Late last year, a number of outlets reported that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless were injecting customer-identifiable, permanent tracking cookies into web requests. After this activity was made public, AT&T ceased injecting the cookies, claiming that they were only testing the practice. Verizon, however, did not. Now, computer scientist and lawyer Jonathan Mayer at Stanford University has reported that Verizon's advertising partner The Turn is using these super cookies to re-instate tracking cookies after a user clears their browser cache. [more inside]
Glenn Greenwald has produced a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over to the NSA "telephony metadata" of all local and international calls either originating or terminating in the United States on an "ongoing, daily basis," and further barring Verizon from disclosing to the public the fulfillment of this request or the existence of the court order itself. The ACLU refers to the practice as "beyond Orwellian." Direct link to the court order available here. [more inside]
Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits: Verizon Wireless has begun selling information about its customers' geographical locations, app usage, and Web browsing activities. The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner." [more inside]
These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
All I want is to be left alone in my average home... But why do I always feel I'm in the twilight zone?
In August 2011, 35 ACLU affiliates filed 381 requests in 32 states with local law enforcement agencies seeking to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. So how long do American cell phone carriers retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the US Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. (Via / More)
Finally, a Fair Fight with Big Music From a Business Week Online column..."Telecom giant Verizon is battling the industry's bid to make it name a file-sharing subscriber. It's also defending your right to privacy. On July 24, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) made an unprecedented request of Verizon Communications (VZ). The music industry's trade association served the telecom with a subpoena, seeking the identity of a Verizon subscriber who had allegedly illegally traded digital songs by artists including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and "boy band" N'Sync. The RIAA didn't specify why it wanted to know who the user was or what it would do with the information."