HOWTO: Win $1000

1) Print out this page.

2) Circle section 2707.

3) Take your latest telephone bill.

4) Scratch out the number following AMOUNT DUE, replacing it with that number minus one-thousand.

5) Place the modified bill and the printout from steps 1 and 2 inside the envelope provided, making sure the address shows through the plastic window.

6) Affix a stamp to the upper right hand corner. The post office will not deliver without proper postage.

7) Mail the letter.

Related: “NSA Has Massive Database of Americans’ Phone Calls” [USA TODAY]


Edit Your Comment

  1. SpecialK says:

    So any one of us can go pay 150 bucks to some random online company to get those phone-call logs. The police get them all the time. And the NSA does it and suddenly it’s a big deal? I’d think Consumerism dictates not getting in a snit about a USA Today story recycling six month old news from a New York Times story that reports that the NSA is looking at call LOGS, not actual calls, and which (perhaps purposely) conflates this non-news with the other news that the NSA listened in on the international-to/from-domestic calls.

    Good luck getting that thousand bucks.

  2. Grady says:

    A consumerist would want to know what someone is doing with their personal information! Could any one of us pay a random online company for 150 billion records? Could any one of us force the search companies to cough up search records?

    The data-mining that can be done with all this is extremely powerful. I’d like some assurance that that power comes with responsibility and oversight.

  3. desonos says:

    SpecialK, if them getting your records without judicial oversite is cool with you, that’s fine. I want my privacy protected. All those police you speak of getting records? They do it with a warrant. The online company that can get you those records? They do it by calling up the phone companies and lying to them; I’m willing to bet that isn’t legal, any more than the guy willing to sell you a TOTALLY LEGITAMITE copy of WinXP for $12 + shipping.

    The problem here is the total lack of oversight. If they need 100 million call records, fine; go convince a judge that the ends justify the means. If you can’t do that, then you definately can’t have them. And being the Pres, or being part of the executive branch, doesn’t exempt you from protecting the privacy of your citizens.

  4. FredTheCat says:

    (c) Exceptions.–Subsection (a) of this section does not apply with respect to conduct authorized–

    (1) by the person or entity providing a wire or electronic communications service;

    So in other words, this money-back scheme requires only that nobody actually read the law you’re intended to submit. Genius!


  5. Ben Popken says:

    Fred, you’re quoting from § 2701. We’re talking about § 2707 as the punishment for violation of § 2702.

  6. FredTheCat says:

    You’re right, I misquoted…the facts remain the same though.

    Note that 2702 b4 allows a person employed or authorized or whose facilities are used to forward such communication to its destination to be exempted from 2702. So if one were to say that said person/entity had no right to do so, you’re left with 2701…which exempts them there too. When actually examined closely the laws here provide virtually no protection from the activities of the carrier.

    I certainly don’t approve of them doing as they are, but their butt’s covered six ways to Sunday thanks to their involvement in the creation of the laws.


  7. Brian Gee says:

    Fred, you’re applying 2701(c) to section 2702, which isn’t how laws work.

    2701 allows the phone company to access phone records and communications, because they pretty much wouldn’t be able to function if they couldn’t touch the data they route.

    2702 explictly disallows and “employed or authorized” person from turning records over to a government entity, as none of the 2702c exceptions apply to this situation. It allows them to forward communications to their destination. For example, if I call you on the phone, the phone company is allowed to deliver my communications to you, or deliver them to your phone company so it may deliver them to you. Section 2702 specifically disallows anyone to deliver communications to a 3rd party, particluarly a government agency such as the NSA.

    They fucked up pretty clearly. The only thing covering their asses now is the executive branch.