Friday, April 1, 2011
Besides getting brain cancer, here's another reason not to use cell phones...
Do you own a cell phone? Do you think that it is private and secure? You might want to think again. The truth is that there is virtually no privacy when it comes to cell phones. In fact, the amount of cell phone surveillance that goes on is absolutely staggering. For example, one German politician named Malte Spitz recently went to court to force Deutsche Telekom to reveal how often his cell phone was being tracked. What he found out was absolutely amazing. It turns out that in just one 6 month period, Deutsche Telekom recorded the longitude and latitude coordinates of his cell phone 35,000 times. Not only that, in the United States cell phone companies are actually required by law to be able to pinpoint the locations of their customers to within 100 meters. Most cell phone carriers are able to track their customers far more accurately than that. The truth is that your location will never again be truly "private" as long as you are carrying a cell phone.
And your conversations will not be private either. A whole host of people could be listening in on your cell phone calls. In fact, your cell phone can be used to spy on you even when you don't have it on. For example, as one CNET News article noted, if law enforcement authorities are investigating you they can remotely activate the microphone on your cell phone and listen in on your conversations....
The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a "roving bug," and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
Not only that, but all phone calls (whether made with a cell phone or not) are monitored by the U.S. government in the name of national security. For years this was kind of an open secret, but now even mainstream news outlets such as USA Today have reported on the NSA's goal "to create a database of every call ever made"....
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.
However, perhaps even more frightening is the rapidly rising number of stalkers and criminals that are exploiting the advanced capabilities of cell phone surveillance software.