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Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans' text messages

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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:02 PM
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Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans' text messages


State and local law enforcement groups want wireless providers to store detailed information about your SMS messages for at least two years -- in case they're needed for future criminal investigations.


Lobbyist for law enforcement agencies were in full effect as they pressed our national representatives to force private companies handling SMS messages (text messages) to save and log for two years. This all under the guise that not saving them can "hinder law enforcement investigations".

As congress begins to tackle the next four years of challenges, the lobbyist for these various groups of law enforcement want a revised and updated Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 to deal with the age of "cloud computing" and pesky American's utilizing a form of communication not covered by any modern legislation. The ECPA is designed to "prohibit unlawful access and certain disclosures of communication contents", a basic tenet of our natural Right to privacy and our 4th Amendment.

From the article, the ACLU chimes in and states, "We would oppose any mandatory data retention mandate as part of ECPA reform," says Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is reported to have obtained an internal Justice Department report (Here, showing data retention policies of all the major carriers.

The question is then, why does law enforcement want to force private companies to retain text messages? They say it is because crimes are being coordinated and conducted via them and that having those logs would help combat those crimes. To me, it is another database kept against the American people as they exercise their free-speech, without fear of an overbearing Government snooping in from time to time to ensure we are not conducting illegal activities. I don't say it often, but the ACLU has this one right and hopefully Congress has the stones to beat back the lobbyist on this one.
edit on 3-12-2012 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:20 PM
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No they don't need access to text messages imagine the police going to a kids parents and arrest them for letting the kids sext.

Very few criminals text the smart ones use burner phones so imo no they don't.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:26 PM
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This is a blatant assault on privacy and free speech...IMHO.

Not surprising...the Police/Nanny state just keep trying to grow...hopefully congress will stunt this growth soon.











posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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I used to work for an ISP and one of the biggest issues with asking service providers to store data that far back, beyond obvious privacy concerns, is that there are costs involved in doing so .. even as storage costs drop, there's resources involved in archiving and backing up that data.. resources that could be better used to provide quality service... this is one of the big reasons service providers hate this.. they have to pay for it...

When I was working for the ISP we only kept basic logs and no more than a month's worth .. mail logs were deleted when a month rolled around and apache logs were processed through statistics software and then also removed..

We wouldn't have kept a month's worth but those raw logs are useful for troubleshooting and we did have to go back sometimes.

At my current job, we have a web server but it only hosts a couple dozen sites so I only rotate out apache logs when it comes to mind.. it's less resource heavy with the smaller volume.. my old company had clusters of servers and hosted thousands of sites..
edit on 12/3/2012 by miniatus because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:32 PM
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Well, I had a feeling that things were going to be found out this year, but it seems we've seen this news coming out at break-neck speeds.

Recently with people bringing to light some important topics on NSA and data mining, cops asking to have access to text messages, and google trying to put up a front about saying they are against the government forcibly making them give up data, even though they produce data for the government when asked around 90% of the time if not more.

Pretty soon everybody who has spent years shouting from their soap boxes about this type of issue will be vindicated.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 07:34 PM
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Each person has exactly enough capacity to log their life experience, no more.

Technology cannot replicate this.

Everyone wants to see what everyone else is doing, versus doing their own thing.

Police can have me text, I don't care. What is the benefit though? Cost benefit analysis is a simple exercise.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 09:54 PM
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I think this is a "shill" article.

Everything that we have found out about Project Stellar Wind from whstleblowers tells us that this data is already being stored for at least a decade by e NSA.

This article makes it seem like our current texts are not being stored, or, of they are, it is only for a brief period of time. Then when the courts side with the people, everyone in America can feel really good about themselves because they really have privacy.

We don't have privacy when it comes to our transmitted data anymore. We haven't for awhile.

The part that most citizens will not note about this article is that the police involved want the cell phone companies to be the ones storing the data.

It doesn't say anything about the federal government storing it.

So when a judge agrees that cell phone companies shouldn't be responsible for this, for whatever reason, all the good, normal, non-inquisitive, non-ATS-reading citizens can sleep safely at night.

We should know better!
Peace,



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by TheOtter
I think this is a "shill" article.

