CyberTech Rambler

October 8, 2013

EU storing Telephone Records too …

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 6:57 am

The news world is just about getting calmer after the revelation that NSA capture basic information about telephone calls such as which number called which number, where, when and for how long. Before European get outraged, let us not  forget American are not the only one doing  that. EU is doing that as well.

How do I know? In an emotive case, UK police had just revealed that they are following up leads by combing telephone records. Definitely with the NSA saga in mind, the Detective Chief Inspector in charge said that this is not a  general trawl.  Unfortunately, as far as I am concern, if it quark like a duck, it is a duck.

Two big pieces of information here. One, at least the Portuguese is storing telephone records for more than the two years companies are required to store the records for financial/claims purpose. No offense to the Portuguese but they do not have one of the most well-funded technology country for storing records. If they are capable storing telephone records, we can infer that other countries, notably those in the EU, are doing the same.

Second, the justification here is it is a criminal investigation. That is a red herring. My proposition here is either we are fine with our telephone records being combed by authorities or not. For the record, I am fine with it. If we are going to allow the authority to  use criminal investigation as an excuse, then we are at the minimum consenting to allow our telephone records being stored. Why? Crime happens everywhere and cannot be predicted, so the only way telephone records can assist in criminal investigations is to put a dragnet, a.k.a. storing them, on all records and figure out which subset one wants to use later.  In reality we also accept that the authority can comb through the data whenever they want as it is the limit of current technology and resources  the reason why the records are not combed through for all reported crimes, and this limitation is being relaxed by the day.

So fellow netizen, mobile users and telephone users beware, your records are being combed through every day. The bigger the city you are living in, the more frequently your record is being inspected. Am I worried? Not really. Tesco probably know me better than me myself and I allow this to happen for a few penny. Police and other authority know me less than Tesco so why should I worry. Of course, perhaps after I hit “Publish” button, they will take the trouble of knowing me better than Tesco.

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