With the Justice Department believing that it can get all sorts of data
from telcos without any oversight or without a warrant, it seems rather important to know what kind of info your mobile operator is keeping -- and for how long. The ACLU, via a Freedom of Information Act request, was able to get a "for law enforcement use only" document
that shows how long the carriers hold on to what data (Wired also notes that the document could already be found online if you knew the title). The document itself is a pretty weak scan:
Thankfully, however, now that the data is out there, we can show it friendlier formats. Michael Robertson was kind enough to take the data (minus the "for law enforcement use only" part, and put it into a Google docs spreadsheet:
Additionally, the folks at Wired put together a nice infographic from the data:
What it seems to show is that Verizon holds onto your texting data for the least amount of time, but also retains the actual text of your text messages -- something no one else, outside of Virgin Mobile, does. How long until we see a push for a mobile data retention law to "standardize" what these companies have to hang onto and for how long?