Chris Soghoian posts a bombshell or two at slight paranoia: 8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight
Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers.
The evidence documenting this surveillance program comes in the form of an audio recording of Sprint's Manager of Electronic Surveillance, who described it during a panel discussion at a wiretapping and interception industry conference, held in Washington DC in October of 2009.
It is unclear if Federal law enforcement agencies' extensive collection of geolocation data should have been disclosed to Congress pursuant to a 1999 law that requires the publication of certain surveillance statistics — since the Department of Justice simply ignores the law, and has not provided the legally mandated reports to Congress since 2004.
(Spotted via Ed Felton, Soghoian: 8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight).
As Chris Soghoian says, it is really staggering that law enforcement could make so many requests in a year or so and even more staggering that such a sea change in the government/privacy balance could happen with no public notice or debate.