It hit the news today that Obama’s NSA has been requiring Verizon (and possibly all cell-phone carriers) to submit daily records of every call including the caller’s location. This is enough data to track data on citizens – and predict it with a very high degree of accuracy.
The government is tracking and predicting your conversations, movements, and meetings. Seems fairly handy for tracking and targeting citizens on Obama’s Enemies List.
From The Guardian:
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI’s request for its customers’ records, or the court order itself.
The order directs Verizon to “continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this order”. It specifies that the records to be produced include “session identifying information”, such as “originating and terminating number”, the duration of each call, telephone calling card numbers, trunk identifiers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, and “comprehensive communication routing information”.
[read more in The Guardian]
Sound familiar? Here’s from an article that ran in 2010 on a topic that’s hit the news a few times since then. Using the data specifically required by Obama’s NSA, citizens can be not only tracked, but also predicted. Who is meeting with whom, where, at what frequency, etc.:
In a study published in last week’s Science, researchers looked at customer location data culled from cellular service providers. By looking at how customers moved around, the authors of the study found that it may be possible to predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time. These findings may be useful in multiple fields, including city planning, mobile communication resource management, and anticipating the spread of viruses. [read more at arstechina ]
And from the Daily Mail last year:
Scientists have found a way of predicting an individual’s future movements by analysing information their mobile phone.
A team of computer scientists at the University of Birmingham successfully predicted future locations with an error margin of just 60ft, which has fuelled fears of privacy invasions. [Read more from the Daily Mail article]