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Your Cell Phone Makes You A Prisoner Of A Digital World Where Virtually Anyone Can Hack You And Track You

If you own a cell phone, you might as well kiss your privacy goodbye.  Cell phone companies know more about us than most of us would ever dare to imagine.  Your cell phone company is tracking everywhere that you go and it is making a record of everything that you do with your phone.  Much worse, there is a good chance that your cell phone company has been selling this information to anyone that is willing to pay the price – including local law enforcement.  In addition, it is an open secret that the federal government monitors and records all cell phone calls.  The “private conversation” that you are having with a friend today will be kept in federal government databanks for many years to come.  The truth is that by using a cell phone, you willingly make yourself a prisoner of a digital world where every move that you make and every conversation that you have is permanently recorded.  But it is not just cell phone companies and government agencies that you have to worry about.  As you will see at the end of this article, it is incredibly easy for any would-be stalker to hack you and track your every movement using your cell phone.  In fact, many spyware programs allow hackers to listen to you through your cell phone even when your cell phone is turned off.  Sadly, most cell phone users have absolutely no idea about any of this stuff.

The next time that you get a notice from your cell phone company about “changes” to the privacy policy, you might want to play close attention.  Your cell phone company might be about to sell off your most personal information to anyone that is willing to write a big enough check.  The following is from a recent CNN article….

Your phone company knows where you live, what websites you visit, what apps you download, what videos you like to watch, and even where you are. Now, some have begun selling that valuable information to the highest bidder.

In mid-October, Verizon Wireless changed its privacy policy to allow the company to record customers’ location data and Web browsing history, combine it with other personal information like age and gender, aggregate it with millions of other customers’ data, and sell it on an anonymous basis.

So who is buying this information?

We just don’t know.

But we do know that local law enforcement agencies all over the country are increasingly using cell phone data to nail suspects, and often it is the cell phone companies that are the ones selling them the cell phone data that they need.

According to a recent New York Times article, many local police departments are doing this without getting a warrant first….

“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.”

That same article says that cell phone companies have standard prices that they charge to local law enforcement officials for information that they request….

“Cell carriers, staffed with special law enforcement liaison teams, charge police departments from a few hundred dollars for locating a phone to more than $2,200 for a full-scale wiretap of a suspect.”

So if you are breaking the law, your cell phone may be used to gather evidence and to track you down.  In the United States, cell phone companies are required by law to be able to pinpoint the locations of their customers to within 100 meters.  So if you are a criminal, your cell phone could be leading the police right to you even as you are reading this article.

Sometimes the police don’t even use the cell phone companies.  Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran an article that discussed the capabilities of the “stingray devices” that many local law enforcement agencies are using now.

A “stingray device” acts like a cell phone tower and it can gather any information that a normal cell phone tower can.  The following is how a recent Wired article described these “stingrays”….

You make a call on your cellphone thinking the only thing standing between you and the recipient of your call is your carrier’s cellphone tower. In fact, that tower your phone is connecting to just might be a boobytrap set up by law enforcement to ensnare your phone signals and maybe even the content of your calls.

So-called stingrays are one of the new high-tech tools that authorities are using to track and identify you. The devices, about the size of a suitcase, spoof a legitimate cellphone tower in order to trick nearby cellphones and other wireless communication devices into connecting to the tower, as they would to a real cellphone tower.

The government maintains that the stingrays don’t violate Fourth Amendment rights, since Americans don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy for data sent from their mobile phones and other wireless devices to a cell tower.

Isn’t that just great?

The attitude that law enforcement agencies seem to have is that once we use a cell phone we are essentially willingly throwing our Fourth Amendment rights out the window.

In some areas of the United States, police are physically extracting data from cell phones any time they want as well.  According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan have been using “extraction devices” to download data from the cell phones of motorists that they pull over.  This is taking place even if the motorists that are pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.  The following is how an article posted on CNET News describes the capabilities of these “extraction devices”….

