Tag: cell phone tracking

U.S. Government can track cellphones without carrier co-operation


Some chilling revelations have come out recently, indicating that the U.S. government has far more power to track its citizens than previously thought. Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation under a Freedom of Information Act request suggest that “triggerfish” technology can be used to pinpoint the location of cell phones without involving cell phone providers at all. By posing as a cell tower, triggerfish, also known as cell-site simulators or digital analyzers, trick nearby cell phones into transmitting their serial numbers, phone numbers, and other data to law enforcement.

As one of the documents intended to provide guidance for DOJ employees explains, triggerfish can be deployed “without the user knowing about it, and without involving the cell phone provider.” That may be significant because the legal rulings requiring law enforcement to meet a high “probable cause” standard before acquiring cell location records have, thus far, pertained to requests for information from providers, pursuant to statutes such as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the Stored Communications Act.

This is certainly news that will make you look at your BlackBerry a little differently. Ars Technica has an excellent article on the news; to learn more click the link below.

|via Ars Technica|

U.S. Courts: Government needs probable cause to access your cell phone records


liberty leading the people painting

Last month we told informed you of the troubling news that U.S. border guards now had the right to seize any information stored on your BlackBerrys recordable media, and gave you a link to possible workarounds.

Now we’re glad to report a victory for civil liberties and mobile enthusiasts. Judge Terrence McVerry of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania affirmed that February’s decision by Magistrate Judge Lucy P. Lenihan requiring investigators to seek a probable cause warrant before acquiring historical records of a cell phone users physical movements was “not clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” This decision comes after the Justice Department had asked McVerry to overturn Lenihan’s order.

While it’s good to know that the U.S. government can’t (yet) track your every movement without a reason, the issue of mobile presence and information sharing is still a sticky one. Ars Technica has a great rundown of the relevant issues, which is a must read for any BlackBerry user and American citizen. Check it out.

(via BerryReview)