Headline July 29, 2018/ " 'PHONE TAIL STING' "


READ MY PHONE : Police can bypass encryption and monitor almost anything. The law is not keeping up. Is it?

SOME CELL PHONES are easier to crack than others. Over the past many years iPhone models have included an upgraded co-processor with an additional level of encryption.

Cellebrite - an Israeli security - tech company, may have found a way to bypass it but, if so, Apple will no doubt patch the weakness, and encryption-bypassers will hunt for another.

Pulling metadata from a phone is much easier. Police can use fake mobile-phone towers  {colloquially known as "Stingrays" }, which trick mobile phones into connecting to them rather than to real tower.

Police can then learn which websites a user visited, and whom he texted and called, as well as the  International Mobile Subscriber Identity, a unique number associated with the phone.

It can also give the police a precise user location.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU], a watchdog, at least 73 agencies in 25 states in America use Stingrays, though the true number is probably much higher.

Police rarely seek approval or admit to using them, and indeed agencies that buy them generally keep them secret, on the basis that public knowledge of their use will render them ineffective.

Sting in the tail.   

PRIVACY ADVOCATES : cite two problems with Stingrays. First, they suck up information about all phones in a certain location, not just that of a suspect; and second-

They can pinpoint phones in homes and pockets that privacy laws often protect from warrantless searches.

Though governments claim they need Stingrays to catch suspected terrorists and drug kingpins, they are more often used in routine police work, without warrants or oversight.

Police also monitor what people do on their mobile phone through social media- analytics. Most users expect their postings and preferences to be tracked and analysed.

But in 2016 Geofeedia, an analytics firm, had its access to Facebook and Twitter removed after revelations that it marketed itself to law enforcement as a way to monitor "overt threats" such as unions and activist groups

Shortly after they brought it, police in San Jose, California, used the service to surveil Sikh and  Muslim protesters.

Some argue that because social media posts are public, police monitoring of them does not have the same privacy implications as, say, tracking your phone's metadata, or using a GPS  tracker to follow all your movements.

But, says Matt Cagle's of the ACLU of  Northern California, users do not expect or desire law enforcement to conduct surveillance of their social media posts.

Mr Cagle's statement hints at a broader confusion over privacy in the digital age.

To what extent do - or should - people expect that privacy norms and laws written for the landline and newspaper age protect their digital data?

Laws are changing.

The  European Court of Justice ruled in 2016 that blanket metadata collection and retention violates  privacy laws, and American Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that police need a warrant to search an individual's mobile phone.

But they are not changing as quickly as human habits.

As people move more of their their lives online, they will demand the same level of protection of their data as for their personal papers at home.

Mobile phones, after all, are not simply communication devices; they are also personal filing cabinets. They are just not kept behind locked doors.

With respectful dedication to the Well Meaning Citizens, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all "register" on the World Students Society and Twitter !E-WOW! - the  Ecosystem 2011 :

"' Encryption &  Enterprise "'

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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