Police wants your text messages stored forever, reveals proposal

by: Mike StengerMarch 26, 2013

police texting Credit: moriza/Flickr

The Congress has some decisions to make regarding changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Recently, a congressional panel sat down to discuss revisions to the act, one such proposal requiring carriers to record and store all of your text messages. This proposal was put forth by none other than law enforcement itself, so text messages can be easily accessed if someone ever comes under investigation.

Currently, carriers store text messages for a very limited time. For example, Verizon keeps text messages for three to five days, Sprint twelve days, US Cellular three to five days, and AT&T doesn’t store them at all.

Richard Littlehale from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says “text messaging often plays a big role in investigations related to domestic violence, stalking, menacing, drug trafficking, and weapons trafficking.” He may be correct, but should text messages fall under the same rule which allows email older than 180 days to be obtained without a warrant? It’s a bit of a grey area and text messages aren’t the only communication mentioned.

The Justice Department is working to put forth new proposals that give law enforcement more power over email messages, Twitter direct messages, and Facebook messages. Tech giants such as Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook are also putting their foot in, since these proposals would impact them directly.

Whatever changes are made, this recent hearing with Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner at the helm is yet another fight in the battle of defending our personal freedoms.

What’s your take on this?

  • Hermanator

    I really don’t like the idea that makes our very privacy keep fading away.

  • No because I think my privacy is more important than laws and rules.

  • Hans

    Next they are going to ask the post office to scan our mail and keep PDF copies and the home phone service providers to record and keep our calls.

  • Hey cops, read the fuking Constitution!!!

  • josh

    time to switch to encrypted email.

    or.. blackberry messenger (lol)

  • matt_helm

    So, 500 years from now, they are going to figure out I’m beating my wife. FAIL!!!! (Please note, I’m not married, just making a point.) 90 days would be time, if they weren’t all setting on their a$$ eating donuts!

  • David Brymer

    fuk off scum. most of the police have plenty 2 hide themselves

  • if they want messages from forever… that’s a lot of extra storage that google, and apple and cell carriers are going to need. How about something more like messages within the past year?

  • Gov
    is already building a data facility to store and analyze every single
    electronic communication on the planet. One employee left and became a
    whistle blower because it broadly violates all known wiretapping laws.
    Also most smart phones have a rootkit
    installed (by the company that provided them) that logs personal
    information, such as unencrypted passwords.

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    sure, no problem; just make sure the “Police” budgets are responsible for the costs for the servers for storing all that [why should the enablers have to pay?] can you say “darkClouds”?

  • So I guess taxpayer dollars are going to pay for the storage of all this data?