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July 12, 2003

Old News: CALEA Hacked

Cringely, ever informative and better than most bloggers, gives us a fright with his news.

That's what led me to this story. In the Lacie Peterson murder case in California, thousands of Scott Peterson's phone conversations were recorded using CALEA technology. Some of those conversations were between Peterson and his lawyer, some between Peterson and the press. None of them were with me. I have no idea whether Scott Peterson is guilty or innocent, and it doesn't matter at all to this column. What matters is that a few days ago 176 new phone conversations were "discovered."

How do you "discover" a recorded phone conversation in a totally automated system? If you can discover a conversation, then you can also lose one a la Rosemary Woods and the famous 17-minute gap in that Watergate tape. The whole system becomes suspect and subject to abuse.

I never wanted to give a phat gnat about Lacie Peterson's murder, but clearly every man's death diminishes me.

Posted by mbowen at July 12, 2003 10:27 AM

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