CTIA logo in building

If you think that it is in the best interest of all mobile operators to protect the privacy of their own clients and to defend their fundamental rights – forget it. It is sad to say but you are wrong about it. It seems that CTIA (which is the industry association of mobile operators) is opposing an attempt in California to make all mobile operators to always get a warrant before they can disclose private information to law enforcement agencies.

 

The bill in addition claims some fundamental reporting requirements for all those firms, having them clarify how frequently information has been disclosed (barely onerous information to track). Essentially, this law asks that all mobile operators respect human rights granted by the 4th Amendment when co-operating with law enforcement agencies despite the fact that federal government successfully avoided it for years in the past.

Guy and girl with mobile phone

Only one thing is not well in this effort – the CTIA is surprisingly against such law, arguing that it would be too confusing for US mobile operators:

 

Whole wireless industry opposes bill SB1434 because it could make greater bewilderment for all wireless providers when they respond to legitimate requests of law enforcements.

 

The main reason for this bewilderment is that some explanations in the proposed bill are somewhat wider than what that industry thinks is a standard, thus they are scared that it can place providers in the status of having to get warrants for all requests of law enforcement agencies.

 

I am curious – what the real problem is here? Isn’t any kind of private data usage should require a warrant in the first place?

The car of law enforcements

So it is still unknown to me why the reporting requirements might be so cumbersome, especially if consider that providers are already working around-the-clock to help law enforcement agencies to guarantee the safety of all citizens and even to save some lives. As I can see, mobile operators are already so busy responding to dozens of law enforcement requests that telling you that your private information is being given away to the authorities like it or not is, you know, way too much effort for them.

 

The ACLU is appealing to the industry to make this move noticing that it should be no problem to spend all those resources sending over all our information. Why cannot it spend some time protecting the rights of its subscribers too? I guess in the context like this the only way to protect your privacy is to do it yourself. No matter what kind of your data is being exposed (GPS tracking, wireless internet usage, phone talks, etc.) you can prevent CTIA from warrantless sharing of your info with law enforcements.

 

So how do you like this situation? Would you stand for this bill and support the effort to make mobile operators require a warrant before sharing your private data with law enforcement agencies? Speak up in the comments!

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