By Fahmida Rashid
If the revelations that Verizon (and perhaps other telcomms) is handing over customer call records to the federal government has you scrambling for your tinfoil hat, there is a simple way to make sure those government spies have no idea who you are calling.
It’s called a prepaid phone. Also known as burner phones.
Walk into a store that sells prepaid SIM cards. I bought an Ultra Mobile SIM for just $35 last week and paid in cash. Pick up an unlocked phone—there are tons of them on Amazon and eBay. I bought a basic GSM phone without a plan for $25 at Costco earlier this year. Since you will be ditching the phone every so often (since phones can be traced), the simpler the device, the better.
The call records will still exist—that someone from this phone number using that particular device made a phone call to this other number from this location and talked for 10 minutes. But there is nothing to link that call record back to you.
NSA’s Mass Surveillance Program The latest kerfuffle about government surveillance comes on the heels of a report by the UK-based The Guardian that telecommunications giant Verizon is handing over customer telephone records to the National Security Agency under a secret court order. Large-scale collection of call records data by the government is not new, as there were reports of similar programs under the%