that all of their cell phone records may have been seized by the NSA?

I ask this because I’m extremely angry about it. Glenn Greenwald broke the story in The Guardian that Verizon was giving the NSA complete records of its business plan customers' activity - who they called, when they called them, where they were, etc. It’s also pretty clear that although only information about Verizon was leaked for the article, the same national security letters have gone out to the other US carriers. Thanks to Big Data, it is probably possible to aggregate this data and get a pretty clear picture of what an individual person was doing on any given day. No warrant, just a “national security letter” demanding everything. Just to be clear, I was against warrantless domestic surveillance when Bush was president, and I’m against just as strongly now that Obama is president. I think that this should be something that matters to people of all political leanings. But to quote Bob Dole (I think), “Where’s the outrage?!”

This page might help if you want to opt out of the NSA data surveillance:


Oh, yes, this makes me angry too. One of my US Senators is a spineless wimp and the other is a nutjob, so I don’t expect much out of them. I expected more from Obama, since he railed against this precise issue before he was elected, but seems to be just as in love with national security letters as Bush was now that he is in office. Senator Bernie Sanders was on Reddit doing an AMA yesterday about this, but there are so few principled representatives like Sanders that I hold little hope that there will be anything done to limit seizure of data. We are operating on laws and jurisprudence that dates back to wired telephone and telegraph days, as well as the “Patriot Act” that was passed out of fear post 9/11. It sucks, but write your congressman and senators, and maybe if they hear from enough concerned citizens they will stop acting like little spoiled children trying to break the government so they can point out the government is broken, and actually give responsible leadership a try. Don’t hold your breath though. 

The outrage is right here with you, me and (I hope) millions of Americans. I too was against the reactive Patriot Act passed during the Bush Administration and the warrantless domestic surveillance that has been approved by the Bush and Obama administrations.

These are secret, broadly defined orders. And you're right, it only makes sense that other U.S. carriers are providing similar information under secret court order.

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