Can Spy On:

Pretty much any phone anywhere at any time.

How It Does It:

Or maybe not.

Wiretapping somebody used to be a pain in the ass. Even if they got the warrant, they needed bulky, heavy equipment, needed to have somebody actually there to tap the actual phone calls… it was almost more effort than it was worth. Which is why the FBI now can pretty much just double click an icon on their computer screen and instantly tap into any phone anywhere at any time.

There’s a pretty good Wiretapping app in the App Store.

It’s called DCSNet (Digital Collection System Network) and it is basically a system of computers and software that completely fuses the FBI’s wiretapping outposts with the nation’s voice communications network–landlines, cell phones, VOIP services, you name it. Every phone in America is available to them like URLs in a browser. They type it, click it, and they’re instantly listening.

How is that even possible? Well, there are laws federally mandating a backdoor in every single telephone switch implemented in America (see: the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act). And the telecoms of America were happy to comply as wiretaps have gotten more expensive over the years and that cost just keeps going up (if you were wondering, your privacy is worth $67,000). This wasn’t some crazy response to 9/11, either–this happened back during the Clinton administration.

You’d think this guy would be all about privacy.

The FBI slid right in these backdoors with a long, thick network cable of their very own that’s literally a private phone network and private Internet. DCSNet can just capture phone numbers, or record your calls like Big Brother’s TiVo. It’s just point and click.

But really. We’re probably just being paranoid.

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