Is Your Carrier Storing Information On Your Phone Usage?

Curious how long your cell phone company holds onto to data regarding what you’ve been doing with your phone? AT&T/Cingular will preserve your text and call detail records for 5-7 years. The ACLU uncovered the below document, created by the Department of Justice for use by law enforcement:

retentionperiodsmajorcellularservices

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  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    Of course they’re storing your information, and they have been for decades. Why don’t most people seem to be able to grasp that? Echelon and related data collection / analysis networks have operated internationally for decades. Analysts have been tied into the backbone of every major communications network gathering data since before the Microprocessor was invented.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    Of course they’re storing your information, and they have been for decades. Why don’t most people seem to be able to grasp that? Echelon and related data collection / analysis networks have operated internationally for decades. Analysts have been tied into the backbone of every major communications network gathering data since before the Microprocessor was invented.

  • jasonpaulhayes

    Of course they’re storing your information, and they have been for decades. Why don’t most people seem to be able to grasp that? Echelon and related data collection / analysis networks have operated internationally for decades. Analysts have been tied into the backbone of every major communications network, gathering data, since before the Microprocessor was invented.

  • Nunzio X

    Is there any way to get an “anonymous” smart phone? One where, even if they store the data, it can’t be tied to the user?

  • Nunzio X

    Is there any way to get an “anonymous” smart phone? One where, even if they store the data, it can’t be tied to the user?

    • earthmama

      pssh not in the US, after 2001. Not a chance! The US government has their dirty little fingers in everything, and most of it Americans are blissfully unaware of. Either that or we know and choose to ignore it. And if you make a big fuss out of it you’re “paranoid.”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3Q3JZYMD2F7YGQS6GNUWPKYK5E Turbulent_red

      You’d be better off Using a VOIP (NON SKYPE!!!) based phones that don’t use towers. Start using random WI-FI  hotspots. If you really want to hide your activity deeply. Use commercial open wifi or learn how to crack WEP (wi-fi security). Learn how to spoof a Media Access Controller Address and take control of all routers you use and wipe data. In all reality if you going that far to hide your online dealings you might as well practice them in an area the authorities rarely care about. Ghettos, Industrial Parks and the like are rarely under watch. People who live in Ghettos are piss ants to them and Industrial Parks are considered places of worth with little of no value of theft. If need that kind of protection from the all seeing eye, its already too late.

    • Simiantongue

      I don’t know about smart phones but you can get a cell phone anonymously. I don’t know how useful it would be for someone who is continually on the phone all the time, it could get expensive. But for someone like myself who very rarely uses my cellphone, say in a family emergency or a quick note to remind me of someones birthday perhaps, it’s actually much more economical.

      Go into any big box store like target, walmart, even some convenience stores and buy a Tracphone, they have all different types with different features, video cameras etc. No sign up, no contracts. All you do is buy the phone and then buy a Tracphone card with minutes on it. A $20 card has 60 minutes on it. They have cards with more and less. The more minutes you buy the cheaper it is. You pay for the card and it’s activated. All you have to do is go into your phone’s options, there will be a “add airtime” option on the top menu, scratch off the silver stuff on the back of the card (like a scratch ticket) and enter the code into your phone.  Now you have a cell phone that is in no way connected you personally. No need to enter your name, address, social security #, state of grace with your church, nothing.  The instructions are very simple to follow on the phone. My nephew age 8 can do it. I gave him a phone for emergencies and I buy him a $20 card every now and again.

      You have to buy airtime at least every 90 days. How many minutes you have and how many service days out of the 90 is left, is displayed on the phone. If you add airtime at least every 90 days all the minutes you didn’t use just carry over. Every time you buy minutes 90 service days are added, so for example you had 60 minutes with 80 service days left to use them and you bought another 60 minutes. Then you will have 120 minutes and 170 service days in which to use them. If you don’t buy airtime at least every 90 days it all just expires. So it’s like a regular cell phone contract, except you don’t have to pay every month you pay whenever you like as long as it’s not more than 90 days. You can add airtime whenever or as often as you like.

      Also they are always texting you(free) special offers for when you buy your next airtime card. When I say always I mean always. They’re always giving you an extra 20, 40 or even 60 minutes with your next card. I’ve had this phone for years and never bought a 60 minute card and only got 60 minuted for it. It’s always more, a few times I even got 80 extra minutes on top of the 60 I bought. Since the minutes carry over and I’ve been on this type of phone for years I have thousands of minutes currently. I don’t give out my cell # to just anyone, only to family and a very few close friends who know not to call me to jibber jabber in baby talk about how their son just said his first few words. Time enough for that when I see them later and we’ll actually have something to talk about : ) Yeah this sounds like a commercial for Tracphone but I’m just trying to relate the details. It has advantages and disadvantages.

