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Representatives for law enforcement went before Congress recently asking for the ability of law enforcement to have access to a two-year archive of every American's text messages. But is this just another tool in Big Brother's arsenal of control, and a way to make data storage providers rich?

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information about Americans' private text messages for at least two years, according to a proposal that police have submitted to the U.S. Congress.
CNET has learned a constellation of law enforcement groups has asked the U.S. Senate to require that wireless companies retain that information, warning that the lack of a current federal requirement "can hinder law enforcement investigations."
They want an SMS retention requirement to be "considered" during congressional discussions over updating a 1986 privacy law for the cloud computing era -- a move that could complicate debate over the measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes. Nt (0+ / 0-)

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:42:50 AM PST

  •  Links? (1+ / 0-)

    I'm at work and can't take time to watch the video.  Who are the two people shown? Why are they sitting in front of a flag showing a field of hamburgers instead of stars? What police went before Congress? Why are they now asking for 2 years of text messages?

    I can't figure out what's going on from the text of this post...

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:47:58 AM PST

  •  The title of this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is misleading.  The police are not asking to have access to all the text messages sent, they are asking for the phone companies to retain the data for a specified amount of time (2 years) in case they need to subpoena the information.

    Considering how many billions of text messages are sent, this becomes an expensive proposition for the businesses with very little real benefit to anyone.

    A reasonable court would consider this an unreasonable burden on businesses, especially since evidence in a crime can be gathered in many other ways. Since some phone companies already store this data for a few weeks, it might not be unreasonable to request other phone companies do so as well, but for weeks, not years.

    The ability to access data for a few weeks prior to a crime is a reasonable expectation, with appropriate subpoenas and warrants to access it only for the suspect.

    Asking for access to years' worth of data is a fishing expedition.  As Cardinal Richelieu is credited with saying, "If one would give me 6 lines written by the hand of an honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."  Today, he would no doubt amend that to "6 text messages".

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:12:28 AM PST

  •  No text at all? (0+ / 0-)

    At least a synopsis is in order.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:16:12 AM PST


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