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Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans' Real Time Credit Card Activity

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the enjoy-knowing-the-exact-minute-i-eat-lunch dept.

Privacy 299

PatPending writes "A 10-page Powerpoint presentation (PDF) that security and privacy analyst Christopher Soghoian recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Department of Justice reveals that law enforcement agencies routinely seek and obtain real-time surveillance of credit card transactions. The government's guidelines reveal that this surveillance often occurs with a simple subpoena, thus sidestepping any Fourth Amendment protections."

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We are all suspects, welcome to the police state. (2)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434464)

In the police state we are all potential terrorists. Just like this guy http://www.jbhfile.com/invest_beginnings.html [jbhfile.com]

Let it be a lesson, don't piss off the banks and financial institutions of America.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434558)

Newsflash: the government gets whatever it wants when it approaches a large enough company. You do realize that warrantless wiretapping hasn't stopped, right?

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (-1, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434726)

You do realize that warrantless wiretapping hasn't stopped, right?

Prove it.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434902)

You do realize that warrantless wiretapping hasn't stopped, right?

Prove it.

I work in the telecomm industry. Why do you think I'm posting anonymously? I can't prove it though, that would require leaking documents, and I'm not really prepared to do that.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435480)

No, really. What's Santa bringing me this year, Rudolph?

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435052)

Our current commander-in-chief is the guy that signed the previous warrant-less wiretap pardon. Link [techcrunch.com]

This is a democracy. You people voted for it all, now bend over and take it.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435094)

Actually it's a Republic. Bush did not win the popular vote.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435146)

Yeah, we voted for it because both McCain and Obama support it. You're trying to make it sound like if we had elected McCain anything would be different. Do you forget that this is a program designed by the previous Republican administration don't you? Why you're upset about only now baffles me. It was a problem under Bush and it's still a problem under Obama. But what are you going to do? Vote for a Republican who will continue doing it then claim it's ok because he's an R? It's a problem whoever does it. The bigger problem is that most of the US populace think it's only a problem when "the other guy" does it.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

seandhi (1949778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435232)

There are more than Republicans and Democrats... Do you not vote for the other parties because they're 'not electable'?

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (2)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435790)

Independants/3rd party candidates are all but un-electable.

I mean sure, one or two slip in from time to time. But the majority of the time, by supporting a 3rd party candidate you are directly syphoning votes away from the person who is the "lesser of two evils" in your mind, making it easier for the "greater of two evils" to get the most votes.

Not to mention having many parties just fucks to hell with the vote. Here in Canada, a haven of multi-party politics, our last election the ruling party got 37% of the vote. 37-fucking-percent.

Remember the uproar when George won with 47% of the vote in 2000? Selected, not elected? Imagine he got the presidency with 37% of the popular vote. People would freak the fuck out.

Don't get me wrong...I think multi-party is better than the 2-party system that ya'all have. But to make it work in the US, IMHO you'll have to entirely overhaul the entire electoral system. Otherwise you're just asking for chaos.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435296)

Pardoning people for something they did under the idiot who previously held the office is not proof that the thing is ongoing. Nor is continuing to litigae in the government's defense in cases brought by people who were wiretapped under said idiot.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435992)

You're right.

Except the Financial Reform Bill just signed by Pres. Obama includes the ability to spy on your cellphone transaction and follow its location in near real-time. New face; same spying. It never ends. Clinton had the "Know Your Customer" act which required banks to report all transactions above $10,000. Then George Duh Bush with his Patriot Act. And now Obama is on the same path.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435350)

prove that i didn't hump your mom.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (3, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434806)

By his own words, that guy meets all the requirements for a paranoid schizophrenic diagnosis. I had a girlfriend once who complained that her ex used to break into her house on a regular basis and inventory her underwear drawer. Logic dictates that the costs/benefits of paying a staff to do 24/7 harassment of an ex-employee just don't make sense.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434876)

Was her ex really short, bearded, and wearing a funny hat?

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (2)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434884)

By his own words, that guy meets all the requirements for a paranoid schizophrenic diagnosis. I had a girlfriend once who complained that her ex used to break into her house on a regular basis and inventory her underwear drawer. Logic dictates that the costs/benefits of paying a staff to do 24/7 harassment of an ex-employee just don't make sense.