      Anyway the phone can be tracked and it is most likely just like any other phone. But it’s not associated with you personally in any way, you didn’t have to give any personal information to obtain it. This can all be done with cash transactions so the phone could belong to anyone. Well ok maybe if the phone was found at a murder scene and the police traced its purchase to the local Target and they were able to get video footage of you purchasing it. But I mean, that’s all over the top really. The point is you can jabber and text all you want and the company can trace and record it even, but it’s pretty anonymous. So unless it’s highly likely that your phone would find it’s way into some murder scene or some unimaginably weird situation like that where someone is determined to find out who’s phone it is, then it’s all pretty anonymous.

      The thing is if you’re one of those people who are on the phone constantly this is not the option for you. You need a phone with a contract and lots of airtime if you talk a lot. I used to have an AT&T plan for almost $50 a month that I rarely used. Now I just buy a $20 card for 60 minutes (plus however many minutes they give as a bonus in addition) every 90 days. So that’s a savings of about $130 every three months or $520 a year. To be honest I got better things to do with that money than to give it to a telecommunications corporation so I can have the added convenience of listening to the impromptu details of a spelling bee, while I’m probably trying to get something done no less. If it’s imprtant I have a phone and the time, very convenient. If it’s not important then it can wait till I see you and we’ll chat.

      Tracphone fits my lifestyle, maybe not yours. I do have a very active social life and I value my interpersonal relationships. Which is why I make it a habit to seek out the company of my friends and family on a regular basis. Then we catch up on all those little details in life. I think there is an illusion about modern telecommunications that somehow it brings everyone closer. That’s not my experience, it seems to make most relationships almost vacuous. I’m not some luddite who hates technology either. I love cell phones, for their purpose. I just don’t like conducting my life over them. My experience has been that since I gave up doing that years ago, my personal relationships have gotten richer. But that’s just me, you may be the type of person who likes to whittle away your day talking about every little detail with others on the phone constantly. It may be important to you to be near the top of some socialite “A” list, where you have to gossip about every little thing almost realtime. Which is ok I’m not passing judgment here, it’s all about a lifestyle choice. But on a Tracphone that will get expensive so that may not be the right choice for your lifestyle.

      I’m just putting this out there for people who’s lifestyle may fit the use of a Tracphone. If you don’t use your phone much you can save some money by using a Tracphone, you might be like me and seek out the company of friends and family for your chitchat. Or you just may not like the idea of being tracked everywhere you go. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someones not out to track you. lol.

      • Calypso_1

        Purchase of ‘Anonymous’ prepaid phones cards at a retail establishment creates an activation of the service/card at point of purchase which is logged and tied to security video timestamp.  Transactional data and CCTV is readily available to sanctioned parties of interest.  Even if you consider the possibilities for handoff this is severely limited by social network closeness.  For local LE this involves little more than simple leg work, for state security apparatus this information can be parsed in real time.  Contemplate social steganography.

        • Nunzio X

          Please explain “social steganography.”

          • Jin The Ninja

            “If you’re in high school these days, a lot of your socializing
            happens online, but your parents usually insist on being “friended” so
            they can check what you’re posting. This creates a communication
            dilemma. You want to post candid updates about your life so your friends
            know what’s going on—but not so candid that your folks catch wind of it.

            The solution is what researcher Danah Boyd has dubbed social
            steganography. Teenagers now post status updates that have two layers: A
            bland surface meaning intended for parents, and a deeper, richer
            significance that can be decoded only by close friends.”

            http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/st_thompson_secretmessages/

          • Calypso_1

            Explanation impoverishes the products of contemplation.
            Application reflects the craft of cultivation.
            Occupy yourself before you trade in means and measures of exchange.

          • Simiantongue

            He says go look it up yourself so you can better understand the explanation of social stenography on your own terms. lol

          • Calypso_1

            Salience depends on induction and modulation of latent inhibition.

          • Simiantongue

            Is that a cryptic way of saying I was droning on? How rude.

          • Simiantongue

            Interesting phenomenon social stenography. The idea is kind of expansive actually. Basically, simply it’s called being cryptic or having hidden meaning when communicating. Hiding in plain sight. A key feature is that those communicating often share a close cultural bond and/or shared experiences. It includes things like double entendre, which is often ironic or risque. You know the old saying “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” Which has the two understood meanings, the obvious and the less obvious. 

            Another facet of social stenography is “Dog whistle politics”. I’ll just give a link to wiki on that, It’s an interesting read. It’s talking in the abstract mostly. Useful in racist circles.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_whistle_politics.

            Another example would be found in southern culture. Often times double meaning is communicated in a culturally relevant anecdote. For instance if someone were to say “You don’t go milking your cows after dark with cold hands”. This is not supposed to convey the proper time to milk cows, or the proper temperature of ones hands, it’s a pertinent cultural witticism only simple country folk would be aware of. (Don’t ask me what it means, I’m a thin lipped, fast talking, northern city slicker) But you get the idea I hope.

