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SPYING THROUGH SMART PHONES: A NEW PROJECT ECHELON?

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a security service in Canada offering technologies to visually monitor one's home while one was away, a technology and "service" that I offered was as much about control of you, than about protecting you. Now, there's this from MIT's Technology Review:

PlaceRaider: The Military Smartphone Malware Designed to Steal Your Life

Note this:

"Today Robert Templeman at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, and a few pals at Indiana University reveal an entirely new class of 'visual malware' capable of recording and reconstructing a user's environment in 3D. This then allows the  theft of virtual objects such as financial information, data on computer screens and identity-related information.

"Templeman and co call their visual malware PlaceRaider and have created it as an app capable of running in the background of any smartphone using the Android 2.3 operating system."

Obviously, the article is rightly concerned about the use of such software to spy on an individual through their smartphone. With this demonstrated capability, almost anyone could get into this act, from nations, to corporations, independent rogue groups, Mafiosi, drug lords... you name it.

But there's another possibility here as well, and that is using someone's phone to spy on a third party with whom the individual is known to associate. Gone are the days of the small "spy camera" and microfilm, all one needs is an infected smart phone. But why stop there? One could build databases of contacts, conversations, key words... in short, one could have a project Echelon with a vengeance: not only mining conversations and emails for keywords, but now also scanning pictures, objects, for information, a pattern of contacts, and suspicious "things."  (And, trust me folks, DARPA is already working on such things).

5 thoughts on “SPYING THROUGH SMART PHONES: A NEW PROJECT ECHELON?”

  1. Robert Barricklow

    What needs to happen is that the “leaders”,”spys”, ect; find themselves …all over youtube & other social media outlets, being “exposed” in compromising positions.

  2. I think your support and concern for GeorgeAnn is a wonderful thing and I commend not only those who supported her with donations, but also those who are helping her in other ways, like you. I think people could also help by introducing their friends to her show. Hers is a ground-breaking format; where else on the internet is there a radio show that spends 26 hours on the implications of a single book?

    With respect to Smartphones, it’s way worse than what you say. Smartphone apps are already spying on people. The terms of service include awful terms like “we can capture and hold your data and share it with 3rd-parties.”

    It would not surprise me one bit if some of the venture money being invested in smartphone software applications is not black money designed to erode privacy while earning money.

    Even worse than that are the crazy functions like manipulating the wireless signals to induce emotional states. There are three radios in a typical smartphone. A low-power bluetooth radio that works for say, 25 feet. Then there is a higher power radio for Wi-fi that has enough power for about 100 feet. Then there is the microwave radio for cell towers, which is about 5 watts, and can travel up to the horizon, line of sight. Given the effects that EM radiation has on biological systems, one could speculate that these radios could be used to influence emotional states. A lot of people report feeling less anxious when their cell phones are off…

    1. Quote: “A lot of people report feeling less anxious when their cell phones are off…”

      And that probably has much more to do with their sense self-importance gauge being turned of than any signals not be emitted by said gauge.

      1. I attended a high level meditation retreat and while in meditation with 20 other women, it was tough going, no way to find samadhi. A woman said, “someone has a cell phone on.”. Everyone denied it. A few minutes later, the same woman said, “I know that a cell phone is here.”. Just then, another woman pulled it from her pocket and said, “Oh Dear.”

        As soon as she turned it off, it was like clouds evaporating and the room became pleasantly still, and a deep samadhi occurred almost immediately.

        You disagreement with that point suggests that your training in science was directed through the standard models. It is my personal experience that digitized EM occludes access to the medium.

  3. Skip spying on the “smartphone” itself–unless the spies really want pictures of the subject’s location. Just spy on the ISP and phone company servers. GWBush and Obama have made the warrentless (still illegal) version of that easy. And many of the phone companies have obliged.

    Yes, I know that this means this post can be tracked back to my ISP if someone cared, and if the ISP has kept records, “they” can get a hold of those records including the visit that made this post possible. But at least in my case, GizaDeathStar can’t figure out which computer I’m making this post from.

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