More Demands on Cell Carriers in Surveillance (

July 8, 2012 12:00 am

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A congressional inquiry revealed that law enforcement agencies made more than 1.3 million demands for subscribers’ personal information, including text messages and caller locations, from cellphone carriers in 2011. This represents a drastic increase in these types of surveillance demands over the last 5 years – three-fold for AT&T, and 12-16% per year with most other providers. The number of people affected by this increased collection is much larger because some demands request information about multiple users and others, such as those requesting all cell tower activity for a certain time period, may implicate possibly hundreds or thousands of innocent persons in addition to the suspects sought.

Letters from Rep. Markey to cellphone carriers and their responses:

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