            The term social stenography is pretty new I think. Probably means the facebook generation thinks they’ve invented something new as Jin pointed out. It’s actually been around for quite a while in many facets of society. In philosophy, Plato for example often times used abstract philosophical messages hidden in allegory. You need a thorough study of Platonic dialogs to see there are ideas “beneath” what he’s actually saying. They’re somewhat disguised. Thinking was a dangerous sport in those days.

            You can get social stenography among almost any group with close/ shared cultural bonds. The religious for example can easily communicate with double meaning.

            I remember reading about the idea back in the 80′s in a novel. Can’t remember the name just now. It was a science fiction novel. It was just one idea in the book among many, good book. The idea was that these people live on a space station, except it really wasn’t a space station. In order to keep that a secret nobody was allowed to talk about physics by law. A security computer kept track of every spoken word. In order to get around this eves dropping computer the population started communicating in with abstract analogies of shared culture and experience that the computer couldn’t understand. Well that’s just a few places you can look to check out more about it.

            There is a distinguishing trait in most social stenography also. The idea that when you’re being cryptic, hiding your meaning, the person you are hiding the real meaning from should have no idea that there is meaning being hidden. There are levels of complexity to this idea also. Let me see if I can come up with an example. Ok let’s try this.

            Watch this video here. The pertinent part is at 00:22. Where Bill O says “Do you understand what the NYT wants? and the far left want. They want to beak down the White, Christian, Male power structure. Which you’re a part and so am I. They want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.”

            Now what Bill O knows is that if he starts ranting and raving about “Niggers and spics” in a very straightforward manner there will be a price to pay. That of an instant loss of credibility because of his blatant racism. So he needs to avoid paying that price, but at the same time he still needs to let his audience know where he stands. So what he does is instead of raving about minorities he veils his meaning so that “those in the know” will know what he’s talking about. What he does quite simply is frame flip the perspective. He’s not raging against minorities, he shows concern for the “white, christian, male power structure”. In flipping the perspective, thus veiling his intent, this is not about minorities seeking social justice, it’s about white, christian, males being attacked. Thus “framing” the oppressor as the oppressed. The social stenography here is the manner in which he disguises the blatant racism by frame flipping the perspective so as to disguise the obvious meaning, those who share his cultural outlook will certainly be able to understand the deeper message.

          • Simiantongue

            I didn’t give the link to the Bill O video above sorry.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_SKy9mVg8M

        • Simiantongue

          With a cash purchase at best this gives a vague physical description of someone. So they have your picture, but who are you? There is nothing else to link this purchase with your identity. Sunglasses, hat, bulky coat, maybe a hoodie perhaps, 7-11convenience store, you’re good to go.

          The point is they can’t just make a simple request to a company and have subscriber information, call detail records, cell tower used by phone, text message detail and content, pictures and IP session information, and have it laid out in front of them and know that it’s yours. There is going to be legwork needed and more than a good bit of luck too. Public defender for many years, LE legwork is rarely straight forward or “simple”. That makes many assumptions about details we can’t know. What type of security systems are there in every retail outfit. My son worked in the convenience store up the street part time at night. He used to hook up a portable dvd player to pass the time. They are still using VHS tapes to record stills every few seconds. (He was fired for doing that BTW, someone had broken into the storage trailer out back and there was no recording of it. Police thought maybe he had done it because the system had been shut off, or he at least had something to do with it. I told him to fess up about his movie watching if he didn’t want to go to prison for something he didn’t do.)

          What were talking about here is levels of anonymity. If say some private or state agency wants your information. It would depend what for. Maybe a serious investigation, maybe it’s just a girlfriend doing someone a favor. How far are they willing to go, how much energy is it worth expending to get your personal information. They can’t just phone a telecommunications company and say fax his information over if you’re using a Tracphone like they can a other companies correct? They’re going to have to go to where the phone or card was bought, if it hasn’t been too long, if there is a recording, if it has caught your face, if you were not wearing anything like sunglasses etc, if the tape or digital recording is even watchable, often times they’re useless. Low quality in smaller chains and in big box stores it’s often a fisheye view. Then perhaps if the recording is good enough to place your face in some biometrics system. Or if the clerk recognizes you. That’s a lot of ifs. Not impossible but believe me the chances of catching someone who robs a store and looks straight into a camera are not as good as you would assume, LE are often left with running it on the evening news and asking if anyone recognizes this individual, to step forward with any information. Rarely is that successful. But even if they do make a suspect from the video it’s often times difficult to say if it is fact that person or just someone that looks similar.

          I do understand what you’re getting at though. But we’re still a far cry from that perfect surveillance state you’re imagining. Not quite there yet.

    • BuzzCoastin

      Not in most countries, but it’s possible in some parts of Asia, e.g. Thailand.
      Those sim cards on unlocked phones can be used world wide.