That depends on who you work for. I'm sure a bank or the feds would have the money to do 24/7 surveillance on anyone they choose. That includes you.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434910)

Land of the free and we're united, make our destiny, we take control,
yeah, never divided, we got the power and we'll never be, divided we fall,
oh yeah, land of the free, free to conspire, control destiny,
oh yeah, you're gonna see, no use resistin',
you're livin' in the land of the free, free to control your life,
land of the free, free to control your mind, land of the free?

Land of the free, United Nations of hypocrisy, profit's our goal,
we're incorporated, it's big business and oil companies controlling us all,
oh yeah, land of the free, free to conspire, control destiny,
oh yeah, you're gonna see, no use resistin',
you're livin' in the land of the free, free to control your life,
land of the free, free to control your mind, land of the free?

I'd like to pray to the flag of the United States of hypocrisy
and see the republic for which it stands, one day we'll seize control,
3000 AD and justice for all

Land of the free, free to control your life, land of the free,
free to control your mind, land of the free, land of the free,
free to control your life, land of the free, free to control your mind,
land of the free?

Yeah, right

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435348)

You realize that site is either a fake or the work of a schizophrenic, right?

If you don't realize that, watch out. Because you're next.

Old news... (2)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435802)

..although I appreciate the the post and update.

This first started online and realtime when First Data (whose CEO at the time was on the Council on Foreign Relations, I forget the twit's name) offered Bush administration that info for free (back in either 2001, but really around 2000).

Now First Data and TransUnion are government contractors, and together with 90 or so other private government contractors, the NSA, DIA, CIFA and NGA, make up the Total Information Awareness, actually begun under the auspices of the banksters' Regulatory DataCorp (RDC) and their Global Regulatory Information Database, or G.R.I.D.

If you don't believe me, try to crack their firewall setups, and research them.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435988)

I don't know about you, but I try to make all large purchases with cash just for this reason. I'd rather not have any trail on such things. Let my trivial economic activity be logged, if they want to know I'm ordering aquarium thermometers from China or DVD players from Amazon so be it.

I always kind of assumed this data was available without a warrant, and getting a warrant isn't usually all that hard anyway.

Re:We are all suspects, welcome to the police stat (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436004)

I tell you what, if someone comes to my house and unwinds my guitar strings I'M GOING POSTAL.

Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434502)

We don't have privacy because we don't deserve it. We must accept that we are peasants to large financial institutions. They own our souls.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434570)

We don't have privacy because we don't deserve it. We must accept that we are peasants to large financial institutions. They own our souls.

We sold them our souls.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434896)

We don't have privacy because we don't deserve it. We must accept that we are peasants to large financial institutions. They own our souls.

We sold them our souls.

We let (|ourselves be (lulled|fooled) into letting) Congress sell them our souls.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434796)

We don't have privacy because we don't deserve it.

We don't have privacy because we don't fight for it. Subtle difference. In this political climate, speaking out against the government gets you on the list. Going to a protest gets you on another. Flying a plane, depositing your pay check (if it's too big, or on the wrong date), going to the pharmacy to get cold medication -- you're on a list. buy your groceries? List. Subscribe to a magazine or newspaper? List. check out subversive books at the library? List. Use facebook? Download porn? Check your email? More lists.

All accessible to the government for two reasons: First, people don't know, and two, those who know usually don't care. They might care more if they knew how many innocent people were in jail, or on death row, victims of coincidence and circumstantial evidence gained by such methods. We are moving into a world in which being a statistical anomaly is a criminal offense.

Julian Assange is not fighting for your privacy. (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434906)

He is fighting against it. The government is cracking down because if fears guys like him and Jim Bell.

Re:Julian Assange is not fighting for your privacy (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434996)

He is fighting against it. The government is cracking down because if fears guys like him and Jim Bell.

That... does not follow at all.

