Goverment agencies and telephone information


Crazy like a...
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Jan 16, 2006
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FCC CALEA, or lawful intercept, is the way to legally intercept a call. It is done with a warrant, and the warrant must be very specific...such as only capturing the dialed digits from a specified phone, or only capturing the voice path from a phone. A telephone carrier may not willingly give up this information.

The regulations of lawful intercept do not apply to telephone billing records (that I know of).

What keeps these records from being released to the public? To a carrier, these records are sacrosanct. They are the raw data that is used to generate a telephone bill. They track a company's revenue, and they are used by the carrier to determine how their subscribers are buying there service. There is nothing more intrinsic to successful operation of an individual carrier.

To hear that the larger phone companies have given up this data to the NSA makes me very if there is an exchange for something in return....perhaps in exhange for the federal govt. to have even LESS regulatory power over the Big Bells?

Now Verizon is saying that they did not release their billing records to the NSA.

Disclosure: VoIP is my livelyhood.

Something here just doesn't pass the sniff test, and I don't think it's my professional bias.

Does anyone have a different view?


Master of Arts
Mar 20, 2004
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Long Island
Of course they're getting something in return. Just look at the drug companies--give big money to the Repubs, get Medicare Part D as your megabucks payback. Oil companies get to write the energy bill, in secret. Banks write the bankruptcy bill. Give the communications industry less regulation, they give the NSA our phone records. With this administration, it's ALL about money.