      The only reason for anonymity is for clandestine transactions
      or for keeping your movements secret
      the best strategy for privacy today
      is to flood them with information.
      See Hasan Elahi- FBI, here I am!
      http://youtu.be/wAdwurHhv-I

  • earthmama

    pssh not in the US, after 2001. Not a chance! The US government has their dirty little fingers in everything, and most of it Americans are blissfully unaware of. Either that or we know and choose to ignore it. And if you make a big fuss out of it you’re “paranoid.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3Q3JZYMD2F7YGQS6GNUWPKYK5E Turbulent_red

    You’d be better off Using a VOIP (NON SKYPE!!!) based phones that don’t use towers. Start using random WI-FI  hotspots. If you really want to hide your activity deeply. Use commercial open wifi or learn how to crack WEP (wi-fi security). Learn how to spoof a Media Access Controller Address and take control of all routers you use and wipe data. In all reality if you going that far to hide your online dealings you might as well practice them in an area the authorities rarely care about. Ghettos, Industrial Parks and the like are rarely under watch. People who live in Ghettos are piss ants to them and Industrial Parks are considered places of worth with little of no value of theft. If need that kind of protection from the all seeing eye, its already too late.

  • Simiantongue

    I don’t know about smart phones but you can get a cell phone anonymously. I don’t know how useful it would be for someone who is continually on the phone all the time, it could get expensive. But for someone like myself who very rarely uses my cellphone, say in a family emergency or a quick note to remind me of someones birthday perhaps, it’s actually much more economical.

    Go into any big box store like target, walmart, even some convenience stores and buy a Tracphone, they have all different types with different features, video cameras etc. No sign up, no contracts. All you do is buy the phone and then buy a Tracphone card with minutes on it. A $20 card has 60 minutes on it. They have cards with more and less. The more minutes you buy the cheaper it is. You pay for the card and it’s activated. All you have to do is go into your phone’s options, there will be a “add airtime” option on the top menu, scratch off the silver stuff on the back of the card (like a scratch ticket) and enter the code into your phone.  Now you have a cell phone that is in no way connected you personally. No need to enter your name, address, social security #, state of grace with your church, nothing.  The instructions are very simple to follow on the phone. My nephew age 8 can do it. I gave him a phone for emergencies and I buy him a $20 card every now and again.

    You have to buy airtime at least every 90 days. How many minutes you have and how many service days out of the 90 is left, is displayed on the phone. If you add airtime at least every 90 days all the minutes you didn’t use just carry over. Every time you buy minutes 90 service days are added, so for example you had 60 minutes with 80 service days left to use them and you bought another 60 minutes. Then you will have 120 minutes and 170 service days in which to use them. If you don’t buy airtime at least every 90 days it all just expires. So it’s like a regular cell phone contract, except you don’t have to pay every month you pay whenever you like as long as it’s not more than 90 days. You can add airtime whenever or as often as you like.

    Also they are always texting you(free) special offers for when you buy your next airtime card. When I say always I mean always. They’re always giving you an extra 20, 40 or even 60 minutes with your next card. I’ve had this phone for years and never bought a 60 minute card and only got 60 minuted for it. It’s always more, a few times I even got 80 extra minutes on top of the 60 I bought. Since the minutes carry over and I’ve been on this type of phone for years I have thousands of minutes currently. I don’t give out my cell # to just anyone, only to family and a very few close friends who know not to call me to jibber jabber in baby talk about how their son just said his first few words. Time enough for that when I see them later and we’ll actually have something to talk about : ) Yeah this sounds like a commercial for Tracphone but I’m just trying to relate the details. It has advantages and disadvantages.

    Anyway the phone can be tracked and it is most likely just like any other phone. But it’s not associated with you personally in any way, you didn’t have to give any personal information to obtain it. This can all be done with cash transactions so the phone could belong to anyone. Well ok maybe if the phone was found at a murder scene and the police traced its purchase to the local Target and they were able to get video footage of you purchasing it. But I mean, that’s all over the top really. The point is you can jabber and text all you want and the company can trace and record it even, but it’s pretty anonymous. So unless it’s highly likely that your phone would find it’s way into some murder scene or some unimaginably weird situation like that where someone is determined to find out who’s phone it is, then it’s all pretty anonymous.

    The thing is if you’re one of those people who are on the phone constantly this is not the option for you. You need a phone with a contract and lots of airtime if you talk a lot. I used to have an AT&T plan for almost $50 a month that I rarely used. Now I just buy a $20 card for 60 minutes (plus however many minutes they give as a bonus in addition) every 90 days. So that’s a savings of about $130 every three months or $520 a year. To be honest I got better things to do with that money than to give it to a telecommunications corporation so I can have the added convenience of listening to the impromptu details of a spelling bee, while I’m probably trying to get something done no less. If it’s imprtant I have a phone and the time, very convenient. If it’s not important then it can wait till I see you and we’ll chat.

