The US government isn’t allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. Authorities can often obtain your e-mails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a simple subpoena. Usually you won’t even be notified. The Senate last weektook a step toward updating privacy protection for emails, but it’s likely the issue will be kicked to the next Congress.
“They’re pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country … and assembling that information,” Binney explained. “So government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it’s a very dangerous process.” He estimated that something like 1.6 billion logs have been processed since 2001.
CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.
…construction of a top-secret $2 billion facility in Utah — known simply as the Utah Data Center…will reportedly be a storehouse for incredible amounts of both public and private data from international and domestic citizens. The facility is said to be filled with 25,000 square feet of servers, housing everything from Google searches, online product purchase records, as well as intercepted emails and cellphone calls.