A Delaware-based company that didn’t exist 20 years ago has quietly become one of the major players in surveillance infrastructure — but they’ve been so under the radar that leading online privacy and security expert Chris Soghoian, a fellow at the Open Society Foundations, calls them the “Keyzer Söze of surveillance.” Meet Neustar, one of the most important companies you’ve never heard of.
Over 400 telecommunications companies go to Neustar when they want to outsource law enforcement data requests. While it’s not known how many law enforcement requests for cell and VoIP data they get, consider the volume that one of their client’s, Cricket, copped to: 116 a day on average, or 42,500 law enforcement requests last year.
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