Get ready. Turns out that spying on Americans is a lucrative business. Yes, it’s becoming its own “Industry”. Soon we’ll have a Domestic Spying Lobby, Domestic Spying Foundations, Domestic Spying Majors at Universities.
All this time, I thought they did it because, well, they were evil. You know, that whole “power corrupts” thing. But no, it’s really pretty mundane anymore — you can sell the info that you get on your customers. I guess companies have always done this, but instead of giving your phone number to annoying telemarketers, they are giving a record of your whereabouts, and everything you’ve ever said on the phone, to the fucking GOVERNMENT.
Here’s one little story about it:
Yahoo: Our spying policy would ‘shock’ customers
A little-noticed letter from Yahoo! to the US Marshals Service offers troubling insight into the surveillance policies of one of the Internet’s largest email providers.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details of Yahoo’s! policies allowing the Justice Department to request wiretaps of its users and the amount they charge US taxpayers per wiretap — the search engine leviathan declared in a 12-page letter that they couldn’t provide information on their approach because their pricing scheme would “shock” customers. The news was first reported by Kim Zetter at Wired.
“It is reasonable to assume from these comments that the [pricing] information, if disclosed, would be used to “shame” Yahoo! and other companies — and to “shock” their customers,” a lawyer for the company writes. “Therefore, release of Yahoo!’s information is reasonably likely to lead to impairment of its reputation for protection of user privacy and security, which is a competitive disadvantage for technology companies.”
Yahoo! also argues that because their price sheet for wiretaps was “voluntarily submitted” to the US Marshals Service, it is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act law.
Verizon, meanwhile, says (letter PDF) they can’t provide details on how much they charge for wiretaps because it would be “confusing.”
Hell, why can’t the Justice Department just come to us first? I mean, if they wanted to buy a record of my e-mails and my whereabouts, shouldn’t they offer me the money first? I’ll gladly tell them! I’ll wear a goddamn ankle bracelet for them if the price is right! No need to go to Yahoo at all. But no, it’s always Corporate Welfare First with these people …..
Here’s the other story:
Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers’ (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.
8 million times! Holy shit! How do they even have the personnel to handle that kind of info-tsunami? WTF is up with that? I’m a Sprint customer, did they pay for my records? Again, I’ll gladly tell them if they want to pay me! Or shit, just give me free phone service and they can do whatever they want with my records! “Hey, honey. I’m at the store. Are we out of milk? I can’t remember …..”
And one of the links embedded here points to the fact that I’m not joking around here, this really IS a business!
Check out this proud corporate website!
Intelligence Support Systems for Lawful Interception,
Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering
ISS World Americas is the world’s largest gathering of North American, Caribbean and Latin American Law Enforcement, Intelligence and Homeland Security Analysts and Telecom Operators responsible for lawful interception, electronic investigations and network Intelligence gathering.
ISS World Programs present the methodologies and tools to bridge the chasms from lawful intercept data gathering to information creation to investigator knowledge to actionable intelligence.
Our 2010 Agenda is coming soon! Below find the agenda for our just completed 2009 conference.
Nice! Big Brother has gone public! You, too, can have a career in spying on your neighbors. I thought we won the cold war, and the Soviet Union was no more. When did we turn into a capitalist version of it again? Oh yeah, “911 changed everything blah blah blah blah”. Fuck 9/11. What Ben Franklin said. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up. Something about deserving to lose your liberties.