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Telecomm Customers Can Now Pick Their Own Phone Numbers — What Does It Mean for SIGINT?


Pick-Your-Own-Number is a new feature made possible by VoIP providers such as Vonage, and as of 2004 rapidly gaining in popularity. Now that this phenomenon is taking off, it means that phone numbers no longer reliably correspond to the country of the subscriber. "Theoretically," the author writes, "Usama bin Laden could be using a U.S.-based number while located in Afghanistan!" This has legal complications for NSA, because they need to be able to spy on international targets, but USSID-18 regulations forbid them from spying on domestic targets. The author suggests that NSA could partner with law enforcement agencies, such as FBI, to target domestic phone numbers using the domestic surveillance law known as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.


Oct 28, 2004


Feb 05, 2018