AHMAHGAHD VERIZON HAZ MAH INFOS OH NOOOES!!
yes. it’s called your phone bill.
Here’s how it works:
The US makes a backup copy of the telecom records. They can’t access that info without a FISA warrant, unlike what Bush did – warrantless everyfrakingthing…. and actual wiretapping. That’s not what’s happening now. No one in the US GOV cares that you are addicted to Facebook. However, HBO (a private corporation) cares that you’re downloading Game of Thrones illegally. There’s a difference.
Most people aren’t really processing what Snowdon said; that he could wiretap/listen/access whatever… not that he did, or that anyone else has ever or that it’s going on OMG constantly to OMG everyone in the US 24/7, yet that’s how the OMG-HAIR-ON-FIRE media is making it out. I’m curious how Snowdon’s private sector employer feels about their, uhm, employee.
It’s funny, but how the frak did this Snowdon guy, get a $200k a year gig in Hawaii with no high school diploma, and never finishing a single computer class, in the first place? Seriously, I’m more qualified than he is. And how does he know exactly what he can and cannot do, when I’m not sure how much of a grasp he really has on how the technology works….. and why it might be necessary…. having been at that job for only a short time? I’ve just got a whole problem with this dude’s story. I’m not saying what he leaked was completely inaccurate, but since the media has very little interest these days in anything more than pouring gasoline on the fire of their own hysteria, and actually researching a story for accuracy, that I have my doubts.
Here’s the deal….
Private companies can be owned by anyone. A Saudi Prince, An American douche, Mitt Romney, assholes like the Kochs, Richard Murdoch, Carrot Top, Steven Seagal, China, or some rich spoiled yahoo in North Korea, who might not have the best interest of the security of the American people and the US GOV in mind.
So let’s say a terror cell in….. oh, I don’t know, let’s say Syria….., gets blown up, and when the CIA goes through the rubble, they find a cell phone, and discover a US phone number attached to that phone, that that phone called to, or received a call from, or both. Then the US GOV would ask for a FISA warrant to look at that US phone number’s records. Was it just a wrong number/butt dial, or is that number in their contacts? Did they speak for 10 seconds, or an hour? Was it once, or 30 times?
Now with that knowledge, are you okay with our NSA/CIA/FBI going after the bad guys, or do you want your privacy more than your technology and security? Europe has less privacy with CCTV cameras everywhere, and intense gun regulations. They have less crime than we do measured in parsecs.
Of course Verizon knows where you are, because your cell phone has google maps on it, or Find My iPhone, or several other countless apps you’ve voluntarily downloaded onto your smartphone, that require GPS, and want to “use your location.”
One of the callers this morning on The Stephanie Miller show said it really simply: (paraphrasing) You have the right to privacy in your home, and in your person. But once you voluntarily reach outside either of those, with a phone line, internet, cell phone, you’ve gone outside your home, and are using the public communication grid AT WILL.
If the US GOV had live humans going through all your ‘meta’ data as routine work, i.e. reading your emails, listening to you complain about your crazy Facebook stalker, or how bad your cousins’s meatloaf was last night, instead of computer algorithms looking for trigger words associated with know terrorist information, when a FISA warrant is issued, we’d have ZERO unemployment, and still wouldn’t have enough bodies to fill every position to listen to/watch what everyone is doing….
But to act pearl-clutchingly Lindsey Graham + Glenn Greenwald’s love baby SHOCKED like the ZOMFG people are doing over this, makes me laugh. Have they never thought about their own phone bill beyond paying it? Yet they’re the first to complain about who dropped the ball on the Boston Marathon bombers.
You really want your privacy? Fine. Empty your bank account, cancel your credit cards and cable/satellite TV/internet, and move to the sticks, to a property with a well, and land that’s self-sustaining. All communication devices are voluntary. Plenty of people don’t have phones, cell or otherwise, just like Bin Laden. And make sure you have solar power, and a rain cistern with a hose and pump so you can try to save your house from burning down when it’s struck by lightening. Living in a community has it’s perks, and is also voluntary.