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

Fortunately these “extraction devices” are being challenged in court.  Let us hope that they will be banned.

But what local law enforcement officials are doing pales in comparison to what federal agencies are doing.

For example, the FBI claims that it can demand to see your cell phone data whenever it would like to.

Not only that, the FBI has also been remotely activating the microphones on the cell phones of suspects that they want to listen to.  This can be done even when the cell phone is turned off….

The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone’s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.

The technique is called a “roving bug,” and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.

Could the FBI be listening to you right now?

If there is a cell phone in the room they could be.

But some other federal agencies listen to a lot more cell phone calls than the FBI does.

It has been an open secret for a long time that the federal government monitors and records all cell phone calls that are made for national security reasons.

In fact, the federal government is even trying to collect records for calls that have been made in the distant past.  According to USA Today, the goal is “to create a database of every call ever made”….

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

In addition, the federal government has been constructing the largest data center in the history of the world out in the Utah desert.  This data center will be used to house an almost unimaginable amount of digital data (including your cell phone calls).  The following is how a recent Wired article described this new facility….

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”

But isn’t it illegal for the federal government to intercept our phone calls?

Well, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that they use all kinds of loopholes and legal technicalities to get around that.

For example, if a call is “intercepted” outside of the United States and then routed to a government building inside the United States that is considered to be okay.

Of course that is a bunch of nonsense, but that is how they think.

And it is very frightening thing for governments around the world to be able to monitor and track us like this.

Increasingly, governments around the world are using cell phones to hunt down people that they do not like and haul them off to prison.  For example, a recent Bloomberg article detailed how the Iranian government is aggressively using cell phones to crack down on dissidents….

The Iranian officers who knocked out Saeid Pourheydar’s four front teeth also enlightened the opposition journalist. Held in Evin Prison for weeks following his arrest early last year for protesting, he says, he learned that he was not only fighting the regime, but also companies that armed Tehran with technology to monitor dissidents like him.

Pourheydar, 30, says the power of this enemy became clear as intelligence officers brandished transcripts of his mobile phone calls, e-mails and text messages during his detention. About half the political prisoners he met in jail told him police had tracked their communications and movements through their cell phones, he says.

Christians in Iran have learned that they must take the batteries entirely out of their cell phones before they gather for home church meetings.  If they don’t take the batteries out of their cell phones, there is a good chance that the secret police will show up and drag them off to prison.

Most Americans don’t need to worry about getting hauled off to prison for political or religious reasons at this point, but there is another aspect of cell phone security that could potentially affect all of us.

Most Americans are completely unaware of what stalkers can potentially do if they are able to hack into a cell phone.  For example, did you know that spyware can make it possible for a stalker to monitor where you are 24 hours a day and listen to everything that you say even when your cell phone is turned off?  The following is from an article posted by WTHR….

Spyware marketers claim you can tap into someone’s calls, read their text messages and track their movements “anywhere, anytime.” They say you can “catch a cheating spouse”, protect your children from an evil babysitter and “hear what your boss is saying about you.” And while you’re spying on others, the Spyware companies say “no one will ever know” because it’s supposed to be “completely invisible” with “absolutely no trace.”

Security experts say it’s no internet hoax.

“It’s real, and it is pretty creepy,” said Rick Mislan, a former military intelligence officer who now teaches cyber forensics at Purdue University’s Department of Computer and Information Technology.

Mislan has examined thousands of cell phones inside Purdue’s Cyber Forensics Lab, and he says spy software can now make even the most high-tech cell phone vulnerable.

For much more from WTHR about what stalkers can do to your cell phone, just check out this amazing video.  It is one of the best news reports that I have ever seen.

Are you starting to see how your cell phone makes you a prisoner of a digital world?

The police can listen to you and track you any time that they want to.

The federal government can listen to you and track you any time that they want to.

Big corporations can buy all of the personal information that cell phones gather any time that they want to from certain cell phone companies.

