The NSA Verizon Collection Coming on DVD

Don’t you wish! 😉

Sadly U.S. citizens have to rely on the foreign press, NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily for minimal transparency of our own government.

According to the post:

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

The order expires July 19, 2013. One response to get a Verizon account and setup a war games dialer to make 1-800 calls between now an July 19, 2013.

The other response is to think about the subject identity management issues with the Verizon data.

Bare Verizon Data

Let’s see, you get: numbers of both parties on a call, location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls.”

Not all that difficult to create networks of the calls based on the Verizon data but that doesn’t get you identity of the people making the calls.

Identifying Individuals

What about matching the phone numbers to the major credit bureaus?

Where the FTC found:

A Federal Trade Commission study of the U.S. credit reporting industry found that five percent of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports that could lead to them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.

Overall, the congressionally mandated study on credit report accuracy found that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports.

In FTC Study, Five Percent of Consumers Had Errors on Their Credit Reports That Could Result in Less Favorable Terms for Loans

Bear in mind that the sources in credit reports have their own methods for identifying individuals, which are not exposed through the credit bureaus.

As I recall, credit reports don’t include political or social activity.

Identifying Social Networks

Assuming some rough set of names, it might be possible to match those names against FaceBook and other social media sites. And then to map the relationship there back to the relationships in the original Verizon data.

The main problem being that every data set uses a different means to identify the same individuals and associations between individuals.

You and I may be friends on FaceBook, doing business together on LinkedIn and have cell phone conversations in the Verizon data, but the question will be mapping all of those together.

And remembering that all those systems are dynamic. Knowing my network of contacts six (6) weeks ago may or may not be useful now.

To be useful, the NSA will need to query along different identifications in different systems for the same person and have the results returned across all the systems.

Otherwise, Verizon will show a healthy profit after July 19, 2013 in fees for delivery electronic copies of data it already collects.

“Secret” court order was necessary to make the sale.

The NSA will have a data set just because it exists. “Big data” supports funding goals.

Verizon users? No less privacy than they had when only Verizon had the data.

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