Imagine you were in prison and called your lawyer to discuss your case. Would you expect that call to be monitored, recorded and stored?
A fascinating deep-dive from The Intercept
reveals that a hacker has stolen and published more than 70 million records of phone calls, placed by prisoners using phone services from Securus Technologies
The Dallas-based company, which provides phone services for US prisons and jails, suffered a major breach.
The leaked records expose 1.3 million unique phone numbers, which were called by more than 63,000 inmates. The database included the prisoners’ first and last names, their Securus account number, the numbers called, the date and time of the call and the duration of the call.
More worrying, the anonymous hacker – or hackers – also published links to recordings of the calls. This must be particularly embarrassing for the phone service company, which seems to pride itself on security
“We will provide the most technologically advanced audio and video communications platform to allow calls with a high level of security”
The data breach and publication of sensitive information seems to have opened a serious can of legal worms. With 14,000 of the recorded conversations being between the inmates and their attorneys, the controversial issue of when and what to record is being raised.
“The recording of legally protected attorney-client communications — and the storage of those recordings — potentially offends constitutional protections, including the right to effective assistance of counsel and of access to the courts.” says Intercept.
In other words, while prisons are denied many rights the rest of us enjoy, they are afforded the protection of attorney-client privilege by law. And it seems as though Securus Technologies have been violating that constitutional right.
Securus were recently in the press due to what some would describe their exorbitant fees they charged inmates for phone use. Prior to the recent FCC ruling, a 15-minute phone call could cost up to $17 USD. Under new regulations, the price for a 15-minute call is capped at a much more reasonable $1.65 USD, reported Gawker.