Police Made 1.3 Million Surveillance Requests on Cell Phones in 2011

Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made more than 1.3 million requests for consumers’ cellphone records in 2011, an alarming surge over previous years that reflected the increasingly gray area between privacy and technology. Cellphone carriers, responding to inquiries from a member of Congress, reported responding to as many as thousands of police requests daily for customers’ locations, text messages and call details, frequently without warrants. Special legal teams operating round-the-clock have been set up to field requests, and some carriers hoping to recoup their costs have created detailed menus of what records can be provided — and for what price.

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