The father of the Patriot Act is very concerned about the NSA maintaining a record of phone calls, which is why he authored and introduced the Patriot Act. Or something.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who wrote and introduced the PATRIOT Act to Congress in 2001, said in a statement Thursday that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds by issuing a secret order to collect phone log records from millions of Americans.
“As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the FBI’s interpretation of this legislation,” he said in a statement. “While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses.
By golly, he was so worried about potential abuse he wrote the fucker himself.
As has already been confirmed by several members of the House and Senate, Congress has been aware of the NSA’s records-keeping practices since their conception over seven years ago. And Sensenbrenner of all people must be fully aware of the NSA’s capabilities and their mandate.
For me personally, this story is a nothingburger. Because as someone who uses Twitter, Instagram, and all of Google’s various services synced across a wide range of devices, I understand that privacy is an illusion. And from my understanding, the NSA does not keep a record of conversations, names, addresses, or financial information in conjunction with it’s record of phone calls. Google, on the other hand, has a record of each of those things. My local pizza delivery service may have more compromising information on me than the NSA does.
And the NSA is not the only entity keeping records on you. In fact, your mobile carrier keeps far more detailed information on you than the NSA does, and your mobile carrier is selling that information for a healthy profit.
Phone companies already collect data on user location, as well as Web surfing and application use, to adjust their networks to handle traffic better. Two carriers, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), are just starting to make the data available to third-party companies in hopes of booking millions in sales. Worldwide, revenue from selling mobile-user behavior data may reach $9.6 billion in 2016, up from $5.5 billion last year, Walldorf, Germany-based SAP (SAP) estimated. [...]
Phone companies are piling up data at a rate of one to two terabytes a day for every 20 million to 30 million wireless customers, according to SAP.
If you’re worried about privacy between you and those that provide services to you, or those who provide for your security, you may want to consider becoming a monk.
The kind of privacy that really matters – privacy between you and your neighbors or you and your loved ones — is something you alone have control over.
If Congress has the will to end these practices, they can be my guest, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it if they don’t.
For a detailed explanation of how the NSA’s record-keeping process works in tandem with FISA and the Patriot Act, read more here.