Re:Julian Assange is not fighting for your privacy (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435268)

Jim Bell is a hack. Art Bell, now there's a truth teller. Assange said they have some UFO stuff to produce. I cannot wait until I see the cables showing what the US government thinks of Art Bell.

Re:Julian Assange is not fighting for your privacy (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435434)

Julian Assange is fighting against the government's privacy, not ours. The difference? Unlike individual private citizens, the government doesn't deserve privacy!

Re:Julian Assange is not fighting for your privacy (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435884)

Julian Assange is fighting against the government's privacy, not ours. The difference? Unlike individual private citizens, the government doesn't deserve privacy!

Where is this in the Constitution? Where does our Constitution compel the Federal Government to be fully transparent?

States protecting their secrets is old as dirt.
http://suntzusaid.com/book/13 [suntzusaid.com]

Secrets are important for national security, PERIOD, END OF LINE

Re:Julian Assange is not fighting for your privacy (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436046)

Where is this in the Constitution? Where does our Constitution compel the Federal Government to be fully transparent?

That's a silly thing to say. Where in the constitution is your right to privacy described? Nowhere, but the Supremes ruled that you had to have privacy to have any of those other rights which aren't supposed to be a strict enumeration of your rights anyway, so now you have a constitutional right to privacy! Isn't that neat? By the same token, you can't verify your democracy is operating democratically unless you have a certain amount of openness. As it turns out from the leaks we've received, it is telling us it is doing one thing while it is doing another.

Secrets are important for national security, PERIOD, END OF LINE

Openness is necessary for Democracy, period, END OF FILE

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435004)

Well not that I don't agree with you and all - I do - but really, what's the bad thing that happens by being on any of those lists?

I'm probably on, for example, the grocery store list. So some entity I've never heard of knows that I just bought some ground beef and peppers. So what? That fact doesn't seem to impact me in any way I can tell. Whoever they are, I don't see any adverts related to those products. I'm honestly not able to see any difference in my life between them knowing, and them not knowing.

Or let's take another example: I don't use facebook, but I have a lot of friends who do. What's the problem? Yeah, OK, FB knows who they email. So what? It doesn't seem to impact them adversely.

Or your "cold meds" example. OK, some database somewhere knows that I bought cold meds. So? I've yet to see a single targeted ad for cold meds, and even if I did... how does that actually hurt me?

To be clear I'm on the side of privacy myself, but it seems like a hard thing to argue for when people don't see anything bad that happens by giving it up.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435048)

We are moving into a world in which being a statistical anomaly is a criminal offense.

We already live in a world in which being a statistical minority is a criminal offense.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435158)

There are less than 4,000 innocent people on death row. Something like that many people die from medical mistakes each month.

So it seems like a pretty ridiculous example of a society gone hopelessly wrong.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (1)

Aldanga (1757414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435912)

Even 1 innocent person on death row is too many and a travesty.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434930)

You can have privacy, it's just getting a lot more expensive to do so.

Here are some steps for you.

1 - cash only. Yes kiddies, saving for and buying your item.
2 - Used only. This one works really well. Buying used from a private party leaves no paper trail.
3 - when presed for information give randomized false information. Giving the same false info builds a profile. Use incredibly common names, large apartment complexes as address, etc..
4 - Dress to blend in. Honestly, you need to be forgettable and blend in. You cant have a 4 foot tall bright red mohawk and expect privacy.
5 - Keep your mouth shut. Loose lips sink ships and give away your information.
6 - reassess and reevaluate your practices regularly. Keeps you from getting sloppy.

Is it easy? not a chance, it sucks. But it also works if you want to be "invisible". And that is exactly what you need to do. Live as if you are on the run and need to hide.
That said, I know people that live that way, but most of them are nutty.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435106)

And sadly none of that should have to be the norm for living free, and living in a country founded on liberty and privacy and mutual respect.

In another note, we've traced you through our subpoena to /. message databases, and we found your IP. I'd watch what you download, if I were you.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435516)

Found my IP of my VPN service overseas.... :Luckily I paid them with a prepaid credit card that is not attached to my real name or address..

Muahahaha.... Oh crap, I just gave all that away...

DAMMIT!

