What happens when internet service providers (ISP) work with the Government? All of your incoming and outgoing traffic is monitored, and snatched up, that is what happens. Who really knows what criteria needs to be met for the Government to take an interest in one person. I am sure that ISP don’t make it a habit to bring individuals to the attention of the Government, it’s bad for business.
When the Government wants to monitor someones internet traffic they must contact the ISP and serve them a warrant in order to legitimately be able to monitor anyone’s traffic. Once an ISP has received a warrant, it is their duty to provide the Government with what the warrant is demanding.
In one case Pete Ashdown, CEO of the Utah based ISP XMission, he then will check the warrant for a court signature, then he passes the warrant to his attorney in order to verify the validity of said warrant.
If a warrant is valid a government agency will install their little black box, essentially a server box, to someone that is unfamiliar with a server room, might not notice a difference. Employees who work in a server room will likely notice a difference right away.
What does the little black box do exactly? I am not entirely sure, and it seems like it just writes data to a drive in which the Government is able to access at a later date and analyze. It could essentially track each and every keystroke that goes out to the web, as well as every website accessed, times spent on the websites, possibly even monitor any and all text messages, email, VOIP calls, etc. Or it might just keep simple metadata, there is no real telling what kind of information they are gathering on individuals.
BuzzFeed reported on this very topic, giving us a little more information on how it all works.
Image from CamKnows