Verizon has published its first transparency report detailing how often governments come calling for customer records and conversations – and the results show the amount of stuff Google, Microsoft and others hand over is just a drop in the ocean by comparison. "Our report reflects the fact that telecom providers receive more …
Smoke signals or carrier pigeons anyone?
Smoke signals or carrier pigeons perhaps, and what about encrypted semaphore?
Wonder how the NSA, GCHQ etc. intend to get transparency reports for these. Reckon they'll be necessary soon.
Is this surprising?
Lets see, government funds and builds the internet backbone for their own purposes, allows companies to use it to sell services to their customers and now everyone is surprised when the government wants to pick at the data. Give me a break, if you don't want the gorv potential snooping then build an over the air, trusted, amateur, secure, ptp network for your own needs (FCC might have issues though). Otherwise, just assume some agency is snooping your data. Kinda like when put trash by the curb, its free for anyone to go through, much like when you send data over the internet.
Also, I strongly suspect that some gorv agency has a quantum computer munching away at data of interest.
@Nathan 6 -- Re: Is this surprising?
amateur, secure, ptp network for your own needs (FCC might have issues though).
Nice idea but....
What do you think all those spy satellites do? They just don't take pretty close-ups of newspaper headlines people are reading. Ever since the Cold War those satellites have been forensically scanning the spectrum from DC to Daylight. Encrypting your signal just means you go from a plain line item to one with a red tick next to it (hence my smoke signal comment).
BTW, this idea of sweeping and recording the spectrum is so old that it goes back to the mid/late '50s when the first Ampex VRX-1000 2" video recorders were modified and put in planes as wide band spectrum recorders (of course, before that--back to day-one of wireless--it was done manually).
For anyone wondering, assuming each was for a different individual (and my math is correct), that approximately 0.30% of their customers
And how many non-customers (I.E. foreign civilians such as myself) were monitored? Hmm?
I'm so unpopular....
....even the NSA doesn't spy on me.
Re: I'm so popular....
Since "I am a BAD MAN!" - (echo Muhammad Ali)
The UK asked only 386 times.
That's because UK security bods can just grab the data they want out of the collaborative slurp they run with NSA. I'm surprised that there were any UK requests listed by Verizon.
Re: The UK asked only 386 times.
I was pleasantly surprised to read that, then on further reading about US requests being in the nature of one size fits all, I realised that the 386 calls were to Germany, the USA and the other 100 or so countries and the rest must have been to all Britain's ISPs, banks, and local area authorities.
Said calls saying:
"Give me your clothes, your boots and the key to your motorcycle."
And those are just data requests. We don't know how much patting down was also going on. Area authorities being the nexus of all their desires; police, schools and social security benefits agencies etc.
Which leaves me wondering what protocols they use to spy on employers and the private sector.
Wait for the next batch of numbers
These numbers are only the numbers that they are permitted to release and only purportedly cover "official" requests, meanwhile everything is being sucked into the NSA/GCHQ vacuum cleaners for "analysis" - no, we're not collecting anything, we're just analyzing it.
between 1,000 and 2,000 national security letters – a presidentially issued order to hand over data
Supposing the President is available to "issue" these letters every day of the year, (he isn't) and they're spread out evenly in time (very unlikely), then there are close to three issued, to Verizon alone, every day. Since the President is a busy man, and Verizon isn't the only recipient, I suggest that "presidentially-issued" is a terminological inexactitude (or LIE), and that the President is in general perfectly unaware of the terms and targets of the national security letters sent out in his name. Has anyone asked him?
At last, probable cause
Hundreds of thousands of orders to spy on people? There is no way there was legitimate probable cause anywhere there. That means you have probable cause to start getting search warrants to take a look into the people and departments doing all this dragnet surveillance.
There *are* laws governing this and they flow from the Constitution of the United States. It is time for ordinary people to start convening Grand Juries.
I think what all this observation and collation of data means is that the eavesdropping services have good sales people making a jolly good sales pitch to politicians who tend to know very little and become easily impressed with the consequences of decisions made especially when presented by equally brilliant level 2 sales people (contract managers?)?
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