Tag Archive: Verizon Communications


Here’s Why the Obama Administration Wanted the NSA Data-Mining Program Kept Secret

 

 

 

” I was reading up on the National Security Agency’s data-mining program when I came across this tweet by Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press:

If the programs needed secrecy to succeed, will NSA shut them down now? If not, did they ever need be secret? Or did I just blow your mind?

— Matt Apuzzo (@mattapuzzo) June 7, 2013

Why does this program have to be kept secret? It’s not like American consumers will just stop using cell phones, or wireless networks, or social networks. (A person could do that, but who’s actually willing to? Much as I loathe government surveillance, I’m not giving up Facebook or Gmail or my account with Verizon. I doubt many people are.) It’s also not like Americans didn’t know something like this was going on. So why keep it secret that the government is mining data when Americans will continue to provide data regardless?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Big Data Turning Government Into ‘Big Brother’?

An aerial view of the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah, Thursday, June 6, 2013. The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration is defending the National Security Agency's need to collect such records, but critics are calling it a huge over-reach. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

An aerial view of the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah, Thursday, June 6, 2013.

The revelations that the National Security Agency is perusing millions of U.S. customer phone records at Verizon Communications and snooping on the digital communications stored by nine major Internet services illustrate how aggressively personal data is being collected and analyzed.”

” Personal data being collected and analyzed” … aggressively  … If that doesn’t strike fear in your heart you must be a federal employee …

” Former NSA employee William Binney told The Associated Press that he estimates the agency collects records on 3 billion phone calls each day.”

   All in the name of “national security” of course . It’s for your own benefit , even if you are too obtuse to recognize that fact .

” PRISM gives the U.S. government access to email, documents, audio, video, photographs and other data belonging to foreigners on foreign soil who are under investigation, according to The Washington Post. The newspaper said it reviewed a confidential roster of companies and services participating in PRISM. The companies included AOL Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Skype, YouTube and Paltalk.”

   The government would never do anything to squander the huge reserves of public trust with which it is embued , ask the Tea Partiers .

” In a sign of the NSA’s determination to vacuum up as much data as possible, the agency has built a data center in Bluffdale, Utah that is five times larger than the U.S. Capitol —all to sift through Big Data. The $2 billion center has fed perceptions that some factions of the U.S. government are determined to build a database of all phone calls, Internet searches and emails under the guise of national security. The Washington Post’s disclosure that both the NSA and FBI have the ability to burrow into computers of major Internet services will likely heighten fears that U.S. government’s Big Data is creating something akin to the ever-watchful Big Brother in George Orwell’s “1984” novel.” 

” The first step in saving our liberty is to realize how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it unless fundamental political changes occur.”

– James Bovard




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Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. government ( Taxpayers ) spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

The carriers—AT&T T +0.62% Inc.; Telrite Corp.; Tag Mobile USA; Verizon Communications VZ -0.05% Inc.; and the Virgin Mobile USA unit of Sprint Nextel Corp. S +1.04% —accounted for 34% of total Lifeline subscribers last May. Two of the other largest providers, TracFone Wireless Inc. and Nexus Communications Inc., asked the FCC to keep their counts confidential. Results for the full program weren’t available.

The program is open to people who meet federal poverty guidelines or are on food stamps, Medicaid or other assistance programs, and only one Lifeline subscriber is allowed per household.

The program, which is administered by the nonprofit Universal Service Administrative Co., has grown rapidly as wireless carriers persuaded regulators to let people use the program for cellphone service. It pays carriers $9.25 a customer per month toward free or discounted wireless service.

Americans pay an average of $2.50 a month per household to fund a number of subsidized communications programs, including Lifeline.”

Cops Want Wireless Carriers to Store Text Message Records For Two Years — Just In Case

 

 

 ” It’s sufficiently worrying that law enforcement agencies want Congress to require wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon to retain records of all text messages sent over their networks for two full years. As CNET’s Declan McCullough reports, police and other law enforcement authorities say they want text-message logs available just in case they’re needed in a criminal investigation.

The blanket nature of the policy, though, would sweep everyone in before any evidence of any crime existed. Almost by definition, most of the message logs would involve law-abiding citizens sending private messages. An information trove that big would be awfully tempting for legal authorities. How long before law enforcement started making requests to view and search those logs in hopes of finding criminal activity? With private communications like these, it’s a short jump from “just in case they’re needed” to “any time they’re wanted.”