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8 Responses:

  1. Ryan Finnie says:

    And to think, I was just about to throw away my extra blank coin vault covers. BRB, loading Photoshop.

  2. a_0001 says:

    That’s an interesting notice, but I don’t think it reflects anything specific to that pay phone, or to pay phones in general. Telephone carriers are required by the FCC to keep billing information about toll calls (47 CFR § 42.6), and that information can be subpoenaed (18 U.S.C. § 2703).

    • jwz says:

      Please don't "meh" the panopticon. You are not making things better by doing that.

      • a_0001 says:

        I meant to point out that they could make a sufficiently scary warning just by describing what’s done to all U.S. telephones. That‘s the truly frightening part.

        I don’t think the call content was recorded, just the dialed numbers, but who knows:

        A more visible component of the anti-crime program is the red, white and blue sticker proclaiming “Operation Handcuff: Notice to Drug Dealers” that [San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Gil] Roldan placed on each phone in January. The heavy-duty sticker, supplied by the San Diego Pay Phone Owner’s Association, explains that a list of telephone numbers called from the phone can be subpoenaed by law enforcement officers.

        “It gives that Big Brother type of image, that we’re watching you and we can subpoena all the phone calls being conducted,” Roldan said. “A lot of the people conducting illegal activity want to stay off those phones.”

        — “Police forge plan to crack down on crime at pay phones,” San Diego Union-Tribune, August 18, 1997: B-2.

        This phone is tapped, indeed.

    • dzm says:

      The sticker seems unclear on the meaning of "recorded." Do they mean to say that the "to" number, date/time and duration are logged, or that the actual content of the call is preserved as a sound file somewhere?

  3. nooj says:

    So payphone owners get so many requests to provide wiretaps from law enforcement hoovering up everything in sight, that it's easier to wiretap the phone at all times, and just turn over the ones requested--which eventually is all of them.

    Good on payphone owners for announcing this? I guess we're supposed to be glad that law enforcement graciously allows us to know even a smidgen of what happens to our privacy.

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