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This is an archive of educational materials relating to cell phones and privacy.

Below this posting is a vast collection of information on "mass surveillance".

Please be patient there is a lot of information on these pages so it can take a little while for all of it to load.

We are pretty good at staying on top of things, but If you know of something we don't have listed and you think it should appear here, please contact us and let us know.

We have had several private user submissions and we thank you for them.

All visitor comments are moderated and posted anonymously.

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Cyber Defense Magazine - Smartphones in the business environment: Trusted Tool or Trusted Threat?

When a business allows the regular use of cellular phones in the workplace, the first thought is that by doing so the business empowers the employee and boosts their productivity.

After all, today’s smartphones can provide a near-virtual office on the go. Constant connectivity via text and email, teleconferencing, the ability to upload and download documents easily, the list is endless of how many ways smartphones enable employees to stay on the job no matter where they are and at any time of day.

What most businesses don’t realize is that by allowing the regular use of cellular phones in the business environment, sensitive and critical information related to their operations is put at risk. Every major business will say that information security is a top priority, yet allowing the regular use of cellular phones in the business environment can severely undermine that priority without the proper security measures in place...
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Edward Snowden - Your phone can be used to spy on you, even when you think it's turned off.

 

So far since 2008 Joel Brenner, Edward Snowden and William Binney all former NSA employee's have all said your phone can be used against you even when you believe it is turned off.

Mr. Brenner was Inspector General    -    Mr. Binney was a Global Technical Director   -   Mr. Snowden was an Analyst

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Washington Post - NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show

 

"The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool." - Source Washington Post

Source: The Washington Post

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Techdirt - Ret. Director of the NSA "We Kill People Based on Metadata".

 

Since the very first Snowden leak a year ago, one of the more common refrains from defenders of the program is "but it's just metadata, not actual content, so what's the big deal?" Beyond the fact that other programs do collect content, we've pointed…
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CNET News - Cell phone eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off."

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.

Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.

The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the "roving bug" was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone...

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NY Times - N.S.A. Spied on Allies, Aid Groups and Businesses

Satellite dishes in Cornwall, England, at an outpost of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters. The agency has worked closely with the United States. Credit Kieran Doherty/Reuters

Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses...

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New York Times Documents 32 Year Veteran and Former Global Technical Director of NSA blowing the whistle on illegal wiretapping.

 

This is the man who fought the communists for over 30 years, designed the software that has been turned on the American people and the world and he sincerely apologizes for it; that was not what he intended for his program.
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MIT - William Binney 32 Year Veteran Of NSA Explains That They Absolutely Are Profiling YOU And How They Are Doing It.

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Reuters - A $250 IMSI Catcher, cell tower simulator that can be made and deployed by just about anyone.

While not discussed in this 3 minute news story, you don't have to be making a call for your phone to connect to a simulated cell phone tower; it will try to connect to the strongest tower it can find automatically.

Once your device is connected to a simulated cellphone tower the attacker has complete access to your phone, they can activate the microphone even when your not on the phone, use the camera and can even install spyware onto your device for use at a later time. Hardware level vulnerabilities limit the effectiveness of software level security, so you need to take steps to protect yourself.

The threat is very real and the technology is available to anyone for as little as $250.

I certainly encourage you to look around the blog to get an idea of just how vulnerable your cell phone actually is.

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PrivacyCase and Snoopwall partner to protect Miss Teen USA 2014 contestants from cell phone spying.

ARS Technica - How Florida cops went door to door with fake cell device to find one man

Best picture yet of how police use "stingrays."

In the early morning hours of September 13, 2008, a woman notified the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) that she had been raped and that her purse, containing her mobile phone, had been stolen. Within 24 hours, the Florida capital’s police had contacted Verizon and obtained real-time ping information, which gave the police a “general area” where they might find the phone and thus, hopefully, the perpetrator of the crime. But that general area still covered plenty of ground—where exactly was the phone?

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ARS Technica - FCC to examine “unauthorized” cell snooping devices

Meanwhile, FCC won't give stingray documents to ACLU, saying they're classified.

