Remember not too long ago, when there was a huge fervor over warrantless wiretapping?? Back in the bad old days of the Bush Administration (and maybe even today), Verizon and AT&T willingly participated in permitting the NSA to monitor communications traffic on their networks, without the need for silly little things like, oh, search warrants and due process.? And boy, everyone sure got all in a huff when they found out!? Despite it being an extension of legislation hurriedly rushed into law to appease a panicky public, the citizenry refused (as they often do) to look at themselves in the mirror for being panicky petes, and instead the “Big Two” carriers mentioned above got the brunt of the public’s ire.? Lawsuits were threatened and all kinds of punishments were dreamed up for the corporate actors in this conspiracy, all while the Bush administration pretty much got shrugged off by the general public for, well, doing what they always did.
Another company to get a pass was Sprint.? You just didn’t hear about what their involvement might’ve been.
But it looks like now more than ever, surveillance is alive and well, and Sprint is making it incredibly easy for Law Enforcement to find out where any use of their network might be.? So easy in fact, that Law Enforcement has tracked the wherabouts of Sprint users more than 8 million times in the past year alone!
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.
The evidence documenting this surveillance program comes in the form of an audio recording of Sprint’s Manager of Electronic Surveillance, who described it during a panel discussion at a wiretapping and interception industry conference, held in Washington DC in October of 2009.
Consider that Sprint has about 49.3 million customers.? Even if you assume that some users were no doubt tracked more than once, that’s still a pretty astonishing number.? Are there really
millions of sleeping terrorists chatting and texting on Sprint phones?? Or has the government continued to be way, way too willing to disregard the freedoms of its citizens in the name of homeland security, while Sprint passively sits by and allows it to happen?