What you’re about to see, below, is a powerful visual demonstration of “metadata” put together by a German website, Zeit Online. Remember all of those politicians telling you that “metadata” is “no big deal?” You be the judge:
(ZEIT ONLINE) Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet.
(iroots.org) The question burning in my mind is, “Where is the mainstream media when it comes to informing the public on information like this?” President Obama, Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein wouldn’t be able to get away with dismissing ‘metadata’ as ‘no big deal’ if America’s journalists would do their jobs! Even Rush Limbaugh has done better work on this issue, believe it or not. Here’s an informative discussion Rush had with a Telecom executive that called into his show shortly after the initial NSA revelations by Edward Snowden.
The advent of mobile phones has created a situation where a phone number equals a person, so the phone number’s a much better index for getting everything you know about a person…
RUSH: This is Matt from Miami and it says you are an exec in the telecommunications industry, right?
CALLER: Yes, that’s right, Rush. Thank you so much. It’s been 15 years listening to you, and I’m thrilled that my expertise and your expertise may actually intersect and allow me to make you look good.
RUSH: Well, thanks very much. That is the purpose of a caller, and let’s hope you can do it.
CALLER: Well, first off, I think it’s important to think about motivations. Our president, like all the Democratic presidents, would love to be Bill Clinton after he leaves office, and to do that you need to have power. You need to be a kingmaker. A database can do that. I left a multibillion-dollar phone company to start a smaller company, and our core product is a product that looks up phone numbers instantly when people make or receive phone calls and uses that information to populate details on the screen for people to use in selling or supporting customers, like their name, their address, the value of their home, their marital status, approximate income, approximate assets, cards they have registered to the address they live at, whether they’re in foreclosure, Facebook profiles, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter profiles associated with that number. The advent of mobile phones has created a situation where a phone number equals a person, so the phone number’s a much better index for getting everything you know about a person than something that’s less easy and less public like a Social Security number. And so my company sells that information to companies so that they can know who’s calling and route that call better and offer appropriate products or not.