Stalkers can listen to you and track you 24 hours a day if they are able to hack in to your cell phone somehow.

If you own a cell phone and you still want to have some privacy, then you need to take the battery completely out of the cell phone when you are not using it.

Our world is becoming a much less private place, and we all need to be mindful of the changes that are happening.

Unfortunately, as our world becomes even more interconnected and even more dependent on technology, the amount of privacy we all have is likely to continue to decrease.  A digital Big Brother control grid is being constructed all around us, and in the future that control grid could potentially be used for very malevolent purposes.

So let us be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  Our world is changing, and not for the better.

  • mondobeyondo

    Almost everyone has a cell phone these days. But you do not NEED a cell phone.

    Back in the Jurassic Era, when I was a teenager (1983), we did just fine without cell phones. Nearly everyone had “land lines” – wires that ran through your house and connected to this plastic square box-like device with buttons, with a hand-held receiver and buttons on the console, which you’d push to call someone. You couldn’t even text on it! Oh, the horror!! The nationwide telecommunications company that most people called “Ma Bell” (aka AT&T) was the sole telephone provider. There was no Sprint. No Verizon. No T-Mobile. (AT&T was deregulated by the federal government on January 1, 1984).

    Sure, there was phone tapping and stuff, but nothing on the scale of today’s hacking and data intercepting.

  • guido

    Yeah, it sucks and it’s awful to lose your privacy, but there is an alternative-Don’t use a damn cell phone! You may not believe it, but you can survive without it.

  • http://www.setourchildrenfree.com Set Our Children Free

    There’s a remedy. Pay cash for your phone, give a fake name, and pay for your unlimited minutes six months in advance. Disable your GPS. No one will know it’s you that owns the phone, especially if you watch who you call, and what you say. If the government moves to take away this option, scream like a stuck pig. We should be able to do something without being identified and tracked. Don’t buy the excuse that they need to do it to keep us safe from terrorism. Choose freedom over saftety and security or you don’t deserve either.

  • Tatiana Covington

    Cellphones are like chipped flints, hammers, and lasers. They are our tools. They are as we make them. What we do with them is our lookout.

    If we screw up, it is our own damn fault.

  • 1stVArifleman

    “To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is it’s justice; that is it’s morality.”
    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

    “The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities states and nation. At the head is a small group of banking houses generally referred to as ‘international bankers.’ This little coterie… run our government for their own selfish ends. It operates under cover of a self-created screen…[and] seizes…our executive officers… legislative bodies…schools… courts… newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.”
    John F Hylan

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR TO ABOLISH IT, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    Deceleration of Independence–Thomas Jefferson

    “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past…. Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us…. it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come….Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!….Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
    Patrick Henry

    LONG LIVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!
    SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS!

  • ScoutMotto

    “The attitude that law enforcement agencies seem to have is that once we use a cell phone we are essentially willingly throwing our Fourth Amendment rights out the window.”

    If the public at large realized this and valued their 4th Amendment right, a large part of them would cease to use the service, and cell companies would go out of business. Same with internet service. There is NO expectation of privacy on the internet for anyone.

  • ScoutMotto

    The more I think about it, the more it seems true that government at all levels see our acceptance of various forms of communications technology as a de facto surrender of our rights not to be spied on by them. I don’t relish the idea of an EMP strike, but it would sure restore our privacy to the hilt.

  • Airborne 71

    ok fine then just just throw the damm things away then and try to live without them ! The only problem is we have become so dependant on them that most of us can’t . The best info from this article is to take the battery out of the phone or you will be tracked , and once its out DON’T put it back in especally in a SHTF situtation where you don’t want to be found . OH here is a happy thought , what if the phones have one of those tracking labels imbedded in it like shipping boxes so ? So no matter what even with out the battery in it you can be tracked ! what a concept ! Now I am really Paranoid !

  • Chris

    This was probably one of the two reasons for creating mobile phones. The other being to make money.

  • A.S.

