July 9, 2012 / by emptywheel


The Tracking Device in Your Pocket

Eric Lichtblau has a story summarizing what Ed Markey discovered after he asked cellphone companies to tell him how many law enforcement requests they respond to every year. And while some of the companies (AT&T and Cricket, at least) claim the numbers are exploding because their subscriber base is too, the numbers are still troubling.

In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.

The cellphone carriers’ reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years, with the companies turning over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests.

The reports are all here–I’ll do a followup once I’ve read them. In the meantime, consider this a working thread if you read the reports.

Copyright © 2012 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2012/07/09/the-tracking-device-in-your-pocket/