T_Mobile is the only cell phone carrier that opted out of the NSA’s monitoring of cellphone traffic. What was that, you ask?
If the National Security Agency is indeed amassing a colossal database of Americans’ phone records, one way to use all that information is in “social network analysis,” a data-mining method that aims to expose previously invisible connections among people.
Social network analysis has gained prominence in business and intelligence circles under the belief that it can yield extraordinary insights, such as the fact that people in disparate organizations have common acquaintances. Companies can buy social networking software to help determine who has the best connections for a particular sales pitch.
So it did not surprise many security analysts to learn Thursday from USA Today that the NSA is applying the technology to billions of phone records.
If you’re a T-Mobile customer like I am and think it’s a good thing they opted out, I have some bad news for you. ATT has just bought T-Mobile for $39 billion dollars. It’ll probably mean better cell reception since T-Mobile’s isn’t the best in my area. And you will now be able to subscribe to iPhone and iPad plans without changing services. But I personally dislike consolidation.
It brings the cell phone carriers down to 3 from 4. And it robs consumers of another choice. But to be honest, I was considering switching plans because my reception wasn’t that good in my area. No idea when this switch will take effect.