              

A newly published letter from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) states that Wheeler has created a task force that recently took “immediate steps to combat the illicit and unauthorized use of IMSI catchers. The mission of this task force is to develop concrete solutions to protect the cellular networks systemically from similar unlawful intrusions and interceptions.”

Relatively little is known about how stingrays are used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, although documents have surfaced showing how they have been purchased and used in some limited instances. Worse still, cops have lied to courts about the use of such technology. Not only can stingrays be used to determine location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. Grayson seems primarily concerned with stingray use by criminals, terrorists, and foreign government agents...

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Junkee - Google Maps Has Been Tracking Your Every Move, And There’s A Website To Prove It

PrivacyCase Exclusive: Researchers discover your phone's microphone isn't the only thing that can be used to listen to you.

First: Thank you for the private submission. 

Researchers from Stanford University in conjunction with National Research & Simulation Center Rafael Ltd. show that the gyroscopes found in most modern phones are sensitive enough to detect sound in the vicinity of the phone. Using filters and signal processing they can "identify speaker information and even parse speech". 

iOS and Android require no special permissions to access the gyroscope, allowing apps and active web content that cannot access the microphone the ability to still eavesdrop on speech in the vicinity of the phone.

 

 

 

 

 

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ABC News - Cell Phone Spying Nightmare: 'You're Never the Same'

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ABC News - Cell Phone Stalkers Harass Washington Family

 

 

 

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Good Morning America - Ex-Boyfriend Stalked Woman 24/7 Using Her Cellular Phone.


ABC News | More ABC News Videos

ABC Action News - Domestic Violence Victims Tracked By Cell phone.

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Associated Press - Cellphone operator reveals scale of gov't snooping

Jun 6, 2:22 PM EDT

By DANICA KIRKA
LONDON (AP) -- Government snooping into phone networks is extensive worldwide, one of the world's largest cellphone companies revealed Friday, saying that several countries demand direct access to its networks without warrant or prior notice.

The detailed report from Vodafone, which covers the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe, Africa and Asia, provides the most comprehensive look to date at how governments monitor mobile phone communications. It amounts to a call for a debate on the issue as businesses increasingly worry about being seen as worthy of trust.

The most explosive revelation was that in six countries, authorities require immediate access to an operator's network - bypassing legal niceties like warrants. It did not name the countries for legal reasons and to safeguard employees working there.

"In those countries, Vodafone will not receive any form of demand for lawful interception access as the relevant agencies and authorities already have permanent access to customer communications via their own direct link," the report said...
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PBS News Hour - Documents Reveal NSA Can Crack Encryption

Think Pulling The Battery Is Enough To Protect Your Privacy??? Think Again!



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Endoacustica - At Least One Spyware Provider Openly Claims Phones Can Be Used To Eavesdrop Without The Battery.

 

Statement Below Is From Their Website www.endoacustica.com

 
Eavesdropping without battery
 
Even when the battery is taken out, the spy phone is still able to pick up sounds around it and transmit them.
This function is only available for law enforcement agencies.

Statement Above Is From Their Website www.endoacustica.com

This is only one of the many spyware providers on the internet.

 

Fox Ten News - It's not just the NSA, state and local authorities also use cell phones to track you without a warrant.

 

This country sure has changed a lot since I was a boy.

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  • This is an archive of educational materials relating to cell phones and privacy.

    Below this posting is a vast collection of information on "mass surveillance". Please be patient there is a lot of information on these pages so it can take a little while for all of it to load. We are pretty... read more

  • Cyber Defense Magazine - Smartphones in the business environment: Trusted Tool or Trusted Threat?

    When a business allows the regular use of cellular phones in the workplace, the first thought is that by doing so the business empowers the employee and boosts their productivity. After all, today’s smartphones can provide a near-virtual office on... read more

  • Edward Snowden - Your phone can be used to spy on you, even when you think it's turned off.

      So far since 2008 Joel Brenner, Edward Snowden and William Binney all former NSA employee's have all said your phone can be used against you even when you believe it is turned off. Mr. Brenner was Inspector General    -   ... read more