Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Old news -- Still news to somebody

I remember talking about this with somebody the other day but my memory was a bit foggy about the details. Well, here are the details as a refresher to me and possibly news to some of you . . . from ZDNet's FBI taps cell phone mic
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.

Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.

The article continues on in typical US centric fashion talking about laws and such-like. Geez! As if the FBI is constrained by Federal or State laws!

For me it's simply interesting to know that such a thing is possible. Some wiener in an office in Telus, LG, Sk, or KTF (Koean phone providers) can flip a switch and listen to you banging your old lady or taking the best dump of your life! Even if you turn your cell off!

According to this same article the phones that are most useful for eavedropping are Nokia, Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr -- using a special feature of remote software updates.

The only way to turn off your cellphone's 'ability' to nark on you is to take the battery out -- some phones are never 'truly' off when the battery is in place.

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