The advent of set-top box devices and other media content access devices (“access devices”) has provided users with access to a large number and variety of media content choices. For example, a user may choose to experience a variety of broadcast television programs, pay-per-view services, video-on-demand programming, Internet services, and audio programming via a set-top box device. Such access devices have also provided service providers (e.g., television service providers) with an ability to present advertising to users. For example, designated advertisement channels may be used to deliver various advertisements to an access device for presentation to one or more users. In some examples, advertising may be targeted to a specific user or group of users of an access device.
U.S. Department of Justice cellular service provider data retention guide originally obtained by American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.
While the government maintains a critical role in enforcing copyright law, it should be readily apparent that, in an age of viral, digital online distribution, prosecution of individual acts of infringement may serve a purpose, but standing alone this may not be the only or best solution to addressing Online Infringement. If Online Infringement is to be effectively combated, law enforcement must work with all interested parties, including copyright holders, their licensees, artists (and the guilds, unions and other organizations that represent them), recording companies, movie studios, software developers, electronic publishers, Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”), public interest groups, other intermediaries and consumers on reasonable methods to prevent, detect and deter Online Infringement. Such efforts must respect the legitimate interests of Internet users and subscribers in protecting their privacy and freedom of speech, in accessing legitimate content, and in being able to challenge the accuracy of allegations of Online Infringement. This work should include an educational component because evidence suggests that most informed consumers will choose lawful services and not engage in Online Infringement. This work also should include the development of solutions that are reasonably necessary to effectuate the rights that are granted by copyright without unduly hampering the legitimate distribution of copyrighted works online or impairing the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and ISPs.
For some time, it has been apparent that wireless telephone providers are storing location data on all of their customers. This information indicates the location of an individual’s cellular phone signal from its corresponding cellular tower to provide an approximate location of the user at any given time. Wireless providers are paid for supplying this information to law enforcement and the companies work to provide user-friendly guides to potential customers indicating what details they can provide. We have previously published law enforcement subpoena guides from Verizon, Nextel, MetroPCS, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, among other service providers. Many of the companies providing this information to law enforcement take steps to hide the reality of their information retention. One guide in particular, regarding the Verizon Wireless Law Enforcement Resource Team, is labeled as being only distributable among law enforcement personnel. The guide advertises a wide variety of services available to law enforcement, including details on any user’s “cell sites” going back nearly one year. Another subpoena guide produced by Verizon offers a price list for these services including $125 an hour for “expert testimony”. Active surveillance using trap and trace is the most lucrative for Verizon with a price of up to $1000 a month, not including setup fees and other administrative costs.
Confidential Law Enforcement Telephone, Cellular, Satellite & VoIP Investigation Guide, March 10, 2010.
Confidential Verizon Wireless Leveraging Commercial Wireless Services for Law Enforcement Brief, May 14, 2008.
Verizon Law Enforcement Legal Compliance Guide, August 3, 2006.
The Verizon Wireless LERT is dedicated to responding to all lawful process for business and customer information. We assist law enforcement personnel and members of the legal community in a professional, knowledgeable and expeditious manner while maintaining the privacy and security of business and customer information. We provide informational presentations for law enforcement organizations and associations to further demonstrate our commitment and support of public safety.