U.S. law should require logs of your text messages
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to capture and store Americans' confidential text messages,
according to a proposal that will be presented to a congressional panel today.
The law enforcement proposal would require wireless providers to record and store customers' SMS messages -- a controversial idea akin to requiring
them to surreptitiously record audio of their customers' phone calls
Now, this should not surprise (and does not surprise me coming from cops/the gov't wanting to have their eyes everywhere and make their jobs as easy
as possible) many of us in the slightest, but how far will they go to see that legislation is, in fact, passed?
But what kind of police state, big brother crap is this?
Right now, texts are saved only for a selected period of time, depending on the carrier, and LE are required to have a warrant—or subpoena—to
access certain information.
But to have EVERY text EVERY person sends stored (or direct messages online) is a frightening invasion of privacy. Some will argue, "well, if you have
nothing to hide." I will not even argue against such an absurd statement.
CNET reported yesterday that the Justice Department is proposing that any ECPA changes expand government surveillance powers over e-mail
messages, Twitter direct messages, and Facebook direct messages in some ways, while limiting it in others.
Where is privacy?
A Google rep says it very well:
“There is no compelling policy or legal rationale” for online documents having less privacy protection
Police say criminal investigations are “being frustrated” because companies don’t retain information, or don’t retain it long enough.
“Billions of texts are sent every day, and some surely contain key evidence about criminal activity,” Richard Littlehale from the Tennessee Bureau
of Investigation told Congress.
How likely or long will it be not that the evidence will be there should it be needed in an investigation, but that they be able to scour the texts or
online correspondence simply to look for
criminal activity, whereupon they will then have the evidence they need? (likely under the guise of
"terrorism" or combating criminal conspiracies)
I was reading a (very) local paper the other day, and came across something interesting: There was a local shooting after a drug deal went bad, and
after the first days of the investigation additional charges were filed against half a dozen people. Of the additional charges: "use of a
communication device to facilitate a drug deal."
Now, it's not just engaging in a drug deal, or criminal behavior in general, but the use of the device itself
during the behavior is a
charge in itself.
Some might compare it to the use of a firearm during commission of a felony, or other similar laws, but how much of a slippery slope is this? I had no
idea such a law existed.
How long before, "use of a motor vehicle for or during [X]," etc?
Will cops soon be able to, legally, during traffic stops look through texts for evidence of criminal activity?
Big brother is coming.
EDIT TO ADD: The point is NOT about texting or other digital means as a secure means of communication in itself, especially when
criminal activity is involved or when the criminal enterprise is on a scale large enough to warrant surveillance such as that the communication would
NOT be safe by a reasonable person (such as planning a terrorist attack, overthrow of government, planning a heist, etc).
The point IS about the information contained in personal and private texts and other digital communications as being safe from intrusion—simply
because it's private correspondence—BY GOVERNMENT.
edit on 20-3-2013 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)