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cell phones, tracking, and cya

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Nov. 25th, 2007 | 10:27 pm
mood: not surprised
music: ron paul for freedom
posted by: jt93 in dark_agendas

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from: <a href="http://www.agonist.org/"the agonist</a>
What's truly amazing is not that you can use a cell phone to track people (we've known that for a long time), but that <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/22/AR2007112201444_pf.html">judges are letting the cops track your mobile without a warrant.</a>

Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.

In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives.

Such requests run counter to the Justice Department's internal recommendation that federal prosecutors seek warrants based on probable cause to obtain precise location data in private areas. The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied.

Judges who allow tracking without warrants should be impeached. If it's widespread, impeach them all.

In the meantime, as the article notes, cell phones are essentially spies in your pocket. So what can you do about it?

* <a href="http://www.news.com/2100-1029_3-6140191.html">Your phone can also be turned on and used as a mobile bug.</a> Take the batteries out of your phone when you don't want to be listened in on or tracked.
* Use different phones and pre-paid sims every day if you need a mobile phone. (This is what one opposition leader in Pakistan was advised to do when he was on the run from Musharraf).
* Your home phone can very efficiently be used as a bug--at least the old rotary ones could, and I'd be shocked if the more modern ones can't be also. So pull it out of the jack if you're having a conversation about your next peace march or anti-free trade demonstration.
* Finally, making a call and hanging up before they "complete the trace", as shown in the movies, doesn't work. The line can be held open. Expect that if you make a call under such circumstances, you are compromised, whether by landline or mobile, and ditch the phone or get away from the landline, fast. (Leaving your mobile on a bus works wonders.)

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