Huge Privacy Violation: Buy a List of Anyone’s Calls for Only $110

Anyone can buy a list of your incoming and outgoing phone calls, cell or land-line, for $110 online,” by John in DC, America Blog, 7 January 2006, http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/01/anyone-can-buy-list-of-your-incoming.html (from Daily Kos, Jim River Report, Great Blogging, IntoxiNation, and MyDD).

Not good:

In a nutshell, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a story two days ago about a Web site that sells phone records, for cells and land-lines, for $110 a pop. The company boasts on its own Web site:

Give us the cell phone number and we will send you the calls made from the cell phone number.

So I went to their site, plopped down $110, and within a day I had a list of every single phone number that called my cell, or that I called from my cell, for the month of November. I even had the dates the calls were made, and for a premium I could find out how long the calls were.

In case this seems minor or pesky, AmericaBlog gives examples of when it probably isn’t best to sell phone records to anyone with $110. An excerpt:

  • Are you an FBI agent with confidential sources?
  • Are you a police officer with confidential sources?
  • Are you a Democratic or Republican member of Congress?
  • Are you a Bush administration official?
  • Are you a special prosecutor by the name of Patrick Fitzgerald?
  • Are you an Al Qaeda terrorist?
  • Are you a regular old American criminal, a member of the Mafia for example?
  • Got AIDS, cancer or any other disease you might want to keep private?

In conclusion:

And finally, let’s not forget the biggest criminals of all in this affair. The phone companies. There is no way that these online services are outright stealing this information, if they’re able to get in just a few hours consistently. They’ve got access to the info, and from the reading I’ve done it seems the cell and land-line companies are selling our info for profit. So, the biggest slap in the face should be to any phone company out there who has ever sold one big of information about you to anyone else. Not only is it unethical, but they just might have helped Al Qaeda. Congrats.

So, anybody got Bill Frist’s or Harry Reid’s phone numbers? Or maybe the phone number of the FBI tip line?

This is bad. Worse than SLAPPs bad. Worse than NationMaster bad.

Bad.

Good News from Iraq

Iraq Violence May Provoke Shiite Backlash,” by Patrick Quinn, Associated Press, 7 January 2005, http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAQ?SITE=SDSIO&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT.

Shiite Crowds Protest Bombings, US Support for Sunni Arabs; 11 GIs Killed,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 7 January 2005, http://www.juancole.com/2006/01/shiite-crowds-protest-bombings-us.html#comments.

I’ve celebrated Iranian cooperation with Basra and the strength of Kurdish separatism. Now, more good news from Iraq:

The rallies and threats by the Iraq’s largest Shiite religious party to react with force if the militant attacks continue have renewed fears that paramilitary militias – now thought to make up part of some elite police units- would take to the streets and carry out reprisals.

“We’re going to crush Saleh al-Mutlaq with our slippers,” they chanted, many armed with automatic weapons. “No, no to Zalmay. No, no to terrorism.” It is an insult in Arab culture to touch someone with shoes, which are considered unclean.

The demonstration was organized after Friday prayers by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq – one of two religious parties that makes up the governing Alliance.

SCIRI and Badr Brigade Secretary-General Hadi al-Amiri have both blamed hardline Sunni groups of inciting the violence, and said the Defense and Interior ministries – both dominated by Shiites – were being restrained by the U.S-led coalition and had to be unleashed.

He told the pan-Arab Al-Arabyia television that the government told the U.S. “that they should not give any cover to terrorism.”

This is exactly what we need in Iraq. Iraq is an artificial country. We can spend blood and will trying to save this relic of British Colonialism, or we can focus on shrinking the gap and building connectivity.

The Kurds in the north make up about 20% of Iraq, and should be their own country. The Shia in the South make up about 60% of Iraq, and should be their own country. There is no reason why these two peoples, who both want connectivity, must be held back by the 15% of Iraqis who belong to a nation unready for the modern world.

If we can connect the 85% of Iraqis who want it by allowing them to defeat terrorist-infested Sunni Arab networks, we should do it.

The prize is bigger than just Iraq. Globalization spreads globalization: let the reverse domino theory work.

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari complained while on pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia about the poor quality of Saudi preparations for the event. Some 53 pilgrims died when their hostel collapsed. Tragedies during pilgrimage are so frequent that many observers believe the Saudis are neglecting their duties as hosts of the event.

The Saudi minister of the interior, Prince Naef, angrily rejected Jaafari’s criticism, saying that he was just posturing in hopes of salvaging his fading political career. (In fact, Jaafari has a real shot of being the prime minister of Iraq again). The Saudis also said they had be nice enough to let the Iraqi delegation come in numbers greater than their allotted quota, implying that Jaafari was being ungracious.

Tension between the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq and the Wahhabi state in Saudi Arabia have been high since September, when a major Saudi prince castigated the United States for spreading Iranian influence in the region by installing Iraqi Shiites in power.

One of the great pay-offs of the Iraq War is permanently weakening Saudi power. The American liberation of Iraq freed Iraq, letting her join Iran as a sister Shia republic on the Persian Gulf. East Arabia, currently occupied by the Saudi Tyranny, is the third

Besides being Shia, East Arabia holds most of the the Saud family’s oil. Saudi Arabia applauds terrorism, Saudi TV is as antisemitic as Hugo Chavez, and the Saudis run pro-terrorist camps for children. Helping the Shia in Iraq finally free themselves from the nuisance of Sunni terrorism would allow them to spread their connectivity to their imprisoned brothers in the Saudi south.

Shia Militias that attack terrorist-supporting Sunnis should be welcomed. They are part of a well-built Military-Industrial-SysAdminComplex just as much as firms like Blackwater, or the US Army for that matter. The Shia should rise up, free themselves from terror, and build their future. We shouldn’t stop them,