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October 15, 2007


My first take on this is that they are totally ripping off the feds. There is no way that it costs them that much money to comply.

interesting the amounts they charge to set up the taps and pen registers - $1k to set up, $500-750 a month thereafter.

Pages 16 and 24 of the manual.

No wonder the NSA wanted to split in - individualized suspicion of as many people as they seemed to be looking at likely costs more than the cost of setting up a whole parallel network, with analytical facilities....

You're both right--the widespread suspicion of American citizens may well be very profitable indeed for the telecoms.

Is there any real reason to believe the manual? What says they don't keep the information back much further?

MarkH - The information you refer to is likely spun off to either tape or cd/dvd using an automated backup program by Comcast's IT organization.

In the case of tape, unless there is some legal requirement for retention (i.e. Financial orgs have to keep stuff for IRS purposes for 5-7 years), then many times the tapes are re-used for more backups and they are overwritten with the new backups.

In the case of cd/dvd, this style of backup easily lends itself to longer-term holdovers. Most orgs don't use rewritable cd/dvd because of relative cost, so instead use write-once cd/dvd stuff.

Since the cd/dvd likely used is write-once, they can't be re-used for new backups.

The reason that this technology may stay around much longer than 6 months is a simple housekeeping problem.

Most folks have better things to do than to head out to the off-site storage facility and sort through thousands of cd/dvd and throw the "old" ones out. Hence they tend to build up just like dust bunnys under the furniture.

Once in every blue moon, mgmt gets wise to the ever-increasing cost of off-site storage bills and sends some gophers out to clean up.

But most times, mgmt just signs off the invoice and voila, multiple years of tracking information are sitting around gathering dust.

One should read the Comcast manual with a grain of salt, and assume it speaks to a "minimum" retention period.

I'm channeling george here:

the telecoms can only retain data for six months, so there is a clear need to implant memory chips into the heads of every patriotic amurikan

if we don't get the memory chip implants we need to make amurika safe, people will die and the turrerists win

so be a patriotic amurican and get your memory chip implant today

/brain fart

doesn't sound so far-fetched anymore, does it ???

The cost of doing business.

OT - Tuesday Night! Frontline - Cheney's Law


freepatriot -- you don't understand. we'll line up to get our chips with gusto because they'll enable the feds to return our kidnapped children, make sure we can get onto airplanes and into terrorist-threatened sporting events we want to attend, and enable employers to be sure we're not illegal immigrants. We'll be happy to get our chips.

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