Nothing increases my confidence in the communication systems set up by private enterprise than the knowledge that the company I buy services from would give information on me to federal investigators without a court order.
Verizon Communications, the nation’s second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers’ telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.
From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times… The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said. The information was used for a range of criminal investigations, including kidnapping and child-predator cases and counter-terrorism investigations.
Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.
You see, I WANT my service provider to second-guess the legitimacy of those emergency government requests. There are just too many instances of this administration investigating, arresting, torturing (excuse me, questioning with extreme methods), and maligning US Citizens, then finding nothing there and letting them return to lives that have been disrupted and destroyed. We call that “Homeland Security” (or “Protecting Der Reichstag”).
If Verizon would say “get us a warrant,” at least I would know that some judge has looked at the matter and not some mere DHS employee playing James Bond.
It makes me not want to be a Verizon customer… and, since the service up here in Hagerstown, MD, is piss poor anyway (that gang that follows folks around on the TV commercials calling themselves a “network” apparently don’t know the way up US 70), I’m looking at new providers.
Unfortunately, the other one up here is AT&T.