Archive for the ‘Telco’ Category
Selected Laws Governing the Disclosure of
Customer Phone Records by Telecommunications
Carriers, a recently released Congressional Research Service report, summarizes the laws, legislation and congressional actions related to telephone call log records. The Federation of American Scientists has a database of some of these CRS reports, which are selectively released by members of Congress.
This week in public records: California – Connecticut – North Carolina – Nebraska – New York – Minnesota
The Los Angeles County Superior Court has ruled that church personnel files of priests accused of molesting children may be released to the public, whether or not there was a criminal prosecution. The decision affects a small number of clergy but tips the balance in favor of the public right to know over privacy, which could affect many other cases.
Santa Clara County, California is continuing to fight a Superior Court determination that its GIS mapping should be easily available to the public at low cost. Meanwhile, Greenwich, Connecticut has assented to that state’s Supreme Court ruling and will post aerial photographs of the town on its Web site. Both government agencies used the specious defense that freely available geographic information systems maps were a security risk.
Folks in North Carolina may want to comment at the blog of a county Register who removed vital records from the Internet, then wrote about it.
The state police can demand lists of email activity conducted by a business if they deem it relevant to an investigation, according to an opinion by the Nebraska Attorney General. This includes “non content” records retained by providers of electronic communication services, such as ISP records of email headers, but not the email message.
Appeals filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals are now searchable online. More extensive information is available for cases filed after March 2003.
The Federal Communications Commission has issued new rules related to the disclosure of the personal telephone records of consumers. There are some specific new requirements for the carriers:
- Carriers are prohibited from releasing a customer’s phone call records when a customer calls the carrier except when the customer provides a password.
- Carriers are required to notify the customer when their password is changed
- Carriers must obtain explicit consent from a customer before disclosing a customer’s proprietary network information to a carrier’s joint venture partners or independent contractors
The Federal Trade Commission has settled another telephone pretexting case, Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Information Search, Inc. and David J. Kacala, individually and as an officer of Information Search, Inc., Defendants. The FTC will collect $3000 from the telephone information broker, who is also required to abandon the now illegal practice of impersonating telephone subscribers to get toll call records from the telecommunications carrier. The Commission had previously filed suit against Information Search, Inc. for obtaining personal financial bank account records in violation of the federal law known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
The Federal Trade Commission testified today at the Committee on Energy and Commerce on, Combating Pretexting: H.R. 936, Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act. The text of the testimony of other participants is not yet available.
The Federal Trade Commission has sought a permanent injunction against Action Research Group and Eye In the Sky Investigations for obtaining and selling to third parties confidential customer phone records in violation of the FTC Act prohibiting deceptive acts.
Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Action Research Group, Inc., Joseph Depante, Matthew Depante, Bryan Wagner, Cassandra Selvage, and Eye in the Sky Investigations, Inc., Defendants. (United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division)
Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission is getting resistance from telephone companies over proposed rules requiring that customers use a password to access their account information and that the companies get a customer’s permission before they release information for telemarketing.
The Justice Department is objecting to two of the FCC proposals.
The first would tell phone companies to destroy customer records as soon as the records no longer are needed for legitimate business purposes. The government wants the records preserved for possible use in criminal investigations.
Secondly, the two departments want phone companies to notify law enforcement officials first, before customers, when customers’ private billing information has been disclosed improperly.
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?