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435894)

Cash? More than $10k and you've got a paper/electron trail. Good luck buying a house or anything more than a quite old or very basic car.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435948)

1 - cash only. Yes kiddies, saving for and buying your item.

Having the money in hand before you buy something? That's crazy talk.

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435490)

We don't have privacy because we don't deserve it. We must accept that we are peasants to large financial institutions. They own our souls.

You don't have privacy because you agreed to the terms and conditions when you accepted the credit card offer from the "large financial institution.". They didn't have to give you credit, and you didn't have to take it when they offered. It was your choice.

Similarly, you don't have privacy at the grocery store because you accepted the terms and conditions of that "club card" when they offered it. They didn't have to offer it to you, and you didn't have to accept. You have to know they're getting something FROM you when they let you buy their stuff for less money when you have that card. Why do you think they do that, because they are altruistic and nice and like you?

Re:Anyone is a potential terrorist, get used to it (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435654)

In the US at least you are correct. We as a people do not deserve the freedoms we once had. We sold them for a sense of security and a government check.

So feel secure, cash your check and shut the fuck up.

Duh!! We don't own the data (3, Informative)

cenobyte40k (831687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434530)

Duh!! Honestly the data isn't private protected data, it belongs to the companies we did business with and they can do what they want with it. They might not want to piss us off, but it's better not to piss of the legal authorities either. As a result they are more than welcome to give it to the govt., police, or any party they like. Honestly this has been going on in dozens and dozens of ways for a long, long time and I can't believe this is really news. Didn't we all already know this?

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434630)

Thank you. I was waiting for someone to inject some sanity into the conversation. +1, if I had it to give. :)

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435528)

Still; democracy dies by degree; death by 1000 tiny cuts.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435890)

And continues to thrive by 1000 tiny taxes.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435056)

More than that, this is potentially a good thing if it is being done in the right way. It would make it much easier, for example, to detect somebody currently off the grid who decides to buy the materials needed to make a bomb. As long as the tracking is being done in a non-prejudicial way, as long as the banks work together to create a unique cardholder ID to mask the identity of the person in question (but with that ID shared across all cards that the person holds from all banks), as long as the card company only reports purchases of specific materials of significant concern, and as long as the identity of the person in question remains masked by the card companies until such time as the spooks do obtain a warrant to unmask the suspicious person, I'm all for it.

If, on the other hand, as I suspect, none of those safeguards are in place, and it is being used to see what random ex-cons are buying just to be nosy, then it's a bad thing. There's a right way and a wrong way to do this sort of thing, and sadly, our government has a tendency to do it the easy way, which is almost invariably the wrong way.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435272)

I'm pretty sure that if someone is successful at staying "off the grid" they aren't going to be dumb enough to buy supplies with a credit card and put themselves "on the grid." The only people this stuff will catch are stupid criminals/terrorists who will doubtlessly get caught without this sort of snooping.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

Mordocai (1353301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435406)

I'm pretty sure that by "off the grid" he meant someone that the feds weren't already watching. There are plenty of people who have never committed a crime before who might be dumb enough to buy supplies with a credit card.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435982)

I hadn't thought of it that way. Good point. My apologies to GP post if that was indeed the intent.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435266)

it's better not to piss of the legal authorities either

Generally when the legal authorities aren't supposed to force you to do something, they're not supposed to coerce you into doing it either.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435814)

The government's guidelines reveal that this surveillance often occurs with a simple subpoena

It not coercion. This is how the legal system has always made a request official. Don't like it, or don't want to cooperate? Get a lawyer and see of you can get it quashed. Coercion is where they make an informal request and offer to arrest you if you don't cooperate. Force is when a warrant is issued.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (4, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435624)

Well, the email log at my email provider is also owned by my email provider, not me. But I certainly consider the contents as private information.

And why do you think the AOL search scandal a scandal? The data was owned by AOL, but they still need to handle it confidentially.

Same with credit card transactions. I am pretty sure that they are private here in Denmark. I remember asking my bank about a transaction, and being told that the employees could only see the amount of the transactions, not the accompanying text.