    Tracphone fits my lifestyle, maybe not yours. I do have a very active social life and I value my interpersonal relationships. Which is why I make it a habit to seek out the company of my friends and family on a regular basis. Then we catch up on all those little details in life. I think there is an illusion about modern telecommunications that somehow it brings everyone closer. That’s not my experience, it seems to make most relationships almost vacuous. I’m not some luddite who hates technology either. I love cell phones, for their purpose. I just don’t like conducting my life over them. My experience has been that since I gave up doing that years ago, my personal relationships have gotten richer. But that’s just me, you may be the type of person who likes to whittle away your day talking about every little detail with others on the phone constantly. It may be important to you to be near the top of some socialite “A” list, where you have to gossip about every little thing almost realtime. Which is ok I’m not passing judgment here, it’s all about a lifestyle choice. But on a Tracphone that will get expensive so that may not be the right choice for your lifestyle.

    I’m just putting this out there for people who’s lifestyle may fit the use of a Tracphone. If you don’t use your phone much you can save some money by using a Tracphone, you might be like me and seek out the company of friends and family for your chitchat. Or you just may not like the idea of being tracked everywhere you go. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someones not out to track you. lol.

  • Anonymous

    Purchase of ‘Anonymous’ prepaid phones cards at a retail establishment creates an activation of the service/card at point of purchase which is logged and tied to security video timestamp.  Transactional data and CCTV is readily available to sanctioned parties of interest.  Even if you consider the possibilities for handoff this is severely limited by social network closeness.  For local LE this involves little more than simple leg work, for state security apparatus this information can be parsed in real time.  Contemplate social steganography.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Not in most countries, but it possible in some parts of Asia, e.g. Thailand.

    The only reason for anonymity is for clandestine transactions
    or for keeping your movements secret
    the best strategy for privacy today
    is to flood them with information.
    See Hasan Elahi- FBI, here I am!
    http://youtu.be/wAdwurHhv-I

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Not in most countries, but it possible in some parts of Asia, e.g. Thailand.

    The only reason for anonymity is for clandestine transactions
    or for keeping your movements secret
    the best strategy for privacy today
    is to flood them with information.
    See Hasan Elahi- FBI, here I am!
    http://youtu.be/wAdwurHhv-I

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Everybody thought the 1984 image of the Telescreens in every room was ridiculus;
    no one imagined we’d be carrying the Telescreens around with us.
    Big Homelander isn’t just watching
    he’s a psychopathic anal retentive voyeur.

  • BuzzCoastin

    Everybody thought the 1984 image of the Telescreens in every room was ridiculus;
    no one imagined we’d be carrying the Telescreens around with us.
    Big Homelander isn’t just watching
    he’s a psychopathic anal retentive voyeur.

    • http://www.gunnook.com Cbirdsell

      I agree it is hard to not get tracked anymore

  • Nunzio X

    Please explain “social steganography.”

  • Nunzio X

    Please explain “social steganography.”

  • Nunzio X

    Please explain “social steganography.”

  • Nunzio X

    Please explain “social steganography.”

  • Anonymous

    “If you’re in high school these days, a lot of your socializing
    happens online, but your parents usually insist on being “friended” so
    they can check what you’re posting. This creates a communication
    dilemma. You want to post candid updates about your life so your friends
    know what’s going on—but not so candid that your folks catch wind of it.

    The solution is what researcher Danah Boyd has dubbed social
    steganography. Teenagers now post status updates that have two layers: A
    bland surface meaning intended for parents, and a deeper, richer
    significance that can be decoded only by close friends.”

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/st_thompson_secretmessages/

  • Anonymous

    “If you’re in high school these days, a lot of your socializing
    happens online, but your parents usually insist on being “friended” so
    they can check what you’re posting. This creates a communication
    dilemma. You want to post candid updates about your life so your friends
    know what’s going on—but not so candid that your folks catch wind of it.

    The solution is what researcher Danah Boyd has dubbed social
    steganography. Teenagers now post status updates that have two layers: A
    bland surface meaning intended for parents, and a deeper, richer
    significance that can be decoded only by close friends.”

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/st_thompson_secretmessages/

  • Anonymous

    Explanation impoverishes the products of contemplation.
    Application reflects the craft of cultivation.
    Occupy yourself before you trade in means and measures exchange.

  • Simiantongue

    With a cash purchase at best this gives a vague physical description of someone. So they have your picture, but who are you? There is nothing else to link this purchase with your identity. Sunglasses, hat, bulky coat, maybe a hoodie perhaps, 7-11convenience store, you’re good to go.

