AT&T and the DEA

“AT&T gives DEA 26 years of phone call records to wage war on drugs”


Litter bins are spying on us. Next, it will be toilets – Telegraph Blogs

Wireless monitoring and surveillance is going to become a increasingly common component of invasive marketing. Especially with the current weakness of privacy and laws governing the use of radio technologies. Until some of this is specifically banned by governments it will continue and even when governments ban it, through legal action, most likely companies will continue to either violate the law or by taking advantages in the complexities of many emerging radio protocols and data sharing protocols find ways around governments often inept legislation. As such concerned citizens should make greater attempts to raise their awareness of how their devices expose them via data leakage, data sharing, or weaknesses in the information technologies they use everyday. Companies and organizations hopefully will move to fill the emerging demand for privacy by making holistic solutions, encryption is nowhere near enough since many approaches to surveillance circumvent encryption, that provide non-attribution, obfuscation, misdirection, LPI/LDP, and the like. Until that time one can only assume that not only is your Government potentially monitoring you but anyone who can acquire a digital radio and connect it to a simple CPU.

Electronic surveillance of our every action has just moved a step closer. London’s creepiest startup has been caught spying on us through public litter bins.

The company behind the spybins, called Renew, hid electronic listening devices in a dozen bins around London, which then started lifting information from any phone that walked past. Of course, these days, “any phone” means “anyone”. The reason they thought this was a good idea was that, by spying on your phone, they could target you better with advertising. Apparently, no one thought to ask for consent.

Their hapless CEO, Kaveh Memari, has put out an unbelievable message this morning, which simultaneously expresses great sorrow at how they’ve been misrepresented in the media (ie how sorry they are that they got caught) while pointing out they weren’t really spying, but in fact are working hard to get proper bin-spying to work. As ever, the law hasn’t moved fast enough to stop this. Memari’s been quoted as saying: “From our point of view, it’s open to everybody, everyone can buy that data… As long as we don’t add a name and home address, it’s legal.” If you spy on one person illegally, you go to jail. You spy on a hundred thousand, congratulations, you’re a tech entrepreneur.

The tiny fig leaf they’ve constructed is that there’s a website (quite hard to find) where you can opt out of being spied on, where they piously claim: “We realise this technology isn’t for everyone”. Well, quite. Sifting through other venues he’s enthused about spying from, you find a proposal to fit out bars with toilet trackers, to work out the gender of patrons.

via Litter bins are spying on us. Next, it will be toilets – Telegraph Blogs.

Moscow Metro says new tracking system is to find stolen phones; no one believes them | Ars Technica

On Monday, a major Russian newspaper reported that Moscow’s metro system is planning what appears to be a mobile phone tracking device in its metro stations—ostensibly to search for stolen phones.

According to Izvestia (Google Translate), Andrey Mokhov, the operations chief of the Moscow Metro system’s police department, said that the system will have a range of five meters (16 feet). “If the [SIM] card is wanted, the system automatically creates a route of its movement and passes that information to the station attendant,” Mokhov said.

Many outside experts, both in and outside Russia, though, believe that what local authorities are actually deploying is a “stingray,” or “IMSI catcher”—a device that can fool a phone and SIM into reading from a fake mobile phone tower. (IMSI, or an International Mobile Subscriber Identity number, is a 15-digit unique number that sits on every SIM card.) Such devices can be used as a simple way to see what phone numbers are being used in a given area or even to intercept the audio of voice calls.

The Moscow Metro did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

“Many surveillance technologies are created and deployed with legitimate aims in mind, however the deploying of IMSI catchers sniffing mobile phones en masse is neither proportionate nor necessary for the stated aims of identifying stolen phones,” Eric King of Privacy International told Ars.

via Moscow Metro says new tracking system is to find stolen phones; no one believes them | Ars Technica.