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Telcos Oppose Bill To Respect 4th Amendment 190

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-judge-due-process-is-too-hard dept.
Fluffeh writes "CTIA (The mobile operators' industry association) is opposing a California law proposing that a court order be required prior to disclosing personal information. The law seems to be in opposition to the federal government's attempts to wash away the last requirements to get at any information about citizens, but CTIA claims (PDF) '... the wireless industry opposes SB 1434 as it could create greater confusion for wireless providers when responding to legitimate law enforcement requests.' The EFF and the ACLU have been arguing strongly for the bill which is to be voted on shortly." A charming quote from CTIA: "For example, the definition of 'location information' is so sweeping that it could implicate information generally considered basic subscriber information under federal law. Since the implications of this definition are unclear, wireless providers will have difficulty figuring out how to respond to requests for such information. It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests."
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Telcos Oppose Bill To Respect 4th Amendment

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:08AM (#39780533)
    It would be so uplifting to see a massive show of support for this from the populace. Unfortunately, it will probably die a quiet death at the hands of lobbyists, and most people will probably ever even see its obituary.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Requiem18th (742389)

      I don't understand this bill, but if it's good we should get Wikipedia involved. Last time Google helped us because, like Dodd said, they weren't invited to the talks. Then he made the incredibly undemocratic statement than next time they want to make a law that affects the public they are going to take into consideration... more corporations, like Google, and that's exactly what they did. And of course it worked.

      But chances are Wikipedia is still not corrupt, being the only non-profit with the traffic nece

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @09:03AM (#39780841) Homepage

      Remember when Americans used to joke about communism and say "papers please" in funny voices...?

      • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:57AM (#39781907) Homepage Journal

        I've been saying for a while now (post-9/11) that the members of the former KGB must be laughing their heads off when they have their yearly get togethers.

        All those years, those hundreds of billions (trillions?) of dollars we spent trying to bring down the "evil empire", espousing how free we were, how we didn't have to worry about the government listening in on our phone conversations, reading our mail, not having to worry about the police being able to walk into our houses at any time just to see if we're doing anything wrong.

        The same people who harped on this (yeah Gingrich, I'm looking at you) are now the same people pushing every day to quash the last remnants of the freedoms as written in the Constitution. They want a national ID, just like the former Soviet Union. They want to track who you talk to, just like the former Soviet Union. Track where you go and who you associate with? Same as the former Soviet Union.

        The 9/11 attacks were a wet dream come true for both the intelligence communities and more specifically, the right side of the Republican party. The attacks gave them the excuse they needed to strip away rights all in the name of protecting the nation (sound familiar?).

        Yet, when one brings up these obvious similarities, you're un-American. Do you want to be killed by terrorists? If you have nothing to hide, why can't you just follow the (new) rules?

        We've now come full circle and have become that which we despised. Congrats Newt, Hatch, and the rest of the lot of fascists. You've gone over to the dark side and have drug this country down with you.

        • by jesseck (942036) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @11:52AM (#39782755)

          The 9/11 attacks were a wet dream come true for both the intelligence communities and more specifically, the right side of the Republican party.

          I agree with what you're saying... but all sides of the political spectrum, not just the Right, are doing this. Others are just more subtle about it and blame the "extreme Right".

          • Yeah Obama extended the Patriot Act. What's the difference?

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              He signed the Patriot Act, the NDAA, and the TSA is a lot worse under Obama than it was under Bush. If Bush had had a third, term, we wouldn't see one bit of difference between that and the way things are now.

      • In fact I do and it was bullshit then too. Remember all those files Hoover had? I think if they get my call history or text messages for free, what the hell they doing anyway no matter what the law actually said.

        All they are going to get out of this is stupid stuff. Real terrorists use old fashion methods to deliver messages. They only use cell phones to blow people up. They would have to be very bored to even put most people on the radar but who knows what the next guy in charge will do with power like tha

    • Include a link to this video in your email:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeCpLcjxOq4

    • There fixed it for you. Congresscritters are at the federal level. Therefore it would seem that Legicritter would be the matching honorific at the state legislature level. This a California state bill. Although asking for it in other states seems to be a good idea.
  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:10AM (#39780541) Homepage

    It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

    Wouldn't that reduce the labor/financial burden on the telcos?

    The telcos must be acting at the request of politicians, in exchange for good treatment by the politicians on behalf of the telcos on other unrelated matters.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, just a few weeks ago there was a report on NPR about how much money law enforcement has to pay the telcos in order to get this informstion. There is no financial burden on the telcos and there is no labor burden because they have special offices that are paid specifically to deal with these requests.