Re:Duh!! We don't own the data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435684)

Wow, kind of scary too though: So businesses in the US can just sell my information (address, credit card, whatever else) to the next customer in line. I see with your explanation why this wouldn't be part of the 4th, but how awesome is that?

And I still don't know what business the government has to collect that information. I think you "Duh!" response shows how easy we bend over these days. I can remember a time when every sane person would have gone: "WTF?"

It shocks me how little meaning "privacy" really has. As we've seen in other stories: Privacy is all but a hollow word. And while off-topic to this thread, that's really the problem.

Exactly the same as "warrantless wiretapping" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435748)

You don't own the fact that your phone was called by someone else's, either. That's phone company billing data.

One wonders how many people who agree with your statement were also crazily upset about "BOOOSH trampling all over the Constitution" with "illegal warrantless wiretaps".

But now that Obama's in charge, it's OK?

WTF

I write my own, thank you (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434540)

For credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person’s purchases by writing their own subpoena, followed up by a order from a judge that the surveillance not be disclosed.

Write your own subpoena - now legal in all 50 states!

Re:I write my own, thank you (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434988)

It always was. A subpoena is a demand for a witness to appear or for the delivery of records. If it's for a witness the court doesn't get involved before the subpoena is served. If it's for records from someone who isn't a party to the case the court issues the subpoena.

You are protected by the 4th amendment. Information other people have about you, who aren't your lawyer or your immedate family, is not.

Re:I write my own, thank you (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435194)

And in a world where it is, supposedly, very profitable to gather together any and all data about you and sell it to the highest bidder, no information regarding you is protected by the 4th amendment.

It's funny, our founding fathers put massive amounts of effort and intellectual practice into drafting a fantastic document that protects the people from the government. It's too bad none of them thought to draft up the same type of document to protect the people from large social entities like corporations, businesses, special interest groups, powerful churches, political parties, etc. You would have thought they had heard about the abuses of the British East India Trading Company and the abuses of the Vatican that caused Martin Luther to separate back then...ah well. Maybe next time around we'll get it right.

I assume everything I do is tracked (4, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434554)

By the government, commercial data mining firms, and my employer. As Zuckerberg said, "There is no privacy in the modern world, Learn to live with it."

Re:I assume everything I do is tracked (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434688)

By the government, commercial data mining firms, and my employer. As Zuckerberg said, "There is no privacy in the modern world, Learn to live with it."

It is tracked, then it's sold to China so the Chinese workers and business owners can have the edge.

Same here but (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434754)

add hackers, identity thieves, and Mr. Cumba (or whatever his name is from all those "I want to deposit money in your US account" e-mails) to your list of "watchers"

Re:I assume everything I do is tracked (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434782)

Zuckerberg and co. can't seem to manage a website properly. Are we really supposed to take (self-serving) privacy advice from them?

I like to think of myself as a reasonable person, and as such, I try not to put anything on the Internet that might embarrass me (now or later on). Having said that, accepting the premise that your actions on the Internet are inevitably going to be seen by other people doesn't mean it's okay for just anyone to see them. To put it bluntly, I see no reason to lube up and hand to them the anal probe they want to use on me.

Re:I assume everything I do is tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34434998)

I assume everything I do is tracked By the government, commercial data mining firms, and my employer. As Zuckerberg said, "There is no privacy in the modern world, Learn to live with it."

Fuck you, shill.

CAPTCHA: knight

Re:I assume everything I do is tracked (2)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435188)

As Zuckerberg said, "There is no privacy in the modern world, Learn to live with it."

You misspelled "Scott McNealy", and he said it in January of 1999 when Zuckerberg was still in High School.

Re:I assume everything I do is tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435594)

Zuckerberg is a dumbass.

Should be, 'There is no privacy for that which you willingly engage in, in the modern world.'

This just in... (4, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434646)

The NSA watches you play World of Warcraft in REAL TIME! If you play the Horde, you are a terrorist.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434738)

The ancient Romans and Greeks debated policing the police many years ago. I guess we just forget from time to time how important this is.

