Re: [infoguys-list] The Great Cell Phone Record Debate....
- Don't fret Rick, we all know you live to be a pain in the ass - but the Lord
works in strange and mysterious ways, and in His infinite wisdom, He has
made me available to you to help sort thru your confusions.
Let's start with your closing statement "..... I suppose you could say that
it is alright for Law Enforcement to do this, but not Private
No, but yes.
No, I would not say that, but yes, I do expect the ultimate legislation to
say exactly that - but I'm a guy who pays attention to history which, as is
often pointed out, tends to repeat itself. Look up the exemptions to Graham
Leach Bliley - now why do you suppose that is?
Let's proceed on thru your next-to-last assertion, "I guess it's time to go
back on your opinions, or give us some suggestions on how to rectify this
No, and no.
What, precisely, do you think has changed? While it may be "news" to you
that the info brokers have revealed that they were also selling this info to
law enforcement, that certainly is not news to me. Law enforcement has looked
to commercially available information for as long as there has been
commercially available information.
If it turns out that info brokers are, and have been, violating the law in
the acquisition of these toll records, it does not follow that the buyers have
violated any law, because the info brokers keep their methods secret. Once
the government announces that their methods are, and have been unlawful, that
I use Lexis. Suppose an investigation reveals that Lexis does not obtain
their DMV records legally - suppose it turns out that they are actually
kidnapping the children of high placed DMV officials in various states and holding
them for information ransom? Am I in trouble?
Of course not - I did nothing but buy that which is "readily available in
commerce." Without "criminal intent" there generally is no crime.
Now, before you launch into a proclamation that "BUT IT's AGAINST THE LAW,"
find the law and read it closely. Do not expand upon what it says. There is
no law that I know of that says it is illegal to acquire a third party's
telephone toll records - in fact, let's look at an example.
Suppose you throw your toll records in the trash and I find them there - I
can have them can't I? I can also legally sell them to a third party with an
interest in your records can't I?
Unless you can make the case that there is no possible legal way to have
obtained the record, you cannot sanction the purchaser of that record as they
are not responsible for the unlawful acts of the seller.
In playing your "Gurley the Gadfly" role, you have always had a tendency to
see a few steps and take off running in the direction that you think they go;
however, you are definitely learning. Rather than bless us with some
half-baked declarative assertion of the facts according to Gurley . . . this time,
you open with questions.
I have to give you credit for that.
Bill E. Branscum, Investigator
PO Box 10728
Naples, FL 34101
(239) 304-1640 Fax
In a message dated 5/6/2006 3:47:50 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
I hate to be a pain in the keister (actually I don't, but I should
say that I do so I appear not to be "starting trouble". LOL.)
A while back there was some postings about how it was wrong to
obtain cell phone records without a court order.. How the right way
to do this was with a subpoena.. How Law Enforcement has always had
to use a subpoena to obtain these records.. And yada, yada,
Then I read this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12534959/
WOW! The FBI, none the less...........
I am curious if after reading this, some of you former law
enforcement types still feel the same way about having to subpoena
cell phone records? And if you do still feel the same way, what
suggestions would you make to sanction your brethren that have been
obtaining cell phone records through private Information Brokers? I
guess it's time to go back on your opinions, or give us some
suggestions on how to rectify this problem..... I suppose you could
say that it is alright for Law Enforcement to do this, but not
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- Paul and others -
I appreciate everyone being in agreement that LEO's are not above the law.
I also agree with Paul's statement implying that just because some
information brokers said they sold records to the FBI does not make it so. However and
regardless, who cares? Didn't the CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law
Enforcement Act) of 1994 open up all phone records to the Feds? It doesn't
matter who they got the information from if they are legally entitled.
However, I do question the intelligence of a fed who covertly obtains records from
someone criminally in possession of same. However, I'm certain that going
to IB's is sometimes a heck of a lot faster than trying to even figure out
which carrier to go to. We are heads above the LEOs on that one.
Then we have the question of obtaining phone records via subpoena. I have
not taken the time to review the laws in all 50 states. However, I do know
that in the State of CA you may NOT, I repeat, may NOT lawfully subpoena phone
records without the prior written consent of the consumer whose records are
sought (CCP §1985.3). The lawyer can, however, obtain a court order from the
sitting judge. I would, however, assume that there are similar laws in all
50 states since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 states that customers’
phone records are their private property and can only be disclosed to the
customer or with the approval of the customer (47 U.S.C. 222).
Just my 2¢ worth.
Sarkis Detective Agency
1346 Ethel Street
Glendale, CA 91207-1826
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English,
thank a military veteran.
God Bless America and her allies forever !!
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