    With technology there is NO EXPECTATION of ANY privacy. Even every key stroke, every mouse click, every login, etc., is recorded FOREVER. All the privacy policies don’t mean a thing, because they are just lies to make you feel secure. Only G-d Almighty can protect you (and your family) from the evildoers. Hmm, Bush said Muslims are evildoers; I say people like him and his cronies are evildoers. RON PAUL, WE NEED YOU!!!

  • William

    Back in the 1990s I had a cell phone…..required for business. I do not now have a cell phone, and have not for over ten years. Just as I have not had cable TV since 1992. While the safety factor of having a cell phone is recognized, that function can be filled by buying an inexpensive no contract cell phone with limited functions/minutes for emergencies only.

  • http://mspy.biz mspy

    No matter if some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she desires to be
    available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained
    over here.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    “George Orwell would be shocked if he saw what was happening. It’s far greater than he could have ever imagined.”—Gerald Celente

    “I don’t think people realize just how evil and what an abomination our country has become.”—Alex Jones

    “It’s Fascism 2.0, the merger of state and corporate powers. Next train to Auschwitz, all aboard! No need to worry about those calories—kiss them goodbye.”—Gerald Celente

    “They’re putting these draconian measures and this police state in place because they know there’s going to be a lot of mass protests—very large protests throughout Europe, throughout the United States, throughout Russia. The systems are collapsing, and they’re putting everything in place to clamp down on the people.”—Gerald Celente

    “When a cop shoots a black guy in handcuffs and then lies about it, you don’t see Obama talk about it because that’s seen as the system. But when they can try to play black off against white, they do it because the presstitutes want us fighting with each other instead of knowing it’s the big offshore megabanks.”—Alex Jones

    “The people are signing their own death warrant when they go to vote for the two criminal parties……The only way I see this ending is to end these two criminal operations called the Republicans and the Democrats.”—Gerald Celente

    “You have psychopaths and sociopaths in charge.”—Gerald Celente

    “This isn’t capitalism. It’s fascism. Capisch? We have become slaves to the money changers. They’ll take you to war, they’ll rob you blind, they’ll spit on you and grind you up. They could care less because they’re money junkies. And junkies have no bounds or boundaries. They’ll screw their mother, and they’ll screw you too.”—Gerald Celente

    • http://jesus-is-savior.com kristinite

      Alex Jones seems nice, but do you notice how he claims to be Christian- yet never tells people how to get to Heaven? He seems more interested in scare tactics, and exposing “secrets”. His website is full of all sorts of advertisements for gun related stuff, anti gov. talk (be careful, under NDAA anti gov speak can have you arrested! I think AJ is a lure, and an agent provocateur) if he is so dangerous as he likes us to believe, why is his empire so HUGE? Trust me on this one, those who speak the real truth will NOT be popular. And there are TONS of “alternative news” sites and radio shows claiming to have all sorts of stuff “they” don’t want you to see. Baloney. You go to the site, and there is a lot of weird garbage, UFO talk, David “Icky” etc. They are designed to lure you away from Christ yet trick you into thinking they ARE Christian. Fakes.

  • mark

    The world has changed and not for the better. I have a cell phone but it does not get a signal at home. I would not think that they could tap in here but who knows. I never text or use the phone for any use other than to talk to someone when I am on the road. Most people that I know use their cell phone for all forms of communication. These government control freaks will never stop as long as we allow the government to continue to grow in size. We need to shrink the size and scope of government.

  • http://www.magnifiedview.com Yoda

    Kudos American Dream:

    Since a caveman discovered that a jade club wood break a wood club it’s been measure and countermeasure.

    Even a modicum of privacy is a thing of the past. The average American housewife is photographed over 200 times in a typical trip to her local mall.

    An oppressive communist revolution is coming to a neighborhood near you.

    Be aware and be prepared: http://www.magnifiedview.com/2010/09/17/yodas-little-known-tactics-to-avoid-being-a-target/

    Right on American Dream – WRITE ON!