Everything that we have found out about Project Stellar Wind from whstleblowers tells us that this data is already being stored for at least a decade by e NSA.


The larger difference here is this isn't the NSA requesting to save information. This is law enforcement groups lobbying Congress to force, via ECPA, cellphone carriers to keep and save that information. The average sheriff and its department doesn't have access to any supposed intercepted and kept data held by the NSA.

This type of action is closer to home because an increasing data hunger LEO, or a bored detective can just dig through text-messages with little clamor from an increasing lax court and/or one of those beautiful "terrorism/Patriot Act" warrants.


We don't have privacy when it comes to our transmitted data anymore. We haven't for awhile.


Good point but that isn't what this article is about, nor was I even trying to coat that we have absolute privacy in our transmitted data.


The part that most citizens will not note about this article is that the police involved want the cell phone companies to be the ones storing the data.

It doesn't say anything about the federal government storing it.


Roger, see above.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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Gawd who cares..
If you got nothing to hide then why worry. Geez it is a very simple concept.

Let them read my texts...let them read my emails...hell let them sniff my underwear. I have nothing to hide or fear from idiots poking around my crap.

Obviously a lot of you do...



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:47 PM
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reply to post by Jeremiah65
 

just a comment on your second picture.
lady justice hasn't looked that good in a long time.
edit on 4-12-2012 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by kerazeesicko
Gawd who cares..
If you got nothing to hide then why worry. Geez it is a very simple concept.

Let them read my texts...let them read my emails...hell let them sniff my underwear. I have nothing to hide or fear from idiots poking around my crap.

Obviously a lot of you do...


Then why recognize or even enumerate and protect Rights? Private companies have determined it isn't cost effective to save the mammoth amount of SMS messages they process; but that doesn't bother law enforcement. They want another database. It isn't about doing things right/wrong and that argument is silly on its head.

Should the police be able to hover over your home, peering in your backyard? Or maybe weekly door-to-door visits; you know, crimes happen in homes and if you aren't doing anything wrong.......

So it isn't about what is in that communique, I have nothing to hide if some government bureaucrat (which I am sure one has done having been in the military and Federal workforce) goes dumpster diving through my communications; I do however require them to have a warrant to do so.

While a dying form of communications, why didn't the police ever require the post office to ever copy all the mail being sent through the system? I mean, people committed crime via the USPS, so the logic should follow.

You may not enjoy your Rights and that is fine with me, but I will retain my privacy and I hope that cellphone companies do to. The Government has no need for that information unless they have a valid and legal need for it.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by ownbestenemy
The larger difference here is this isn't the NSA requesting to save information. This is law enforcement groups lobbying Congress to force, via ECPA, cellphone carriers to keep and save that information. The average sheriff and its department doesn't have access to any supposed intercepted and kept data held by the NSA..


First I want to make sure it is clear that I am NOT calling you a shill. I am iterating that the text of the article is disinformation. You and I think this article presents a dilemma which is a Really Big Deal, but for different reasons.

It is true that the average law enforcement officer on a local or state level will not have that information on hand. My point was more that the chiefs' association and ACLU are making it sound like this is a big issue. Then our government can swoop in and deny their request, thereby confirming in every mindless American's head that they are really, truly protected by such government and have retained their right to privacy.

Regardless of whether or ot the messages are stored, a police officer in the course of his investigation will still require a grand jury summons ordering the company to produce such data, if it exists, or face contempt of court charges. This is similar to the idea that an officer needs a warrant to get the data.

The true problem is that law enforcement uses a different burden of proof than the state does securing a conviction. An officer requesting the grand jury summons must only meet the "reasonable articulable suspicion" or "reasoable cause" level of proof. The state, generally, must prove bryond a reasonable doubt.

Officers do not arrest based on how a case will fare in court.

Should probable cause diminish in the course of the investigation, an arrest may not lawfully occur. Reasonable articulable suspicion, however, is a much more nebulous definition and it will only depend on the police officer's ability to "sell" his request to a grand jury and his integrity.

Basically, an officer could, in theory, falsify info Oman affidavit and here would be the text messages. In that sense, I understand the article's point.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:14 PM
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More big brother tactics from the people most likely to abuse it.Also wasn't AT&T caught divulging private customer info to law enforcement a couple of years ago?No one has the right to monitor my personnel communications.WTF is this NAZI Germany or Stalinist Russia model in America?



