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WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>How private are your text messages?

How private are your text messages?

Dec 4, 2012|

Sandy gives his thoughts on a law enforcement initiative that would require cell phone service providers to store text messages for up to two years.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

And we tobacco -- governor of sandy beach well no we get to this I didn't know get this thing quickly. Congress is in discussions over updating the 1986 privacy law. Because obviously computing in and things have changed a lot since 1986. Well a group -- as a pressuring congress of state and local law enforcement groups. One congress to right in two into the law. That wireless providers would be required. To store your text messages for at least two years in case they're needed for future criminal or even civil investigations. And were asking does that does that make a difference TO. You'll maybe assume that once you sent that text it was gone. And some providers save them and some don't. Have a congress would require them to save them and this is quite an undertaking because. In the last year 20 trillion. Tax were sent two trillion. On an average of six billion per day just just a remarkable number but this is a heavyweight group. That once it's meanwhile AT&T Verizon. And sprint and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information. On private text messages released two years. According to the proposal that the police have submitted. Through the US congress and a lot of groups are involved -- this including of the national district attorney's association. The national sheriffs association the association of state criminal investigative agencies. And the issue is though is a privacy issue. And if you know it's one thing to say well we want for criminal investigations. Okay bad guys wanna catch the bad guys but also for simple so you may have a a flirtatious thing going that leads to the -- -- next thing you know of that. That to tiger over a divorce attorney is that your wife fired. Is now requesting all of your emails -- -- emails all of your tax. -- Like fun. Sure are masking a vote makes a difference that he was this -- slippery slope I think it's a Major League slippery slope. And what you find out I'm I'm telling you if they if if I worry wireless provider. And right now I was not required to do what I wouldn't do it. Some providers like Verizon retain the confidence for brief period of time others like T-Mobile don't store them at all. So maybe your opening a -- account that might come into consideration. We thought we eavesdrop on the legal side of this judge in the volatile from parks. A Fox News was having a roundtable discussion on this very item. -- have mop up. You know different ethnic saying texts -- two -- -- I know a lot of the top does that make with your -- I had just gotten upset about it. What this is a privacy issue with her to -- issue you know three than usual that the the police are asking for us and we -- the police. This is a national organization. Eight charitable foundation if you well that represents the interests of the police and the charity arm has a lobbying arm of the lobbying arm. Is asking for this but just last week. The senate passed legislation has not to the house we don't have the president will we'll it will -- with the president for passes the house. That says if the police want these texts and emails. They have to go to a judge in your search more you know the way the things he has to work from the time of the constitution up until the time of the Patriot Act. That changes the post. 9/11 changes would be wiped out because -- require a search warrant. But this doesn't make them easier to get this requires companies at -- expense to keep them there are so that they -- there if the police do get the search warrant. So out of touch one -- -- The privacy issues coming negated if they got together such what really accredited earlier privacy issue and a business judgment issue with the telecoms question. Who is the government. To tell them how to keep their records answer the government wants to make its own job easier so what's gonna say hold on the right -- for two yours just. Let's say -- is that that casino and act now. Six a picture summit takes a picture and he -- and it's a criminal next month. Not thing hangs around them. I'm saying that the photo it could be used in a court case couldn't AT&T -- -- saying we need death photos and thus we own the photo. Because of it transpired across country lines on their phones Ewing couldn't the government saying that the -- -- -- eighteenth Levine say it's our property it's there as well number. It is AT&T is a business property. The government is just saying you have to keep it longer and you want look I I oppose personally because I think the constitution doesn't authorize. The federal government interfering in the operation of a private business that government can keep its own records for however long it -- the government can keep its -- emails. And tax for two years -- -- can't tell AT&T without compensating it. To engage in an expensive proposition that doesn't it may advance. That its shareholders its stock equity or it's -- -- -- away if there's a letter that -- it's -- the property US Postal Service until the property of the person sent a letter ends at the same for message unfortunately no I agree I agree with you but the government has taken the position that because the letter is no longer in the physical custody of a post office. But the emails somewhere digitally in the custody of the Telecom that the Telecom you know can be told how long we've said this before we always come activists Alexa is still the most private form -- -- gap isn't. Is if I think it is all right I'm I'm glad they're upset. All right so there -- other having the discussion what what are the -- being a layman is this. When you send a text okay. Say Verizon is say you're sending a text on setting in Texas Tony. Why does Verizon owned the rights to that next I don't understand that. I mean when you take a cab when you get into a taxicab you're paying them to transport you from point a to point B but they don't own you. They on the cab. But they don't into the providing a service you're paying you're paying a bill every month to be able to send. Those tax so I don't understand how they have a but that's another story but that the secondary issue here is if they are required to store them. And it would no conversation from the government either way you're paying for. You're either gonna pay it forward through the story extra storage charges that your wireless provider is going to -- charge to store that and accumulate that and and get those the things ready in case and created or the government's going to compensate them and you got a -- government. I mean either way you're paying. Nobody else's bank Europe today. And I'm thinking. That at least with the government. -- them -- a warrant that eliminates the fishing expedition but I think you're better off making a phone call. Because you make a phone call the phone calls are recorded unless there's a wiretap. So if if I'm suspecting Tony he's involved with criminal activity and I hit a judge's order for a wiretap anything -- said before we tapped that. Is gone. It's not recorded anywhere tax could be there but they want this for two years. So this could have been something for two years I think that if you want if you want privacy better go back to using the telephone. Mean that's that's my logical mind thinking because then in orderly in order to work. To get what you said on the phone they have to of -- recording it already. Before you said it they'd have to have a wiretap order from the judge before you set it as opposed to something that they're looking for that happened eighteen months ago. I'm think about that will be back after this.

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