    The point is they can’t just make a simple request to a company and have subscriber information, call detail records, cell tower used by phone, text message detail and content, pictures and IP session information, and have it laid out in front of them and know that it’s yours. There is going to be legwork needed and more than a good bit of luck too. Public defender for many years, LE legwork is rarely straight forward or “simple”. That makes many assumptions about details we can’t know. What type of security systems are there in every retail outfit. My son worked in the convenience store up the street part time at night. He used to hook up a portable dvd player to pass the time. They are still using VHS tapes to record stills every few seconds. (He was fired for doing that BTW, someone had broken into the storage trailer out back and there was no recording of it. Police thought maybe he had done it because the system had been shut off, or he at least had something to do with it. I told him to fess up about his movie watching if he didn’t want to go to prison for something he didn’t do.)

    What were talking about here is levels of anonymity. If say some private or state agency wants your information. It would depend what for. Maybe a serious investigation, maybe it’s just a girlfriend doing someone a favor. How far are they willing to go, how much energy is it worth expending to get your personal information. They can’t just phone a telecommunications company and say fax his information over if you’re using a Tracphone like they can a other companies correct? They’re going to have to go to where the phone or card was bought, if it hasn’t been too long, if there is a recording, if it has caught your face, if you were not wearing anything like sunglasses etc, if the tape or digital recording is even watchable, often times they’re useless. Low quality in smaller chains and in big box stores it’s often a fisheye view. Then perhaps if the recording is good enough to place your face in some biometrics system. Or if the clerk recognizes you. That’s a lot of ifs. Not impossible but believe me the chances of catching someone who robs a store and looks straight into a camera are not as good as you would assume, LE are often left with running it on the evening news and asking if anyone recognizes this individual, to step forward with any information. Rarely is that successful. But even if they do make a suspect from the video it’s often times difficult to say if it is fact that person or just someone that looks similar.

    I do understand what you’re getting at though. But we’re still a far cry from that perfect surveillance state you’re imagining. Not quite there yet.

  • Simiantongue

    With a cash purchase at best this gives a vague physical description of someone. So they have your picture, but who are you? There is nothing else to link this purchase with your identity. Sunglasses, hat, bulky coat, maybe a hoodie perhaps, 7-11convenience store, you’re good to go.

    The point is they can’t just make a simple request to a company and have subscriber information, call detail records, cell tower used by phone, text message detail and content, pictures and IP session information, and have it laid out in front of them and know that it’s yours. There is going to be legwork needed and more than a good bit of luck too. Public defender for many years, LE legwork is rarely straight forward or “simple”. That makes many assumptions about details we can’t know. What type of security systems are there in every retail outfit. My son worked in the convenience store up the street part time at night. He used to hook up a portable dvd player to pass the time. They are still using VHS tapes to record stills every few seconds. (He was fired for doing that BTW, someone had broken into the storage trailer out back and there was no recording of it. Police thought maybe he had done it because the system had been shut off, or he at least had something to do with it. I told him to fess up about his movie watching if he didn’t want to go to prison for something he didn’t do.)

    What were talking about here is levels of anonymity. If say some private or state agency wants your information. It would depend what for. Maybe a serious investigation, maybe it’s just a girlfriend doing someone a favor. How far are they willing to go, how much energy is it worth expending to get your personal information. They can’t just phone a telecommunications company and say fax his information over if you’re using a Tracphone like they can a other companies correct? They’re going to have to go to where the phone or card was bought, if it hasn’t been too long, if there is a recording, if it has caught your face, if you were not wearing anything like sunglasses etc, if the tape or digital recording is even watchable, often times they’re useless. Low quality in smaller chains and in big box stores it’s often a fisheye view. Then perhaps if the recording is good enough to place your face in some biometrics system. Or if the clerk recognizes you. That’s a lot of ifs. Not impossible but believe me the chances of catching someone who robs a store and looks straight into a camera are not as good as you would assume, LE are often left with running it on the evening news and asking if anyone recognizes this individual, to step forward with any information. Rarely is that successful. But even if they do make a suspect from the video it’s often times difficult to say if it is fact that person or just someone that looks similar.

    I do understand what you’re getting at though. But we’re still a far cry from that perfect surveillance state you’re imagining. Not quite there yet.

  • Simiantongue

    Interesting phenomenon social stenography. The idea is kind of expansive actually. Basically, simply it’s called being cryptic or having hidden meaning when communicating. Hiding in plain sight. A key feature is that those communicating often share a close cultural bond and/or shared experiences. It includes things like double entendre, which is often ironic or risque. You know the old saying “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” Which has the two understood meanings, the obvious and the less obvious. 

    Another facet of social stenography is “Dog whistle politics”. I’ll just give a link to wiki on that, It’s an interesting read. It’s talking in the abstract mostly. Useful in racist circles.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_whistle_politics.