    P.S. “May you live in interesting times.” Ancient Chinese curse.

  • Spook89

    That’s why we rely on single side band radio communications.

  • Proftel

    I think Obama will lose.
    The crisis will come and God only knows what this world will turn.
    :-/

  • MisterD

    Scary how all of this is becoming.

  • http://goto.glocalnet.net/pdn/ Awakened

    No comments yet?!

  • Proftel

    I, Viola (guitar) and God.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK7IQkNxaCE

    :-)

  • OldPhart

    I’ve been using a ***** Telephone for the last couple of years. I picked it up at a grocery store for about $15. I have no contract, and buy minutes as I need them. At most the cell outfit has my name.

    That’s not to say that every tracking feature wouldn’t work, but I wonder how the authorities would handle a phone without a registered address, no credit card info, no bank info, and nothing much more than a name.

    Best yet, I could toss what I have away, get a new one and continue on.

    I don’t use a phone for much more than as a communication device, and that’s not too often. I’ve never cared for the concept of a contract with cell phones. I agree for two years to pay someone with no guarantee of decent service or coverage? No thanks.

  • Earl

    The sad thing is I told some friends and family about this and they just don’t seem to care. I showed them the facts, but sadly most people probably are getting used to being watched and don’t care.

    Heck,Half of them said I was paranoid and should get a hobby.

    But better to be a little paranoid than oblivious sheep.

  • Ozmo

    I’m just glad I don’t carry one. Really No need for it.

  • Kevin

    Sadly people are so addicted to their phones their “convience” factor overrides their concern for privacy…

  • http://TheAmericanDream Knoxvkid

    We are already being watched by God. He sees everything we do and say.

  • Mickierat

    PREPAID DISPOSABLES. Duh, easy solution. Stop shouting about the sky falling you paranoid ************.

  • Dolores

    Hi Earl,
    Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you. :-)
    Even the hypochondriac gets it right once in a while.

  • Ken Sack

    “We are already being watched by God. He sees everything we do and say.” – yes, but He respects our rights.

  • http://jesus-is-savior.com kristinite

    I don’t have a cell. I had a prepaid, that I ignored and let run out of $. 2 months later, coincidentally Virginmobile all of a sudden “gave” me a 20dollar credit, as a “gift”. This was right after I left a comment on another site advising people that Faxing over a landline copper wire (NOT cable phone) is THE most secure way, today, to send a document. Do away with your “bundled” cable TV plan with phone. If your cable goes out, so does your phone! And what happened to beepers? Remember those? They didn’t fall by the wayside by accident. Anything that all of a sudden becomes “unpopular” is no coincidence. VCRs won’t delete your data like internet can. Do you think your saved files on your computer are saved forever? Think again! They CAN and WILL be “altered” (read your TOS) and your itunes CAN be deleted or altered at will. So can DVDs, when connected to internet. This is not crazy talk, it’s real. Look up Monty Python’s life of brian film, all references to the Zion sketch were removed. But, not VHS tapes of the film- IF you can find it. Any of those tapes for sale are bought up, by propagandists and collectors. There are more examples..

  • ImmuneZone

    I love this site. I have always known these facts. I have never owned a cell phone, ever, I am 36 years old. I do just fine without all of these. I do own a lap top though, and I only use it at a wife source. No internet at home and no I am not paranoid.

    I had a younger girl completely go crazy after I told her this, she was in shock…. So was I at her reaction. ” How do you make it in life”? What if there is an emergency blah blah.

    My answer, was I am actually making it quite nicely and relaxingly. Emergency, well what is the worst that can happen? Death? Then it is already too late, and I would rather know later then sooner.

    I am happy I found this place because for awhile I thought there were no more real people around.

    Let’s keep it going. I am willing.

    Peace people

  • selene

    this is so bad. im done with this country, im pretty sure the only safe place u could go is africa…n no one wants to go there

    • Iwanttobefree

      youre telling the truth