How Your Cell Phone Make Spying Easier for the Government and Police
April 6, 2012
Your wireless company is tracking you with GPS, recording your phone calls and text messages . . . and they are selling the information they collect to other corporations, nations, governments – anyone willing to pay for the data. The US government is one of the wireless corporation’s biggest client. They are collecting yotabytes of data from multiple sources on all American citizens.
Like a prisoner, your cell phone knows where you go, what you do, when you do it. And so does the US governmental agencies that are interested in this information. CIA hackers are being utilized with spyware that allow them to listen in on your cell phone conversations. Even when you phone is turned off, it can be remotely controlled, record information, take pictures, and send this information to the CIA, DHS, NSA, or whoever is controlling your phone.
A CNN article reported that whoever has the biggest offer to the wireless corporations, wins the information war:
Law enforcement departments across the country are working in conjunction with the wireless corporations in the sale of our private information. And they are not obtaining warrants before they confiscate our emails, text messages, listen in on our phone calls. This New York Times article states:
“Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight . . . Cell carriers, staffed with special law enforcement liaison teams, charge police departments from a few hundred dollars for locating a phone to more than $2,200 for a full-scale wiretap of a suspect.”
Whether or not you are breaking the law, cell phone corporations are required by law to use GPS to obtain your exact location within 100 meters.
In another circumventing of the law, some police departments are using “stingray devices”; using a cell phone tower with a ping to gather information remotely. In the Wall Street Journal says:
“You make a call on your cellphone thinking the only thing standing between you and the recipient of your call is your carrier’s cellphone tower. In fact, that tower your phone is connecting to just might be a boobytrap set up by law enforcement to ensnare your phone signals and maybe even the content of your calls . . . So-called stingrays are one of the new high-tech tools that authorities are using to track and identify you. The devices, about the size of a suitcase, spoof a legitimate cellphone tower in order to trick nearby cellphones and other wireless communication devices into connecting to the tower, as they would to a real cellphone tower . . . The government maintains that the stingrays don’t violate Fourth Amendment rights, since Americans don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy for data sent from their mobile phones and other wireless devices to a cell tower.”
Police departments could not care less about the 4th Amendment. Of course, our local police departments are really just glorified security firms hired by the cities to generate revenue and not uphold the laws.
In Michigan, police are using an “extraction device” to obtain information from driver’s cell phones without a warrant. An article on CNET News explains these “extraction devices”:
“The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.”
Along with law enforcement, the FBI is obtaining our private data from wireless corporations. They too are using remote activation to control your cell phone, record information and transfer that data to their spycenters for deciphering.
According to USA Today:
“The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.”
As well, a recent Wired article reported:
“Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter’.”
Cellphones are our most beloved technology. Everyone has one and could not live without it. And those who are in government and law enforcement have turned them into spying devices because it is just too easy.
We pay for the phone.
We pay for the service.
And it becomes a Big Brother control that strips us of our privacy.
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