    Another example would be found in southern culture. Often times double meaning is communicated in a culturally relevant anecdote. For instance if someone were to say “You don’t go milking your cows after dark with cold hands”. This is not supposed to convey the proper time to milk cows, or the proper temperature of ones hands, it’s a pertinent cultural witticism only simple country folk would be aware of. (Don’t ask me what it means, I’m a thin lipped, fast talking, northern city slicker) But you get the idea I hope.

    The term social stenography is pretty new I think. Probably means the facebook generation thinks they’ve invented something new as Jin pointed out. It’s actually been around for quite a while in many facets of society. In philosophy, Plato for example often times used abstract philosophical messages hidden in allegory. You need a thorough study of Platonic dialogs to see there are ideas “beneath” what he’s actually saying. They’re somewhat disguised. Thinking was a dangerous sport in those days.

    You can get social stenography among almost any group with close/ shared cultural bonds. The religious for example can easily communicate with double meaning.

    I remember reading about the idea back in the 80′s in a novel. Can’t remember the name just now. It was a science fiction novel. It was just one idea in the book among many, good book. The idea was that these people live on a space station, except it really wasn’t a space station. In order to keep that a secret nobody was allowed to talk about physics by law. A security computer kept track of every spoken word. In order to get around this eves dropping computer the population started communicating in with abstract analogies of shared culture and experience that the computer couldn’t understand. Well that’s just a few places you can look to check out more about it.

    There is a distinguishing trait in most social stenography also. The idea that when you’re being cryptic, hiding your meaning, the person you are hiding the real meaning from should have no idea that there is meaning being hidden. There are levels of complexity to this idea also. Let me see if I can come up with an example. Ok let’s try this.

    Watch this video here. The pertinent part is at 00:22. Where Bill O says “Do you understand what the NYT wants? and the far left want. They want to beak down the White, Christian, Male power structure. Which you’re a part and so am I. They want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.”

    Now what Bill O knows is that if he starts ranting and raving about “Niggers and spics” in a very straightforward manner there will be a price to pay. That of an instant loss of credibility because of his blatant racism. So he needs to avoid paying that price, but at the same time he still needs to let his audience know where he stands. So what he does is instead of raving about minorities he veils his meaning so that “those in the know” will know what he’s talking about. What he does quite simply is frame flip the perspective. He’s not raging against minorities, he shows concern for the “white, christian, male power structure”. In flipping the perspective, thus veiling his intent, this is not about minorities seeking social justice, it’s about white, christian, males being attacked. Thus “framing” the oppressor as the oppressed. The social stenography here is the manner in which he disguises the blatant racism by frame flipping the perspective so as to disguise the obvious meaning, those who share his cultural outlook will certainly be able to understand the deeper message.

  • Simiantongue

    Interesting phenomenon social stenography. The idea is kind of expansive actually. Basically, simply it’s called being cryptic or having hidden meaning when communicating. Hiding in plain sight. A key feature is that those communicating often share a close cultural bond and/or shared experiences. It includes things like double entendre, which is often ironic or risque. You know the old saying “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” Which has the two understood meanings, the obvious and the less obvious. 

    Another facet of social stenography is “Dog whistle politics”. I’ll just give a link to wiki on that, It’s an interesting read. It’s talking in the abstract mostly. Useful in racist circles.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_whistle_politics.

    Another example would be found in southern culture. Often times double meaning is communicated in a culturally relevant anecdote. For instance if someone were to say “You don’t go milking your cows after dark with cold hands”. This is not supposed to convey the proper time to milk cows, or the proper temperature of ones hands, it’s a pertinent cultural witticism only simple country folk would be aware of. (Don’t ask me what it means, I’m a thin lipped, fast talking, northern city slicker) But you get the idea I hope.

    The term social stenography is pretty new I think. Probably means the facebook generation thinks they’ve invented something new as Jin pointed out. It’s actually been around for quite a while in many facets of society. In philosophy, Plato for example often times used abstract philosophical messages hidden in allegory. You need a thorough study of Platonic dialogs to see there are ideas “beneath” what he’s actually saying. They’re somewhat disguised. Thinking was a dangerous sport in those days.

    You can get social stenography among almost any group with close/ shared cultural bonds. The religious for example can easily communicate with double meaning.

    I remember reading about the idea back in the 80′s in a novel. Can’t remember the name just now. It was a science fiction novel. It was just one idea in the book among many, good book. The idea was that these people live on a space station, except it really wasn’t a space station. In order to keep that a secret nobody was allowed to talk about physics by law. A security computer kept track of every spoken word. In order to get around this eves dropping computer the population started communicating in with abstract analogies of shared culture and experience that the computer couldn’t understand. Well that’s just a few places you can look to check out more about it.

    There is a distinguishing trait in most social stenography also. The idea that when you’re being cryptic, hiding your meaning, the person you are hiding the real meaning from should have no idea that there is meaning being hidden. There are levels of complexity to this idea also. Let me see if I can come up with an example. Ok let’s try this.

