11 May 2011

How corporations do the state's dirty work

The US Department of Justice believes every mobile phone user is a potential criminal.

On 10 May, the U.S. Department of Justice called for new laws requiring mobile providers to collect and store information about their customers! According to Jason Weinstein, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the DoJ, "when this information is not stored, it may be impossible for law enforcement to collect essential evidence."

Apparently, the push for mandatory retention of data is not new. Back in January 2011, CNET reported that the authorities are "frustrated" because no law exists to force service providers to track what customers are doing online.

And the irony of it all is that the DoJ's privacy-bustin' proposal was raised during a U.S. Senate hearing arising from the revelation that corporations like Apple, Google and Microsoft record information about users' locations without their consent!

Now what is the chance that this - or any other - Senate hearing will help tangibly improve consumer privacy?

Well... Surprise. Surprise.

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