Snowden’s leaks have revealed that the NSA monitors our phone and internet records. Technology companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been quick to call (and sue) the government for greater transparency. But telecoms, who we now know facilitate most of that data collection, have been silent throught. As Natasha Lennard eloquently put it in a recent Salon article, they’ve “marched in goose step with the expanding surveillance state.”

Thanks to Snowden, we’ve also learned that the NSA has been paying for that access. In 2013, the NSA’s “Special Source Operations” division is expected to give $278 million to telecoms for access to their data backbones.

Sadly it’s unlikely that either AT&T or Verizon will stand up for their customer’s privacy. But T-Mobile just might.

The company, led by “T-shirt-wearing trash-talker” Tom Legere, has transformed the company into the most forward-thinking “un-carrier” on the market, offering service without annual contracts, no roaming charges, and easy device upgrades.

On their site, T-Mobile loudly exclaims “Don’t play by the rules. Break them.” Well, if there’s one

London’s Metropolitan police used the following justification for invoking terrorism laws to detain him:

“We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people’s lives. Additionally the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under schedule 7.”

So a quick guide to being a “terrorist”:

  1. Find a document that mentions someone by name, and might cause people to dislike that person if it were released publicly.

  2. Consider disclosing that document for the purpose of promoting a political cause.

It’s a terrifying example of a government redefining a word to maximize its own power to detain people.

Compare this with NSA Director Keith Alexander’s recent comments about PRISM data collection:

We go through a court order. We issue that court order to them through the FBI. And it’s not millions. It’s thousands of those that are done, and it’s almost all against terrorism and other things like that. It has nothing to do with U.S. persons.

As we know now, PRISM’s just the start.