Don’t Call Your Clients if They Are in Prison

Recently, people behind bars who needed to make phone calls got a piece of semi-good news: the cost of their phone calls would decrease from criminally high rates to merely obscenely high rates, thanks to the FCC. Even more recently, though, people behind bars who needed to make phone calls got a piece of super bad news: the ostensibly super-secure prison phone call company, Securus, got hacked, exposing 70 million inmate calls, thousands of which were inmates calling their attorneys.

But a subset of the recordings — a minimum of roughly 14,000 — were made by detainees to attorneys, in calls that range from under a minute to over an hour in length. […]

We found that Securus recorded more than 14,000 phone calls to at least 800 numbers that clearly belonged to attorneys. That 14,000 figure, however, is likely an underestimate because it does not include calls to attorney cellphone numbers. In other words, the 14,000 attorney calls are potentially just a small subset of the attorney-client calls that were hacked.

So – the phone service your client is obliged to use when they are incarcerated does an incredibly poor job of (a) keeping their data secure and (b) honoring their constitutional protections. Worse, it isn’t as if you could just decide to have your client use some other more secure service that doesn’t have a nasty habit of recording their calls to you. There’s no free market behind bars.

Featured image: “phone in barbed wire sphere with flare illustration” from Shutterstock.

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