How does this violate the 4th? (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434744)

How does a subpoena violate the 4th amendment? Subpoenas are granted by a judge - that's exactly what the 4th amendment is meant to require.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434844)

A subpoena is not a warrant. The 4th amendment requires warrants issued with probable cause.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435126)

A subpoena isn't a search. It's an order to produce documents. No searching is involved. A search warrant would be inappropriate in this situation, because there isn't any doubt that the credit card companies have kept this information.

And has been pointed out elsewhere in this discussion, the card holder's rights to privacy aren't being violated any way you slice it, because it's not the card holder's records that are being examined. It's the credit card company's.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435282)

it's not the card holder's records that are being examined. It's the credit card company's.

Ahh, so, that means that the doctors examine their medical records, not mine? You might want to work on your powers of deductive reasoning... I assert ownership of all information related to myself, and my rights to information about myself supersede anyone else, even if they collected that information.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435870)

You can assert anything you like. That doesn't make it so. The record of your credit card purchases is kept by your credit card company to do business. It's theirs. Medical records are protected by doctor-patient privilege, and by other privacy regulations (e.g., HIPAA). You can read more about that here [epic.org] .

Life is a little bit more complicated than you seem to believe.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (1)

El Royo (907295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435930)

In the case of medical records those are protected by specific laws (HIPAA). I suspect, unless specifically spelled out in HIPAA, the doctor's income records could be subpoenaed, which might contain amounts you were billed. As to your other information, good luck with that. Your right to assert that ownership is tenuous at best and almost certainly waived by the agreements you signed with your bank, your credit card and your mortgage company.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435312)

That seems like a dangerous loophole since almost any information would fall under that. It seems like we are saying the data isn't protected, it is the records themselves.

Suppose a customer uses a backup service that has a privacy policy saying they won't give away the customer data. I think you are saying the service can release the files because it isn't the customer's files that are being examined, it is the backup service's files.

Or am I misapplying the reasoning?

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (3, Informative)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435574)

That seems like a dangerous loophole since almost any information would fall under that. It seems like we are saying the data isn't protected, it is the records themselves.

If I go to your store and buy something from you, you're going to keep track of that transaction. You'll note down that you sold some item for some amount of money. This is your data, not mine. You use it to keep track of your inventory and balance your books and whatever else.

If you get subpoenaed for all your records pertaining to a certain date, my privacy isn't being violated. Even if I bought something on that date. They're your records, not mine. You may have recorded some data about me... But that's still your data. Not mine.

This is the same thing, only larger.

These aren't your records, they belong to the banks and credit card companies and whoever else. They keep these records to make sure that everybody gets paid/charged the right amount.

You buy something at a store with a credit card - that credit card company needs to keep track of it. Not for your sake, but for theirs. They need to know that $X was paid to this store, in your name, and you now need to pay back $Y on your next bill. This information is necessary for the credit card company to stay in business. If they don't track it, they don't know where their money is going, or who owes them money.

It is data about your actions... But it isn't your data. It belongs to the credit card company. They're the ones generating it and maintaining it for their own purposes. And when you use their credit card you agree to let them generate and use this data, because the credit card wouldn't function without it.

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435850)

"It is data about your actions... But it isn't your data. It belongs to the credit card company."

I think you are exactly correct! However, I must inject some common sense here: if the Feds are using a variety of data sources to track ME specifically, then the issue is sneaking into 4th amendment territory. For example, a reasonable person would object if a policeman followed them all day long noting what purchases they made. This is the virtual equivalent. Yes? No? Maybe?

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436002)

I think that is a great analogy and explains why this smells wrong, even if taken individually it doesn't sound too bad. I'm still curious about the backup example though. Perhaps they could subpoena what was uploaded and when, but no the contents without warrant?

Re:How does this violate the 4th? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435642)

Subpoenas are also issued by government agencies without a judge. From the article, "For credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person’s purchases by writing their own subpoena, ..."

A records subpoena is a court order. (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434908)

Business records are not your personal "papers and effects", so they don't really live under the 4th amendment, but even if they did they're covered because subpoenas of records are issued by the court; they're merely requested by the prosecutor. This is a non-issue.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (5, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435136)

Business records aren't "papers"? Are you clinically retarded or just a Big Brother Lover? Business records is exactly the kind of thing the Founding Fathers were thinking about, not your collection of Japanese scat porn.

