Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool

CellphoneReports Eric Lichtblau in the NY Times:

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, documents show.

The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.

With cellphones ubiquitous, the police call phone tracing a valuable weapon in emergencies like child abductions and suicide calls and investigations in drug cases and murders. One police training manual describes cellphones as “the virtual biographer of our daily activities,” providing a hunting ground for learning contacts and travels …

Read More: NY Times

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  • Peetr

    Get out yer Tin Hats people! Looks like we got conspiracy theory here! …wait, is that the New York Times?

  • Anomaly_of_Anomie

    It’s difficult to be concerned, as they appear to be tracing phones built in 2005. 

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

      yeah the ones in 2005 could be turned off to stop the tracking
      now they can track you even when it powered off
      no worries
      Big Homey is a watcher

      • Anomaly_of_Anomie

        Actually, I was enjoying a good laugh at the ridiculously out of date picture for this article ^  but thanks for the info, cause I didn’t know they could trace phones powered off. What if there is no battery, can the chip be charged remotely like RFID??

        • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

          yup, it was too good a thing to allow people to just power off
          but on the other hand

          if you are doing something nefarious these daze
          you would not use your cellphone
          or even have a cellphone registered to you
          (except as a decoy)
          you would use a cellphone you bought in Asia
          with a sim card from Thailand or India
          that works in the US but
          can’t be traced back to the Thai 7-11 where you got it
          or you would use Skype
          which is real hard to trace or eavesdrop

  • http://www.jaycob.co.nf/ Scruffy

    I remember you could remotely access the camera on Motorola Razors, as well as a bunch of other things, even if the phone was turned off.

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