In June, it was revealed in the Washington Post that the FBI and the National Security Agency had been tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet providers. Katie LaSalle-Lowrey works in network operations with Missoula internet provider, Centric Internet Services.

LaSalle-Lowrey said her business has cooperated with local law enforcement agencies in the past.

"The circumstances under which we have received requests for information from law enforcement in the past have been cases in which law enforcement agencies had evidence that a crime had been committed,and had a summons or a subpoena or a warrant to provide information as to who an IP address had been assigned to at a given time, so that they would know who owned the network from which criminal activity was originating, " LaSalle-Lowrey said.

LaSalle Lowrey said her small, local company had never yet been approached by a federal law enforcement agency.

"We have never received any requests such as those that Verizon received from the FBI or the NSA or any other government agency requesting that we hand over customer information, en masse," LaSalle-Lowrey said. "We are very much philosophically opposed to warrantless search and seizure of any information about citizens of the United States, and would not willingly participate in such a request, for sure."

LaSalle-Lowrey also relayed information regarding a Wall Street Journal report in which government agencies are employing tricks formerly only used by hackers to obtain information.

"One of the tools mentioned in the article is that the FBI now has the ability to remotely activate the microphone on Android-based phones and use them like a bug," LaSalle-Lowrey said. "I know of no way at this time to disable such a tactic, so I would think that Android phone users would want to keep their ear to the ground, and those of us that use I-Phones should also be alert to any news about security. We all need to be aware of security procedures in order to protect ourselves."

Katie LaSalle-Lowrey with Centric Internet

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