Your cellphone records are for sale

AMERICAblog did a mini-investigation yesterday on a Chicago Sun-Times article stating that companies are selling cellphone records for about a hundred bucks a pop. I first learned about this on NBC's evening news last night, and headed over to see what John's findings were... and as it turns out, he was able to buy the cellphone records of General Wesley Clark within a matter of hours.

What's more is that apparently, the FBI, the Chicago Police Department, one of the top two electronic privacy groups in the nation (EPIC), and even the office of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have all known about it for months. Schumer, for his part, has 'introduced' legislation into Congress, but I'm with John on this one -- that's not nearly enough.

How are the companies gaining access to your account? Any number of ways: by faking being you on the phone, or by hacking your account online are just two. (Many service providers allow customers to view account and call information online.) John lists in a previous post about purchasing his own records a sampling of people this phenomenon could be really bad for if something isn't done quick.

I'm shocked at this, really. Even in my most cynical moments as a political geek, I wouldn't have thought this to be possible, and with such little public outcry about it. Can someone please tell me how these companies are able to get away with this with the laws we currently have?

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