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Can You Hear Me Now?
December 05, 2006 3:38 PM

Vic Walter and Krista Kjellman Report:


Cell phone users, beware. The FBI can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off.

A recent court ruling in a case against the Genovese crime family revealed that the FBI has the ability from a remote location to activate a cell phone and turn its microphone into a listening device that transmits to an FBI listening post, a method known as a "roving bug." Experts say the only way to defeat it is to remove the cell phone battery.

"The FBI can access cell phones and modify them remotely without ever having to physically handle them," James Atkinson, a counterintelligence security consultant, told ABC News. "Any recently manufactured cell phone has a built-in tracking device, which can allow eavesdroppers to pinpoint someone's location to within just a few feet," he added.


According to the recent court ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, "The device functioned whether the phone was powered on or off, intercepting conversations within its range wherever it happened to be."

The court ruling denied motions by 10 defendants to suppress the conversations obtained by "roving bugs" on the phones of John Ardito, a high-ranking member of the family, and Peter Peluso, an attorney and close associate of Ardito, who later cooperated with the government. The "roving bugs" were approved by a judge after the more conventional bugs planted at specified locations were discovered by members of the crime family, who then started to conduct their business dealings in several additional locations, including more restaurants, cars, a doctor's office and public streets.

"The courts have given law enforcement a blank check for surveillance," Richard Rehbock, attorney for defendant John Ardito, told ABC News.

Judge Kaplan's ruling said otherwise. "While a mobile device makes interception easier and less costly to accomplish than a stationary one, this does not mean that it implicated new or different privacy concerns." He continued, "It simply dispenses with the need for repeated installations and surreptitious entries into buildings. It does not invade zones of privacy that the government could not reach by more conventional means."

But Rehbock disagrees. "Big Brother is upon us...1984 happened a long time ago," he said, referring to the George Orwell futuristic novel "1984," which described a society whose members were closely watched by those in power and was published in 1949.

The FBI maintains the methods used in its investigation of the Genovese family are within the law. "The FBI does not discuss sensitive surveillance techniques other than to emphasize that any electronic surveillance is done pursuant to a court order and ongoing judicial scrutiny," Agent Jim Margolin told ABC News.

:shock: :shock: :shock:
 

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Rubbish, utter rubbish.

The only way for this to happen is if the phone has been tampered with.

For this to work the SIM card and other bits of the phone would have to constantly be switched on and "listening" for an incoming signal from big brother. This would drain the battery immensly. I have left a phone switched off for several months, switched it on and battery has full power. Also, have you ever been in the car when the radio starts crackling just before you get a text/recieve a phone call or just randomly? This is the phone polling, looking to see if it can still connect to the network (will happen more often when traveling). If the phone was looking for an incoming signal from big bro while switched off then you would get the crackling from the radio while your phone is off. But, we dont do we?

I'm quite well into gadgets and stuff and indeed work for one of the mobile networks. I honestly dont believe this.

Apart from........

The bit about locating a Cell phone is possible through triangulation. The police can easily contact the networks (each force will have a liason officer) and be able to trace the near whereabouts of a phone (while on) through the 3 nearest mobile phone masts to that phone--triangulation. This, again cant work while switched off. Although if you switch of a phone with the button, the handset says goodbye to the network and location can be determined from that.

Steve
 

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true enough I suppose but I just cant physically see how it could work.

Also, there is enough people in the UK that repair/modify mobiles on a daily basis down to componenet level. Im sure they would of found something suspicious while doing their job

Steve
 

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att said:
Cell phone users, beware. The FBI can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off.
:
:lol: thats a real PI$$ER !!!

those yanks really know how to gaver momentum :lol:

only unless it has been tampered with !!
 
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rubbish. My brother is working on tracking systems for the govt at the moment - and if they could do this - then they would - as opposed to paying his company millions (literally) to sort it out...

sorry- but scare mongering idiot rubbish.

however - triangulation - yes. polling when switching off - yes (if you are ever 'hiding from the wife / boss - pull the battery, not turn off - then the system (vodafone or whoever) says 'this phone is UNAVAILABLE' not 'this persons phone is SWITCHED OFF' )

:)
 

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I asked a mate who runs his own Telecomunications business what he thought of the article, I quote,

That's an interesting one.

In the US all new mobile phones have to have a means of providing the
location of the user to within 100 yards for 911 emergency calls. This
can be provided by GPS, a triangulation method using network cell sites
or A-GPS (assisted GPS - a combination of the two).

Due to the extra battery consumption, the location device it is only
activated when the phone is switched on by the user. When the phone is
switched off the RF circuits of the phone are dead and the phone is not
connected to the network.

However, modern handsets have many features that can be configured over
the network by the network operator when the phone is working under the
guise of a SIM update. Although I don't know for certain it's not
unreasonable to suggest that a US handset could be programmed to operate
as the article suggested. Indeed these days it could be "sold" as a aid
to "Homeland Security". Battery life would be poor though, hours instead
of days.

End quote.

make of that what you will.
 

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guydewdney said:
rubbish. My brother is working on tracking systems for the govt at the moment - and if they could do this - then they would - as opposed to paying his company millions (literally) to sort it out...

sorry- but scare mongering idiot rubbish.

however - triangulation - yes. polling when switching off - yes (if you are ever 'hiding from the wife / boss - pull the battery, not turn off - then the system (vodafone or whoever) says 'this phone is UNAVAILABLE' not 'this persons phone is SWITCHED OFF' )

:)
A guy who I used to work with in telecoms had his phone stolen. It was a test phone (had test software in it and a "ghost SIM"). He didnt call to get the phone locked down, oh no. He just phoned a pal in the switch (providers control center type thing) and they tracked the phone through triangulation for a couple of weeks until it settled in one place. My pal drove there one weekend and again got a rough idea where the phone was through triangulation. In a city/town this can be accurate to within a few yards, in an urban area will be much wider. He just kept calling the phone until he could hear it ring and then just took the phone off the guy who answered it!!

Steve
 

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A guy who I used to work with in telecoms had his phone stolen. It was a test phone (had test software in it and a "ghost SIM"). He didnt call to get the phone locked down, oh no. He just phoned a pal in the switch (providers control center type thing) and they tracked the phone through triangulation for a couple of weeks until it settled in one place. My pal drove there one weekend and again got a rough idea where the phone was through triangulation. In a city/town this can be accurate to within a few yards, in an urban area will be much wider. He just kept calling the phone until he could hear it ring and then just took the phone off the guy who answered it!!

Steve[/quote]

BRILLIANT :D
 
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