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by TheOtter
 


Correct and I didn't think you were stating I, as the OP, was a shill. I also can see your point on it too because the NSA is most likely (I say most likely because I haven't researched that yet) capturing WIFI data, including SMS messages.

One thing to note is what you pointed out, that this isn't a move to remove 4th Amendment protections in regards to SMS messages. Rather it is a move to push Congress to regulate them and force companies to save that data. This begs additional inquiry and questions. If companies now, find it cost prohibitive (I believe the article reported that some 1.2 trillion messages are sent annually worldwide; I will need to verify that) to store that data for extended periods of time. Where will that data be regulated to be stored? At the company? In a national database?

For that, I feel this information is worthy of discussion and dissemination.



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 05:36 AM
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Originally posted by ownbestenemy
For that, I feel this information is worthy of discussion and dissemination.


Agreed! Pretty shocked that more haven't replied to this thread, actually.

The cost could be extremely prohibitive for a company. The cost must be justified by the claimants. They must make the case that it is reasonable for a cell phone provider to save ALL messages for such a long time period.

Are the police departments truly seeing that many cases where the absolutely necessary information to make an arrest is two years old?? They should be required to give multiple instances where the data they needed was significantly old and 100% necessary for making the arrest (not as an add-on to beef up the charges by demonstrating a pattern of behavior or to tack on another charge such as conspiracy to commit the crime they already can prove one committed.) Wah-wahing that the texts might have maybe could have possibly contained extra inculpating evidence is frivolous in my opinion.

Another poster mentioned the privacy issues. If the phone companies hire an agency to store this data in a warehouse somewhere for them, then what can happen to the data? Some perv at the company could be browsing millions of anyone's racy photos and txts and making them public. Or the company could sell certain data to private citizens (I'm thinking private investigators here) on the down low for the company employee's personal gain. Lots of unethical, disturbing possibilities.

Either way, if it costs the phone providers more money, that cost will always automatically be tacked on to the consumers in the form of more mysterious "fees".



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by TheOtter
Agreed! Pretty shocked that more haven't replied to this thread, actually.


Well partial because of my own doing. I placed it into the political madness thread and left out the following:

A: Obama wants to read all our sleazy "sexting".
B: Obama is creating [insert topic].
C: Obama wants to [insert any other topic].

So, keeping it non-partisan and solely a Constitutional issue without even bringing particular people into play excludes a lot of the mindless posts that generate "buzz" on the ATS boards and it falls to the depths.


Are the police departments truly seeing that many cases where the absolutely necessary information to make an arrest is two years old??


That is the interesting part no? I don't think it is that many cases. Think back 30 years, when the primary form of communication was telephone. At that time, there were actually brave statesmen who recognized that this could be a potential for Constitutional violations and the ECPA was born; protecting certain electronic communications from over-reaching law enforcement.

This time around though, as the technology has vastly evolved, instead of protecting, I really can see Congress swaying the other end of the pendulum, under pretenses of "terrorism" and the likes, to have this requirement worked into a new ECPA.


Either way, if it costs the phone providers more money, that cost will always automatically be tacked on to the consumers in the form of more mysterious "fees".


Roger that one.



posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by kerazeesicko
 





Obviously a lot of you do


That is absolutely not the issue here, the issue is privacy and the fact that we now have Totalitarianism allowing govt agencies to snoop through every communication and use it against us. They could take a perfectly innocent situation and use it. I find it amazing what people here in this very forum will put up with because they feel they are personally faultless and somehow they desire a Nanny State to take care of them. I feel sorry for people who believe in this way.
It is the fact that we as a people are allowing govt bureaucracies to monitor us in this way. It's as bad as the Nazi regime.
It is happening because the people, like you, are allowing it.

I think it a little bit odd that you don't mind some govt official sniffing your undies. I find it a disgusting idea.
edit on 5-12-2012 by ThirdEyeofHorus because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-12-2012 by ThirdEyeofHorus because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 12:00 AM
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WOW... this is what happens when the government gets bored, huh? LOL
I think (sadly) privacy is going to soon be a thing of the past. This scares me because I'm a private person.






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