Data brokers, responding to subpoenas issued by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee requesting their customer lists are delivering some surprising material. Apparently, law enforcement is among the customers of the resellers of customer phone records, depending on them to get quick background information to assist in breaking cases. The most prolific purchasers appear to be debt collectors, according to MSNBC, which got a peek at the data sellers letters.
The possibility that the Department of Homeland Security may be acquiring telephone records through the back door is not going down well with the Committee, who probably didn’t consider that they weren’t just going after nobodies.
Rob Douglas, an information security consultant who operates PrivacyToday.com, performed research for the House committee conducting the investigation. He recently quit because he said significant issues “were not being fully investigated.”
In a letter announcing his resignation, Douglas said the committee needs to look into dramatic allegations that officials from the Homeland Security Department are among the law enforcement officials purchasing the cell phone records.
“There have been allegations made by one party in the investigation that the Department of Homeland Security purchased American’s phone records from a company in Texas,” Douglas wrote. “It is not clear that this lead is being fully and aggressively explored.”