Archive for the ‘Data Brokers’ Category
Data brokers who were sued last year by AT&T for purloining customer telephone records have settled with the telecommunications company.
The 13 defendants were not initially named in AT&T Services, Inc. v. John Doe, filed in District Courts in Texas and California, until AT&T was able to subpoena the Internet service providers. They are now named and a permanent injunction disallows them from conducting similar business in the future.
Private investigator, Bryan Wagner, of Littleton, Colorado pleaded guilty on Friday to identity theft and conspiracy charges in United States District Court in San Jose. His sentencing is now scheduled for June 20 in San Jose federal court.
The private investigator admitted to the two felony counts as part of a plea deal based on his obtaining the SSN’s and telephone toll records of journalists, former Hewlett-Packard directors, and their family members.
Mr. Wagner admitted to “pretexting” the telephone companies into releasing their records. He admitted to using personal information to set up online accounts in the names of several people to access their telephone toll logs and billing records.
Mr. Wagner’s lawyer, Stephen Naratil, stated his client was the “little guy” who was tricked by others into thinking the investigative method he used was legal. He also said that Mr. Wagner would testify for prosecutors as they pursue other figures in the case.
The four other defendants associated with this case have all pleaded not guilty. You can read more about this here.
What’s your opinion on this?
Several media outlets, including CBS News, Mercury News, and the Computer Business Review are reporting that one of the private investigators charged in the HP scandal will plead guilty today under a plea deal.It is reported that 29 year old Bryan Wagner, of Littleton, Colorado is expected to enter a guilty at a scheduled arraignment hearing today in a San Jose federal court.
According to Stephen Naratil, Wagner’s lawyer, his client “accepts the full responsibility for what he’s done, although he never thought or intended his actions to be illegal…“He was assured numerous times that what he was doing was legal.”
It appears that federal prosecutors applied the preasure and presented an offer to Wagner in return for his cooperation. There is no doubt that Wagner’s testimony about his involvement will help federal prosecutors develop a case against all those involved.
Under the proposed deal, Wagner faces a two year manditory prison sentence on identity theft charges and a maximum of 5 on the conspiracy charges.
This is a very important case to follow as the results of the federal probe, potential convictions and penalty phase will have a significant impact on future legislation. The January issue of PI Magazine features several articles about the HP scandal and our responsibilities as investigators to remain ethical, at all times, on all cases.
What’s your opinion on this? Add your comments below.
It is little surprise that Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 202, Privacy: telephone calling pattern record or list, making the acquisition of a telephone subscriber’s phone call records a crime.[Read more at Computerworld]
Any person who purchases, sells, offers to purchase or
sell, or conspires to purchase or sell any telephone calling pattern record or list, without the written consent of the subscriber, or any person who procures or obtains through fraud or deceit, or attempts to procure or obtain through fraud or deceit any telephone calling pattern record or list shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section, he or she is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment.
The prohibition applies to telephone numbers called by the subscriber, not reverse address or telephone information. The California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) supported the bill and urged the governor to sign it.
Other states have restricted access to telephone records, among them are Michigan, Maine, Oklahoma, Arizona, Washington and Florida. Other state legislation on telephone records is collected at the National Conference of State Legislatures Web site.
There are many tasks that computers can do better than the mere shoe leather on the road. Today’s New York Times reports on research suggesting that computers make more accurate choices in decision making than company managers or human intuition. The companies that develop systems to aggregate disperate bits of relevant personal information and make it easily accessible win the day with investigators. ChoicePoint, among other investigative database providers, has recognized the value of computer software and content acquisition in employment screening, background investigations and financial profiling.
Information-service provider ChoicePoint is looking to expand its insurance-verification services with the acquisition yesterday of Insuratec Inc.
Danville, Calif.-based Insuratec notifies lenders of changes to borrowers’ auto, mortgage, motorcycle, and watercraft insurance policies.
The mega data broker has sloughed off businesses outside of this model — such as a DNA lab.
The ChoicePoint division, ChoiceTrust, has an online site where you can instantaneously retrieve free profiles of your auto and home insurance. A self-check of public records data is available by mail.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a fine against the Internet-based data broker of cell phone and telephone subscriber call logs, 1st Source Information Specialists (LocateCell). The press release only names one company but at least 40 Web sites were listed in the EPIC petition.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today found that LocateCell apparently “willfully or repeatedly” violated a Commission order by failing to provide information and documents required by a subpoena. For this failure, the Commission issued a $97,500 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against LocateCell.
Specifically, the subpoena required LocateCell to provide information and documents relating to its website advertisement for the sale of consumers’ private telephone records and other customer proprietary network information. The company failed to fully respond to the subpoena and a subsequent Citation. Because LocateCell’s response to the subpoena remains deficient, the Commission proposed the maximum forfeiture for a continuing violation by a non-common carrier of $97,500.
The FCC Commissioners provided a recap of the history of their investigation and statements reflecting the basis for this determination. Commissioner McDowell alludes to the possibility of further fines being levied against similar companies.
LocateCell is not the only company from which the Commission has sought information. Our Enforcement Bureau has been actively investigating a number of these data brokers, many of which have
advertised the availability of records of wireless subscribers’ incoming and outgoing telephone calls, as well as certain landline toll call records, for a fee. The Bureau is also investigating the alleged failure of
carriers to certify compliance with our CPNI rules, and is vigorously pursuing non-compliant companies.
These investigations will continue, and I thank the Bureau for its work in moving these initiatives forward.
View the Webcast of the FCC meeting.