The records detailing the service provided by your credit card provider/bank should be just as private as the records of a business you run. The whole point of the 4th amendment is to stop Government fishing expeditions (by requiring evidence of probable cause) which is exactly what this is.

The only way you can defend this is if you are a short sighted fool who thinks unlimited surveillance by the Government is the only way to stop the terrorists taking your freedoms (at least this objective would be achieved as the terrorists wouldn't want your freedoms after the Government has left muddy boot prints all over them).

Also get back to me when politicians, police, and prosecutors give disclosure of their business records on request so the public can be sure they aren't taking money from criminal activity. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435506)

Business records aren't "papers"?

Your creditor's business records aren't your papers, and thus you don't have a Fourth Amendment right to protect them.

While the creditor whose records are sought may or may not have a Fourth Amendment right protecting them from seizure without a warrant, they generally have no incentive to assert any such right.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435698)

The credit card company's records of your mutual transactions are the credit card companies "papers" not your "papers" (you have your own coppy but that doesn't mean the credit card company's coppy is yours as well). As such the credit card company can waive it's right to be protected from search, or be targeted by a legal order to surrender the records without any requiernment that you be informed or have given concent.

The 4th amendment means that you can't be forced to show law enforcment your records unless they have a warrent or you choose to waive the relevent rite. It does not mean the government isn't allowed to know anything you don't want them to know about you.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435718)

Business records aren't your papers.

The only interpersonal information that is protected is your communications with your lawyer and your doctor and your immediate family.

I can defend this just by saying that I believe in justice and the Constitution.

You can request anyone's credit records by filling out a form to get a subpoena. Many government officials are required by law to regularly file statements as to their financial activities. I'll leave it as an exercise for you to figure out how to access them.

and I'll take that "clinically retarded" crack as an example of projection. You're not free at all when you're so vastly ignorant of the actual limits on your freedom. You're just a criminal act and a jail sentence waiting to happen.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435922)

They're "papers", but that's not what he said. He said, "business records are not your personal papers and effects". That is, business records maintained by a business B concerning that business's dealings with person P are the property of the business. They are not the personal papers of person P. Now, the person's business records of their dealings with the business B are P's property.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435142)

Five year old credit card records are business records. Two month old credit card records are business records.
Real time monitoring of credit cards records is following you, and it's creepy.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435292)

This is a REAL issue. The 4th amendment implies protection of *all* of your data, not just that sitting in your night table. The founding fathers had no clue your personal information could be virtualized and quickly copied, but the protection is there in the 4th amendment. Somehow, law enforcement (and the public) has construed the boundary of your rights to end at your front door.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Even your persons (i.e. your body) are protected from warrant-less searches. Now, that doesn't stop law enforcement from violating your rights. Google NYC's "stop and frisk" laws.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435996)

You're all confused.

Of course the founding fathers knew that business records could be kept in locations other than your own house and by people other than yourself. Business and business law and prosecutorial procedure weren't brand-new to them. They didn't invent the idea of a warrant.

The point of the 4th Amendment is to protect your person and your home from fishing expeditions, not to prevent the gathering of evidence. If your evidence is in someone else's hands, all they have to do is ask for it. In fact, they could just ask you for it. You can refuse to provide it. They then need a warrant, which means they need to attest to probable cause. The difference is, there's no reason your credit-card company would refuse to comply, so a warrant to forcibly seize the information is unnecessary.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

twebb72 (903169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435394)

Where in the article do you see it state business records? Article states 'individuals', as in persons. Not business entities.

Re:A records subpoena is a court order. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435680)

As I replied to another poster, not all subpoenas are issued by a court. From the article, "For credit cards, agents can get real-time information on a person’s purchases by writing their own subpoena, ..."

Cash will be outlawed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435080)

Its already illegal to travel with more then 10,000$, but there is no restriction to carrying a credit card worth ten times that.

Its not your money, citizen. We only lend it to you.

