Tag Archives | Cellphones

Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program

The Wall Street Journal reveals yet another sneaky US Government domestic spying surveillance program:

The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of mobile phones through devices deployed on airplanes that mimic cellphone towers, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

The U.S. Marshals Service program, which became fully functional around 2007, operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population, according to people familiar with the program.

Planes are equipped with devices—some known as “dirtboxes” to law-enforcement officials because of the initials of the Boeing Co. unit that produces them—which mimic cell towers of large telecommunications firms and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.

The technology in the two-foot-square device enables investigators to scoop data from tens of thousands of cellphones in a single flight, collecting their identifying information and general location, these people said.

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San Francisco Loses Legal Battle Over Warning Public About Cell Phone Radiation

cell phone radiation

Major phone companies appear to be winning the battle to suppress information about possible cancer risks from mobile phone usage, Reuters reports:

San Francisco city leaders, after losing a key round in court against the cell phone industry, have agreed to revoke an ordinance that would have been the first in the United States to require retailers to warn consumers about potentially dangerous radiation levels.

“This is just a terrible blow to public health,” Ellen Marks, an advocate for the measure, said outside the supervisors’ chambers. She said her husband suffers from a brain tumor on the same side of his head to which he most often held his mobile phone.

The 2011 ordinance mandated warnings that cellular phones emit potentially cancer-causing radiation. The statute, which a judge blocked before it took effect, also would have required retailers to post notices stating that World Health Organization cancer experts have deemed mobile phones “possibly carcinogenic.”

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Judge Rules Against Man Suing Over Sickness From Wi-Fi And Cellphones

A blow for the millions of Americans who claim to be allergic to the electromagnetic waves given off by 21st century technology. Arthur Firstenberg should perhaps join the Wi-Fi refugees living in the mountains of West Virginia. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports:

Arthur Firstenberg lost what might have been his final round in court Tuesday, when state District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health.

In January 2010, Firstenberg, who has long argued that electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellphones, smartphones, wireless routers and other apparatus can cause illness, sued his neighbor, Raphaela Monribot, for $1 million over the use of such electronic equipment at Monribot’s west-side home.

Court documents quote Firstenberg as complaining that he suffered acute effects of electromagnetic stimulus (EMS) and that, “Whenever I returned home, even for a few minutes, I felt the same sickness in my chest and my health was set back for days.”

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Turn Your iPhone Into A Human Hand

2Commentators often complain the technology has depersonalized how we communicate with others, reducing our opportunities for rich, face-to-face, tactile interaction. Now there’s an iPhone case that simulates the old days, by turning your phone into a reassuring, fleshy hand firmly gripping yours all day. Preorder now from Japan’s Strapya World:

Some hand may vary in size and shape since each hand is made individually.

If you are feeling really lonely, this case may reach out to you and give you company.

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Two Florida Teens Arrested For ‘Sexting’

SextingI still hate the word "sexting" ... Jim Peppard writes for WTSP 10 News:
Brooksville, Florida — Two teenagers were arrested today for sexting a photo of a bare breast. A 15 year old boy was taken into custody after he told a school resource officer he forwarded a cell phone picture he received last December of a young girl's breast, the sheriff's office said. He said another student at Hernando High School had threatened to do him harm, after learning of the photo. The girl herself was also charged, after admitting she took a picture of herself in the mirror wearing underwear and exposing a breast, and sending it to the boy, according to the arrest affidavit. Both were charged with transmission of pornography by electronic device, processed at the Hernando County Jail and released into the custody of their parents.
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Verizon To Put Location-Tracking Warning Sticker On Phones

Verizon WarningJulianne Pepitone reports in CNN:

In the wake of a giant brouhaha over the news that Apple’s iPhones record and store users’ locations, Verizon Wireless says it will start slapping ‘we can track you!’ warning stickers on its products.

Verizon’s announcement came in the form of a letter to Representatives Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. In March, they asked the four major wireless carriers to explain how and why they track mobile location data.

All four carriers acknowledged that they store location data for varying periods of time, but Verizon was the only company to suggest a warning label. The company says it will begin including the removable sticker on all new devices it sells.

The sticker warns: “This device is capable of determining its (and your) physical, geographical location and can associate this location data with other customer information. To limit access to location information by others, refer to the User Guide for Location settings and be cautious when downloading, accessing or using applications and services.”

Verizon also disclosed that it stores location data and other customer information for seven years.

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