My friend and I were brainstorming business ideas over sushi and we came up with a new fortune cookie idea â€“ drop paranoid statements into the cookies and hand them out at mental hospitals. â€œThe voices are realâ€ â€“ â€œWe actually are watching youâ€ â€œThe medication is poisonâ€ â€“ Maybe it was the sake that made me blow rice out my nose but I thought it was hilarious.
Now before you go saying that is insensitive to the mentally insane have you ever met a group of agile developers? We are allowed to make fun of ourselves thank you very much.
I said all that to say, that there is interesting news on the paranoid front – so maybe the voices are real. Chris Soghoian a security researcher attended a closed door conference for ISS (“Intelligence Support Systems for Lawful Interception, Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering”) and brought a tape recorder. What is REALLY scary is the quote that came out of the Electronic Surveillance manager for Sprint/Nextel (Paul Taylor) and how many requests for GPS location information had come from the government in the last year.
â€œ[M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that’s just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don’t know how we’ll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in.â€
8 Million in one year!
So if the US population is 304 million and Sprint has 55 million users can we extrapolate that data to assume that the government is requesting location data on at least 15% of us? Huh?
Lastly I hope Sprint doesn’t consider 8 million hits too large of a nut for a website. Mr. Taylor if you need some help in the scalability department the Gravity Jack team is at your disposal â€“ oh and can we delete our records? â€œwe think they might be watching usâ€
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