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Thread: Question - Does AT&T store our text messages?

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    Question - Does AT&T store our text messages?

    Does AT&T store all text messages that you send out from your cell phone? Do they monitor our text messages?

    Just wondering

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    Whoooo, get ready to break out the foil hats and the fire retardant suits

    AT&T typically stores text messages for as long as it takes to get them delivered and out of the network. That can be up to 72 hours.

    Are they monitoring your text messages? That depends. If a law enforcement agency has presented them with a warrant (or sometimes, not even that much) because you're some kind of person of interest to them, then no doubt, AT&T is storing your messages for longer, and monitoring them.

    Otherwise, realistically, it's not worth AT&T's time and storage space to keep it all beyond what is necessary to get the message to its destination.

    What AT&T does keep track of by default is what numbers you are sending SMSes to and receiving them from, as well as timestamp for each. These will show up on your bill. But the actual content of those messages will not.

    Left: iPhone 6+ on T-Mobile. Right: Comcast home internet connection.

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    Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
    If I'm annoyed and you're annoyed, does that make us a paranoid ??

    Sarcasm is a fine art...

    "Don't believe everything you think"

    It's not a matter of if you win or lose, it's how you assign the blame

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    Quote Originally Posted by scaredpoet
    Whoooo, get ready to break out the foil hats and the fire retardant suits

    AT&T typically stores text messages for as long as it takes to get them delivered and out of the network. That can be up to 72 hours.

    Are they monitoring your text messages? That depends. If a law enforcement agency has presented them with a warrant (or sometimes, not even that much) because you're some kind of person of interest to them, then no doubt, AT&T is storing your messages for longer, and monitoring them.

    Otherwise, realistically, it's not worth AT&T's time and storage space to keep it all beyond what is necessary to get the message to its destination.

    What AT&T does keep track of by default is what numbers you are sending SMSes to and receiving them from, as well as timestamp for each. These will show up on your bill. But the actual content of those messages will not.
    While all of that is true, you'd be surprised what kind of information telcos store for their own internal statistics, auditing, and such. While the content is not of interest to them, it sometimes is still kept along with the message metadata.


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    Im sure its stored in a mountain sized vault. Not necessarily by att
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    it's best not to communicate with anyone in any form at all. everything is recorded or stored.

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    The feds can hear you anytime they want!!! Even with the phone turned on but with the batt still in it!!!! (/joke)
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    It probably is stored. Everything about the text message is stored (from, to, date) so what is 160 bytes per message? Absolutely nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petard
    It probably is stored. Everything about the text message is stored (from, to, date) so what is 160 bytes per message? Absolutely nothing.
    Easy to say but do we actually know how many messages are sent or received each month. It has already been established that some folks have seen or had more than 50,000 messages on one phone in one month. Could be much more than you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl G35c
    Im sure its stored in a mountain sized vault. Not necessarily by att
    Probably by the NSA
    at&t 3G (N95 8GB & Joikuspot @ 70MPH on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, CA) / at&t 3G (HTC Aria in Fullerton, CA)


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    So is it possible to get a copy without a subpoena? (Getting divorced, and my wife is cheating on me, be nice to have the proof from AT&T directly)

    And yes, I am paying her phone bill as it is under my name so I am legally not invading her privacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phasers
    So is it possible to get a copy without a subpoena? (Getting divorced, and my wife is cheating on me, be nice to have the proof from AT&T directly)

    And yes, I am paying her phone bill as it is under my name so I am legally not invading her privacy.
    The answer to your question is no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXLady
    The answer to your question is no.
    Well that sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petard
    It probably is stored. Everything about the text message is stored (from, to, date) so what is 160 bytes per message? Absolutely nothing.
    Depending upon the cluster size, a 160 byte message could occupy 16 kilobytes of space on a hard drive.
    Earl F. Parrish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phasers
    So is it possible to get a copy without a subpoena? (Getting divorced, and my wife is cheating on me, be nice to have the proof from AT&T directly)

    And yes, I am paying her phone bill as it is under my name so I am legally not invading her privacy.
    went thru that crap 2 yrs ago with ex...first thing you do is cut the **#$#$ phone off..that is the first thing you do...let her get her own cell or do without....good luck...
    let's get this party started

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