      • "There is no financial burden on the telcos and there is no labor burden because they have special offices that are paid specifically to deal with these requests."

        Offices staffed by people who work for free?
        • by MarkGriz (520778)

          "There is no financial burden on the telcos and there is no labor burden because they have special offices that are paid specifically to deal with these requests."

          Offices staffed by people who work for free?

          No, this a cash cow for the telcos. Do you really think it costs them anywhere near what they are charging law enforcement to comply with these requests?
          The reason they oppose this is nothing so noble as "respecting the 4th amendment". It's respecting their bottom line.
          Requiring law enforcement to go through the trouble to get a warrant first is only going to reduce the number of requests they submit and pay for.

          • I only said that there was a financial burden... I never said how big. I'm sure they do deliberatly overstate it by a few orders of magnitude.
        • by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:48AM (#39781811)
          Hey douche bag, from the article:

          "On the financial side, CTIA’s argument is laughable. Just to give one example—Sprint is a $7 billion company, and it charges law enforcement a $30 monthly flat fee to provide location data on an unlimited basis. And, keep in mind: in 2009, Wired reported that during a 13-month period, Sprint disclosed that data 8 million times. So how exactly is this new bill providing a "costly mandate?""
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:21AM (#39780601)
      Right now, and for a long time now, law enforcement agencies have had special privileges among telecoms, more than the law itself requires. In exchange, telecom companies get to have a nice, easy-going relationship with the government, and everyone except the citizens of this country wins.

      Requiring telecoms to only provide assistance when presented with a court order puts that friendly relationship at risk. It also leaves telecoms vulnerable to lawsuits, should they continue to play by the old rules of the game.
    • Burden? As a third party they get to charge for there efforts.

    • It would appear so. And telcos always pass that savings onto the consumer... *cough*

      It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

      Wouldn't that reduce the labor/financial burden on the telcos?

      The telcos must be acting at the request of politicians, in exchange for good treatment by the politicians on behalf of the telcos on other unrelated matters.

    • by doston (2372830)

      It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

      Wouldn't that reduce the labor/financial burden on the telcos?

      The telcos must be acting at the request of politicians, in exchange for good treatment by the politicians on behalf of the telcos on other unrelated matters.

      Not since they've automated it. Most info law enforcement could ever want is available at a web login...warrantlessly. Anything that's "data". On the voice side there is some manual intervention, but that's probably even less since I left 2 years ago. The old 'voice' voicemail platforms were on the way out and everything was going IP.

  • by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:10AM (#39780547)

    "It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests."

    Exactly how it should be. The entire point of requiring a warrant, is to provide checks and ballances to the system.

    • Exactly how it should be. The entire point of requiring a warrant, is to provide checks and ballances to the system.

      And yet, when individuals or law enforcement investigations want to get specific information about a TelCo or ISP these companies circle the wagons and spout off about warrants, subpoenas and the like.

    • by jsepeta (412566)

      read: "It could negatively impact the bottom line for telcos who have entire divisions set up to get income from the police to sell your private information without a warrant."

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      I guess the telcos never heard of a little thing called the 4th Amendment. In their defense, telco execs are a pretty dumb lot.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      I think the issue is that the bill could be read as requiring a warrant to obtain the owner's name and billing address when all is known is the phone number. A billing address could be construed as "location information". The telcos really do not want to have to deal with the paperwork involved with a warrant every time a government entity ask for a billing address.

      I believe the bill is intended to only cover the physical location of the phone but it is not completely clear that it does not include billing

      • Why should they not have to get a warrant to do a reverse lookup of your phone number? If the information is not publicly available, why should the police not have to get a judge's approval?
        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          The police dump the call log from a phone found on a murder victim. The pull off 30 different numbers from five different carriers. That could mean up to 30 warrants to find out the names and addresses of people who talked to the victim in before he was killed. Now multiply that by thousands of cases.

          According to the article Sprint disclosed that data 8 million times. can you imagine sprint having to deal with 8 million warrants? Just filing them is a monumental task.

          • by Lithdren (605362)
            I still dont see why this is a problem. If there was some kind of evidence that this would stop further murders because of some weird hostage-emergency measure, there's already laws covering that kind of thing.

            Under any other situation, a warrent should be required. Warrents are not meant to be an annoyance that can be brushed aside, they're meant to protect people by making the act of obtaining the information clear with respect to the intent of the police. They cant just listen in on all phone calls
          • by Duhavid (677874)

            I believe I can paraphrase you as: "Its too hard, so we will just have to suspend their rights".

