Cell Carriers May Be Forced To Keep 2 Years Of Text Message Logs - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Cell Carriers May Be Forced To Keep 2 Years Of Text Message Logs

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BOSTON -

A word of warning: Your private texts messages you send to your friends and to your relatives may soon be stored for two years just in case police want to take a look.

It's a controversial idea.

An estimated six billion texts are sent in the united states every single day. How long the actual message is stored depends on the carrier.

According to a report in wired magazine, AT&T and T-Mobile discarded messages immediately. Verizon keeps them 5 days. Sprint 12.

That could all change though if local and state police have their way. They want congress to pass a law requiring cell phone companies to keep text info for 2 years.

"Consumers probably are unaware that their text messages are even sought after by government officials, nevermind after two years," said Robert Siciliano, a Boston-based online security expert for McAfee.

He says privacy is one issue. The cost is another.

"Companies like AT&T and Verizon would have to hold our data in their system for up to two years. And their employees would also have access to that information as well," Siciliano said. "This is government regulating how they store data, and it's going to cost them money. And, more than likely, they're going to pass that cost on to the consumer."

And this is important: Right now police do not need a warrant to access your cell phone records. In most cases the carriers simply hand the information over

It's clear the way we communicate has changed. It will be up to congress to decide how much access police will have, Fox's Ted Daniel reported.

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