Tag Archives | Cell Phones

Police Can Copy Your Cell Phone’s Contents In Under Two Minutes

Cellebrite UFEDMatt Brian writes on The Next Web:
It has emerged that Michigan State Police have been using a high-tech mobile forensics device that can extract information from over 3,000 models of mobile phone, potentially grabbing all media content from your iPhone in under two minutes. The CelleBrite UFED is a handheld device that Michigan officers have been using since August 2008 to copy information from mobile phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The device can circumvent password restrictions and extract existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags. In short, it can copy everything on your smartphone in a matter of minutes. Learning that the police had been using mobile forensic devices, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued freedom of information requests which demand that state officials open up the data collected, to better assess if penalised motorists warrant having their data copied...
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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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Cell Phone Use in Pregnancy May Cause Behavioral Disorders in Offspring

Pregnant MouseVia ScienceDaily:

Exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers have determined. The results, based on studies in mice, are published in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature publication.

“This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior,” said senior author Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, professor and chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

Taylor and co-authors exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silenced cell phone positioned above the cage and placed on an active phone call for the duration of the trial. A control group of mice was kept under the same conditions but with the phone deactivated. The team measured the brain electrical activity of adult mice that were exposed to radiation as fetuses, and conducted a battery of psychological and behavioral tests.

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Malls Track Shoppers’ Cell Phones on Black Friday

Black Friday Hot DealAnnayln Censky reports for CNN:
Attention holiday shoppers: your cell phone may be tracked this year. Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls — Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. — will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. While the data that's collected is anonymous, it can follow shoppers' paths from store to store. The goal is for stores to answer questions like: How many Nordstrom shoppers also stop at Starbucks? How long do most customers linger in Victoria's Secret? Are there unpopular spots in the mall that aren't being visited? While U.S. malls have long tracked how crowds move throughout their stores, this is the first time they've used cell phones.
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Enter the FBI’s ‘Stingray’ Phone Tracker, Able to Locate Cell Phones Even When Not In Use

StingrayJennifer Valentino-Devries reports in the Wall Street Journal:

For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply “the Hacker.” Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device — a stingray — were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest.

Stingrays are designed to locate a mobile phone even when it’s not being used to make a call. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data gathered in their use, mainly to keep suspects in the dark about their capabilities, an FBI official told the Wall Street Journal in response to inquiries.

A stingray’s role in nabbing the alleged “Hacker” — Daniel David Rigmaiden — is shaping up as a possible test of the legal standards for using these devices in investigations. The FBI says it obtains appropriate court approval to use the device.

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Fear Of “Killer Phone Number” Spreads In Nigeria

_55399391_mobNo biggie, just let it go to voicemail. Via the BBC:

Nigeria’s authorities have been forced to reassure the public that a mobile phone number cannot kill, after rumors were spread…that several people had died when they answered calls with the ID 09141.

The regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission, said this was “unimaginable” and “unscrupulous persons” were spreading fear.

A BBC reporter was unable to get through to the number.

Text messages gave conflicting accounts of the number of people killed when they answered the call – some put the death toll at seven while others put it at 10.

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‘Wi-Fi Refugees’ Take Shelter In West Virginia Mountains

_55331114_55331113Is it mass hypochondria? More than ten million Americans believe they suffer from physical illness caused by cell phone and wireless internet networks. Some are upending their lives and retreating to remote Green Bank, West Virginia, a safe haven unpenetrated by Wi-Fi. Fast forward ten years, and you can bet they are going to be the last small band of humanity fighting the robot uprising. The BBC writes:

Dozens of Americans who claim to have been made ill by wi-fi and mobile phones have flocked to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia.

Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication. “It’s a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner,” she says. “You become a technological leper because you can’t be around people.

Ms Schou is one of an estimated 5% of Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment.

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SF Transit System Blocks Cell Phone Service To Thwart Protests

0816-bart-protests-Transit-Phone_full_380Mobile technology may be a powerful tool for grassroots organizing, but the flip side of the coin is that authorities can block such technology when they wish to crack down on dissent — case in point, San Francisco’s public transit system. SF Weekly writes:

This might just be a first in the annals of Bay Area transit agencies’ political suppression (such as those annals are). BART has fessed up to jamming cell-phone signals yesterday at downtown stations in San Francisco in order to disrupt protests over the death of Charles Hill, who was shot by BART police on July 3.

Here is what BART had to say in a statement on its tactics that was released today:

Organizers planning to disrupt BART service on August 11, 2011 stated they would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police. A civil disturbance during commute times at busy downtown San Francisco stations could lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions for BART customers, employees and demonstrators.

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John’s Phone: Subversive Mobile Technology

john01Via Media Underground:

Saturday afternoon and I’d been sitting in my local pub for at least an hour drinking the remains of my second pint of beer. The local clientele were doing their usual: scrutinising their hand-held devices as though they were personal life-support machines requiring constant tweaking and attention.

Meanwhile, on the pub TV, the sordid details of News International’s phone hacking scandal were unfolding live before my very eyes.

“Jesus H. Christ!” I exclaimed out loud. “This isn’t just affecting a small cross-section of the population, this is a goddamned epidemic of massive proportions!”

The fat lawyer sitting in the corner briefly glanced up at me from his iPhone with an expression that suggested a mixture of contempt and confusion, before taking another quick swig of his drink and refocusing his attention on his brightly lit touch screen.

“Whatever happened to coming to the pub to engage in social interaction!?” I exclaimed.… Read the rest

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Can The Police Search Your Digital Devices?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a “Know Your Rights” guide regarding police search and seizure of digital devices. Remember, law enforcement isn’t allowed to search your phone or computer without a warrant, your permission, or solid reason to believe that they will find incriminating evidence. Most important, only a judge or a grand jury can pry your password from you, so set one and you’re golden. Read the guide for more information.

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