            One warrant listing all the involved numbers would seem to suffice for your example, not 30.
            Sure it will make it harder. If you dont require it, then you are giving each officer too much authority without any oversight.
            It will be ( and likely is being ) abused.

          • To your last point:
            Good. I want them to get a warrant each time they access data. It is called doing your job. I would like to to have remote root access to all the boxes I work with regularly because it would greatly speed up my daily activities but you know what it is a good thing that I can't remotely log into various SCADA systems remotely with root access.

            To your first point:
            You do realize that a warrant can list more than one thing they are after. Also warrants need to be fairly specific, would y
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:17AM (#39780581)

    It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

    Um, allow me to introduce you to an internet meme that covers this adequately: "It's working as intended." Warrants exist for a reason. This sort of situation - responding to requests from law enforcement - are exactly that situation. Working as intended. Deal with it.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Is a warrant some particularly fragile of heavy weight document that it cannot be bundled together with the request for information?
      I really don't see how this would have any significant impact on the current workflow.
      Just insert "IF includes warrant THEN continue as usual ELSE return standard message saying no warrant was included" at the very start.

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:28AM (#39780633)
    ... tends to catch a cold as well. This isn't just true for Economics, where the phrase originated. If America borks up the "legal protections" that protect the "right to communication privacy", the rest of the world - developing or developed - is also bound to bork up its own "communications privacy" laws. So to America: Please don't set a super-fucked-up example in this matter, that the rest of the world then tries to follow or emulate (because if America does it, you know, its OK to do the same, too...). Please keep communications data private, please keep strong legal "privacy protections" in place, or else we who are outside America will also loose our "communication privacy", due in no small part to the bad example America sets in this matter. If you proclaim yourself the "Leader of the Free World", there is a certain responsibility that comes with that - to lead by "good example", not "bad example".
  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @08:34AM (#39780671) Homepage Journal

    It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

    Indeed. That's a good thing, and it's what we want.

  • Federal law affects only federal law enforcement except where there is contradicting jurisdiction. Even in overlapping jurisdiction, the supremacy clause doesn't apply. For example, federal drug laws do not override state drug laws within a state's borders because the constitution gives virtually no jurisdiction to the federal government over what happens within a state's boundaries except matters of civil rights protection, coinage of currency and a few other domestic things. The federal government is free

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Yes, but if the state government creates laws that annoy the federal government, then the federal government can also stop feeding income tax money back to the state government. I seem to remember something along the lines of the feds requiring 50 mph speed limits in exchange for federally funded highways. If California legalized drug use, you could bet there would be increased problems for California, which would probably include guarded border crossings into other states.
    • by mbone (558574)

      You obviously have no experience with (or chose to ignore) politics in the former Confederate states.

    • by azalin (67640)

      Big business, like big labor, hates state sovereignty. It makes the regulatory environment "messy." This is why contra what most liberals think, states rights are not a racist anachronism, but anti-venom for big business' reach and power.

      Actually even though big business might complain about state legislation they have no problem with setting up a department whose sole purpose it is to make sure everything they do is legal (or as legal as necessary) and meets regulations.
      Now have a look at some small company. They basically have no choice but to abstain from interstate commerce once the laws reach a certain complexity. Try setting up a nationwide mail order shop for example. The taxation alone is going to drive you mad if you try to do it

    • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:01AM (#39781301)
      You are ignoring the interstate commerce clause which the supreme court has repeatedly ruled allows the fed to enforce any law that might potentially affect interstate commerce, even illicit commerce. California can do whatever they want, but a federal agent has the authority under federal law to arrest anyone for possession of any schedule one drug and interfering with a federal officer will get you arrested by the FBI. I don't happen to like the overly broad interpretation of the commerce clause, I think it's some of the supreme courts weakest jurisprudence, but it's currently the law of the land.
    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      How about you read this article before explaining the Supremacy Clause. Pay close attention to the section on Supreme Court decisions.

      Here is the text of the clause;

      This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

      So yes, if there is a federal law that conflicts with a State Law or Constitution then the Federal law reigns supreme. It does not say the State has to enforce the Federal laws but that the Federal Laws stiill apply.

      For example, federal drug laws do not override state drug laws within a state's borders because the constitution gives virtually no jurisdiction to the federal government over what happens within a state's boundaries

      Actually the Constitution does give federal law a lot of jurisdiction in States. Take a look at this article>/a>. Note that f [findlaw.com]

    • by shentino (1139071)

      I think the supremacy clause would prevent california from making it illegal for the feds to enforce their own laws.

