Sprint Sues Cell Phone Record Brokers

Sprint Nextel has filed a second lawsuit against a company it says is fraudulently acquiring and selling telephone records. The suit, against All Star Investigations, says the company is violating the privacy of thousands of Spring Nextel customers.

Sprint is seeking both temporary and permanent injunctions against All Star Investigations, the operator of www.locatecell.com, www.celltolls.com, www.datafind.org and www.peoplesearchamerica.com.

"The schemes perpetrated by these online data brokers are intolerable and our intent is to put an end to these practices," Kent Nakamura, Sprint Nextel's chief privacy officer, said in a statement.

The company charges data brokers use flagrant misrepresentation and deceitful practices to obtain the records. In some cases, they charge, the companies actually steal the information.

Several data brokers advertise on the Internet that they can obtain any cell phone records for a $100 fee. Authorities have expressed alarm, saying the information in the hands of criminals and abusive spouses can expose cell phone users to danger, and even death.

T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and the state of Missouri have also filed suits against the online data broker.