/"we" used be "the people" but is now "the moneyed elite who got that way by graft and corruption" which used to be "by earning it"

FuckEr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435278)

was after a long [goat.cx]

what do you expect? (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435294)

when you use an electronic network, your default assumption should be that anything communicated on it will be snooped on, backed up as data, and exploited. this applies to the internet as much as using your credit card

if you don't like that, use cash

but don't depend upon the government... to protect you from the government. that's absurd. besides, its not only the government that does this, all sorts of unscrupulous activity goes on with your data outside their purview. and i'm not talking about hackers and criminals and mafia. i'm talking about the merchants themselves: they freely offer your info up for advertising and data mining and targeted offers and other intrusive purposes. you know this already. facebook does the same thing. you are basically giving facebook the means to exploit you when you use facebook

there's money to be made in taking advantage of your data. so why do you think rules will ever be passed against the exploitation of your data, and even if there were rules made about that, why do you expect the players to respect those rules? so don't feed your data to the beast

don't depend upon the government to protect you from the government

don't depend upon corporations to protect you from corporations

depend upon YOURSELF and alter your own behavior

use cash. and stop blabbing about your social life to a beast which exists for the expressed business purpose to take your info and use it to market, track, and otherwise deny you your privacy. if you continue to use facebook, and you know that, THEN YOU ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME

but if it's too inconvenient for you to stop using facebook and credit cards, then stop complaining, because that lack of effort on your part reveals how unimportant to you these concerns really are to you. sure, you'll cry high holy indignation here on slashdot, but you won't change your behavior will you? lots of people talk a good game, and back it up with no action whatsoever

so either you are horrified that the feds know what you buy at the grocery store, or you don't. put your money where your mouth is, and take responsibility for your privacy. if you put it on a network, whether facebook, or using your credit card, you WILL be violated and exploited. now you know. so choose. its as simple as that

but don't look at the exploiters as your protectors or express surprise when they do what already know they will do. it's absurd to expect privacy on a network. so stop being surprised when you find out you don't have any

Re:what do you expect? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435452)

You can't use cash only. Trying buying car that way, anything over 10k means traceable forms when you get it out and when you make your purchase. If the cops stop you on the way expect to have your money seized since only criminals carry that much cash.

Re:what do you expect? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435712)

well then stop caring if the government knows you bought extra small condoms at the pharmacy. or continue using cash FOR SMALL INCIDENTAL PURCHASES that you are actually interested in keeping secret. large transactions are always traceable, cash or no cash

Re:what do you expect? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435696)

Yup.

Nothing new here.

You don't want a record of your spending habits? Use cash.

It isn't that complicated.

Uh oh, shouldn't have just ordered fertilizer (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435454)

Well, I live in alabama. I have a garden. I have a good excuse to order 50 lbs of fertizlier.

Now what was really probably a bad idea was just now before I started writing this, I just looked up fertilizer bomb on google, then read about it on wikipedia.

Let me just add a few keywords here to make this a complete post.. I can see their sensors going crazy now.

goverment
explosion
christians
islam
jihad

(disclaimer: I have no intention of creating any sort of explosion, doing anything terrorist, hurting anyone. I didn't even really buy any fertilizer. This is all just to get a +1 funny... but thanks to this disclaimer I probably won't even get that.)

Re:Uh oh, shouldn't have just ordered fertilizer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34435730)

This is all just to get a +1 funny

Judge: Do you have anything to say in your defense?
alta: I did it for the lulz.

Conspiracy Theorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34436018)

How else are they supposed to track sales of Catcher in the Rye?

and they call Assange a criminal?!?!? (5, Insightful)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436026)

As law abiding citizens we get sexually assaulted by the TSA, and have our privacy constantly violated by every 3 letter government parasite, and when we complain we are told that its all in the name of "Greater Good" and the ole Family Guy "Everything changed on 911..... EVERYTHING!!!", but when guy like Assange basically does what American news agencies do for ratings suddenly even the most staunch conservatives call for his head ignoring our own constitution and the international laws. Boooooooogles teh mind!

Um.. (1)

joeslugg (8092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436066)

A 10-page Powerpoint presentation (PDF)

Did anybody else kinda wince at that?

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