  • The Constitution is there to limit the government.

    This bill has 2 chief components, a warrant requirement which is aimed at California governments and a transparency requirement related to the 1st component. It''s a shame that it requires a law to get the telcos to do the right thing.

    "Hey businesses, want to know why people despise you? This is why?"

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      If it is aimed at California government it must be using a blunderbuss because it hits all government entities including Federal and those from other States. So if a government entity calls a telco and asks the location of a phone how does this law apply? Only to phones currently located in California? Only to calls received at telco locations in California? Both?

  • ... are you an American, a US citizen respectful of the Founders of this Country? If not, get out!

  • Apart from the invasion into your private life by government and loss of personal freedoms I mean.

    The real problem is that with your information becoming so easily available, somewhere along the long line of entities that have access to it, there will be breaches and compromised security.

    We've often seen that no company or organisation can keep its data from being stolen, why do legislators think that enabling so many to put their hands on your info is a good thing?

    They should be legislating so that NO ONE

  • If this law is contrary to the bill of rights 4th amendment, how is it legal?

    • by mbone (558574)

      Well, I am no a lawyer, but this is not automatic. Suppose the law is passed, and it does violate the Constitution. Then you have to have standing (i.e., show that you are harmed in some way, which can be hard to do in these cases where you don't know what it being done to you behind the scenes), and then sue, and then take it to some high court (i.e., multiple rounds of appeals). Some years (and quite a few dollars) later, if you are lucky, you have overturned the law. If not, you've made things worse.

      It'

  • A couple years ago we had a bill up in New Hampshire to expand the State's "administrative subpoena" power from just telephone records to ISP records. (The law currently allows the Attorney General's Office, without a warrant, to subpoena records of when calls were made, who made them, and to whom. This bill would have allowed IP records to be added to that list.)

    At the hearing, Comcast's lobbyist was the main speaker in favor of this bill.

  • Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @09:14AM (#39780913) Homepage

    I like Obama's solution for this. It is time to impose sanctions against the United States.

    http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/04/23/1453201/new-sanctions-to-target-syrian-and-iranian-tech-capacity [slashdot.org]

    "This morning, President Obama is set to unveil a new executive order that will allow the U.S. to specifically target sanctions against individuals, companies or countries who use technology to enable human rights abuse. Especially as repressive regimes more effectively monitor their dissidents online (rather than simply blocking access) , the sanctions focus on companies that help them do that."

    And in case the irony wasn't already obvious, he actually is sanctioning the Syrian telephone companies themselves:

    Those include the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate, the Syriatel phone company and Ali Mamluk, the director of Syria’s general intelligence services.

    I would love to hear him speak out on this issue! Of course, he already granted US telecom companies immunity, so this law would have no effect on them anyway.

  • by iter8 (742854) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @09:30AM (#39781037)
    It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

    That's the point. It's not that hard to get a warrant. The idea is that another branch of government should be reviewing police actions. Law enforcement should not be getting a free hand to obtain anything they want. The intent of the 4th amendment was that citizens should be allowed to conduct their lives without fear of government intrusion except when that intrusion was justified, reviewed by other branches of the government, and the action were open to the view of citizens. Too bad if that's an inconvenience for law enforcement and the phone company. I'm sorry if my rights are a bit of an inconvenience.
  • Is they are not legitimate until the court provides an order. Because someone is wearing a $100 uniform with a $5 badge doesn't make things legitimate without going through normal process.

  • All I ever hear is 'the government' is taking personal freedoms away and eroding the constitution. The government is just a tool. In a (sort of) democracy, it can be controlled by anybody. Right now it's being mainly controlled by corporations. If change is desired; campaign finance reform. Why do people find this such a difficult concept? Stop bashing "the government" and focus your gaze on the people paying the people who run it. This is going to get even worse, thanks to PACs and super PACs.
  • It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests.

    It's shameful that they don't see this as a good thing. It's even more shameful that the status quo is to not require warrants in the first place.

  • "For example, the definition of 'location information' is so sweeping that it could implicate information generally considered basic subscriber information under federal law. Since the implications of this definition are unclear, wireless providers will have difficulty figuring out how to respond to requests for such information. It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests."

    We're talking government limitation here. When a law is passed that makes X ille

  • But the third amendment is still safe, right? I hate unreasonable searches, but even more than that I hate being forced to quarter soldiers in my home.
  • "It could place providers in the position of requiring warrants for all law enforcement requests". Seems like that fits in with the letter and spirit of the law and the constitution as well.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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