Creepy communications technology realities

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250px-Panopticon.jpgEver since I started using a cell phone, I've loved the sense of security it gives me. If I'm late or lost, I can call my dinner companion or a friendly operator. If the car breaks down, or there's another emergency, I have a lifeline in my purse.

GPS navigation has appealed for similar safety and security reasons. That woman on the OnStar commercials, who is so relieved when she's able to get help from a remote customer service god after she locks herself out of her car, is someone most of us would tend to identify with.

But there are ramifications to these technologies that we haven't discussed openly. We can assume that many who have been targeted as a result of anti-war or anti-administration affiliation have endured surveillance of the following varieties as an aspect of the widespread warrantless wiretapping abuse.
 
Did you know that law enforcement officials can demand that your cell phone company activate the microphone in your phone remotely? Your cell then becomes a roving microphone recording events around you whether or not the phone is on.  Additionally, cell phones track your location through communication with the nearest tower. As long as you have it with you and turned on, your location can be identified.
Telephone surveillance technologies like the infinity system use your home telephone's microphone to hear what goes on in your house.

Similar to cell phones, GPS systems in automobiles can be activated so that a remote listener can hear all of your car conversation. They also track and log your whereabouts.

Should we be surprised that we are a leading surveillance state? The point is not that we should become paranoid. Rather, citizens never got the full picture as these everyday gadgets and updates became seemingly indispensable. Now we need to wade through complicated terrain to demand the enforcement of our right to privacy. The ability to invade our homes, cars, and mobile devices + an administration that manipulates the law to its own ends = a situation we need to start getting loud about. Very loud.

So loud it won't take a stealth microphone to hear us in Washington.

~~ CNET: FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool
     New Standard: GPS surveillance creeps into daily life
     NYTimes: Court leaves the door open for safety system wiretaps
 

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8 Comments

I Say said:

That you are right. I am working on creating a revolution! JOIN ME!

Sam Jackson said:

Can you cite sources for this? Many in car GPS systems don't even have microphones, and really, I'd be interested in seeing your proof here. OnStar perhaps, but not some other commercial units...

Kyeann said:

Hey Sam,

The News Standard link above was great... Looks like their site is down. If it's not up soon I will hunt for another good reference.

Cheers,

Kyeann

james said:

You Said: "Similar to cell phones, GPS systems in automobiles can be activated so that a remote listener can hear all of your car conversation. They also track and log your whereabouts."

That can't be true. GPS systems receive signals, they don't transmit at all. GPS satellite just transmit and your GPS system picks up these signals and based on which ones it picks up and the strength of each signal, it knows where it is. It doesn't transmit anything back at all, the things would be a lot larger if they had the electronics to transmit as well as receive...

Kyeann said:

James -- Check out the NYT article link above. The technology is there. :(

I'm reminded of the movie Enemy of the State, with Will Smith. So much of the technology in that movie seems to be coming true, if it wasn't already true at the time the movie was made.

Kyeann said:

I saw that movie when I first became aware of our surveillance -- it was so weird to find myself relating to it so much. At that point we could only imagine the cell phone tracking because it's all we'd experienced. It's hard to know how many of our clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. have tracking or listening devices in them since the contractors were entering our home as they pleased through mid-December, and apparently have the ability to intercept or tamper with our mail regardless of the carrier.

Not an America any of us wants to live in.

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Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyeann published on October 10, 2007 8:39 PM.

We're a top surveillance society? was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter to the Editor: Repealing the Military Commissions Act is the next entry in this blog.

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