For the first time, data has been collected on a national level that reveals the extent of cell phone wiretapping. Since 2007, more and more Americans have become subject to wiretapping and according to mobile service providers, in 2011 law enforcement agencies issued approximately 1.3 million information requests which exposed text messages and other digital data from its users; 2,732 wiretapping requests were also submitted. Kade Crockford, privacy rights coordinator for ACLU, joins us with her take on the growth of surveillance in the United States.
Mobile carriers responded to a staggering 1.3 million law enforcement requests last year for subscriber information, including text messages and phone location data, according to data provided to Congress.
The revelation marks the first time figures have been made available showing just how pervasive mobile snooping by the government has become in the United States.
The companies said they were working around the clock and charging millions in fees to keep up with ever-growing demands. At least one of the carriers urged Congress to clarify the law on when probable-cause warrants were required to divulge customer data.
Nine mobile phone companies forwarded the data as part of a Congressional privacy probe brought by Rep. Edward Markey, (D-Massachusetts), who co-chairs the Congressional Bi-partisan Privacy Caucus.