    Watch this video here. The pertinent part is at 00:22. Where Bill O says “Do you understand what the NYT wants? and the far left want. They want to beak down the White, Christian, Male power structure. Which you’re a part and so am I. They want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.”

    Now what Bill O knows is that if he starts ranting and raving about “Niggers and spics” in a very straightforward manner there will be a price to pay. That of an instant loss of credibility because of his blatant racism. So he needs to avoid paying that price, but at the same time he still needs to let his audience know where he stands. So what he does is instead of raving about minorities he veils his meaning so that “those in the know” will know what he’s talking about. What he does quite simply is frame flip the perspective. He’s not raging against minorities, he shows concern for the “white, christian, male power structure”. In flipping the perspective, thus veiling his intent, this is not about minorities seeking social justice, it’s about white, christian, males being attacked. Thus “framing” the oppressor as the oppressed. The social stenography here is the manner in which he disguises the blatant racism by frame flipping the perspective so as to disguise the obvious meaning, those who share his cultural outlook will certainly be able to understand the deeper message.

  • Simiantongue

    Interesting phenomenon social stenography. The idea is kind of expansive actually. Basically, simply it’s called being cryptic or having hidden meaning when communicating. Hiding in plain sight. A key feature is that those communicating often share a close cultural bond and/or shared experiences. It includes things like double entendre, which is often ironic or risque. You know the old saying “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” Which has the two understood meanings, the obvious and the less obvious. 

    Another facet of social stenography is “Dog whistle politics”. I’ll just give a link to wiki on that, It’s an interesting read. It’s talking in the abstract mostly. Useful in racist circles.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_whistle_politics.

    Another example would be found in southern culture. Often times double meaning is communicated in a culturally relevant anecdote. For instance if someone were to say “You don’t go milking your cows after dark with cold hands”. This is not supposed to convey the proper time to milk cows, or the proper temperature of ones hands, it’s a pertinent cultural witticism only simple country folk would be aware of. (Don’t ask me what it means, I’m a thin lipped, fast talking, northern city slicker) But you get the idea I hope.

    The term social stenography is pretty new I think. Probably means the facebook generation thinks they’ve invented something new as Jin pointed out. It’s actually been around for quite a while in many facets of society. In philosophy, Plato for example often times used abstract philosophical messages hidden in allegory. You need a thorough study of Platonic dialogs to see there are ideas “beneath” what he’s actually saying. They’re somewhat disguised. Thinking was a dangerous sport in those days.

    You can get social stenography among almost any group with close/ shared cultural bonds. The religious for example can easily communicate with double meaning.

    I remember reading about the idea back in the 80′s in a novel. Can’t remember the name just now. It was a science fiction novel. It was just one idea in the book among many, good book. The idea was that these people live on a space station, except it really wasn’t a space station. In order to keep that a secret nobody was allowed to talk about physics by law. A security computer kept track of every spoken word. In order to get around this eves dropping computer the population started communicating in with abstract analogies of shared culture and experience that the computer couldn’t understand. Well that’s just a few places you can look to check out more about it.

    There is a distinguishing trait in most social stenography also. The idea that when you’re being cryptic, hiding your meaning, the person you are hiding the real meaning from should have no idea that there is meaning being hidden. There are levels of complexity to this idea also. Let me see if I can come up with an example. Ok let’s try this.

    Watch this video here. The pertinent part is at 00:22. Where Bill O says “Do you understand what the NYT wants? and the far left want. They want to beak down the White, Christian, Male power structure. Which you’re a part and so am I. They want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.”

    Now what Bill O knows is that if he starts ranting and raving about “Niggers and spics” in a very straightforward manner there will be a price to pay. That of an instant loss of credibility because of his blatant racism. So he needs to avoid paying that price, but at the same time he still needs to let his audience know where he stands. So what he does is instead of raving about minorities he veils his meaning so that “those in the know” will know what he’s talking about. What he does quite simply is frame flip the perspective. He’s not raging against minorities, he shows concern for the “white, christian, male power structure”. In flipping the perspective, thus veiling his intent, this is not about minorities seeking social justice, it’s about white, christian, males being attacked. Thus “framing” the oppressor as the oppressed. The social stenography here is the manner in which he disguises the blatant racism by frame flipping the perspective so as to disguise the obvious meaning, those who share his cultural outlook will certainly be able to understand the deeper message.

  • Simiantongue

    I didn’t give the link to the Bill O video above sorry.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_SKy9mVg8M

  • http://www.gunnook.com Cbirdsell

    I agree it is hard to not get tracked anymore

  • Simiantongue

    He says go look it up yourself so you can better understand the explanation of social stenography on your own terms. lol

  • Anonymous

    Salience depends on induction and modulation of latent inhibition.

  • Simiantongue

    Is that a cryptic way of saying I was droning on? How rude.

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