Want to Avoid the NSA? Use a Mobile Phone

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Holy crap, the latest NSA report is actually good news—sort of. Despite what you've heard in the past nine months, the NSA only collects information on 20 per cent or fewer US calls. Why? Because they're having a hard time figuring out how to tap mobile phones.

The Wall Street Journal just reported that the agency doesn't collect records on most mobile phone calls because "struggled to keep pace" with the rapid technological advances. The paper pointed out two specific problems:

NSA has been working to expand the coverage to cover more mobile phone calls, but it has been stymied by how to remove location data—which is isn't allowed to collect—from cellphone records collected in bulk, said a US official.

Moreover, the agency's legal orders to US phone companies don't cover most mobile phone records, a gap the NSA has been trying to address for years.

Of course, it won't be like this forever. The NSA is working hard to figure out ways around the technological hurdles, and the laws that govern what they can and can't collect are currently being reviewed. Nevertheless, this news might actually make you feel like you have a little privacy left. Just a little. [WSJ]

Image via AP