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Taliban Demands Downtime on Afghanistan Cellphone Networks 659

faster_manic writes "The Taliban has demanded that cellphone network providers in Afghanistan cease service between the hours of 5pm and 7am each night of the week, as they believe American troops are able to track down Taliban members using their cellphones."
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Taliban Demands Downtime on Afghanistan Cellphone Networks

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  • by Computershack ( 1143409 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:17PM (#22559282)
    Reminds me of the IRA who said they were a legitimate force fighting a war against the British then bitched and whined to the EU courts when the British Army carried out a strong of very successful ambushes on them using GPMGs (M60 equivalent) saying it was unfair.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:17PM (#22559298)
    Wow these guys are stupid. Just turn off the damn phone.

    Wrong. They can track it even when it's off. They can even use it as an eavesdropping device, when it's off. Google "roving bug"...

    Take out the battery.
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:23PM (#22559390)

    they believe American troops are able to track down Taliban members using their cellphones.

    Too bad it'll make all their cell phones transmit MORE, looking for said shut down towers- when a cell can't reach a tower, not only does it try to reconnect more often, but it also bumps up the transmit power.

    That makes the cell phone a whole lot easier to find...and kills everyone's batteries...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:27PM (#22559476) []

    And it's not insightful now.

    I couldn't care less about your opinions on Islam, stop spamming the fucking board, douche.

  • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:32PM (#22559592)
    Turning the cell phone off? Maybe Airplane mode?

    No. Time to get paranoid, your cell phone can be remotely tapped (speakerphone mic) even when it's off: []

    That's what they're concerned about. A quote from the article:

    Security-conscious corporate executives routinely remove the batteries from their cell phones, he added.

    I wonder if that applies to Steve's iPhone? heh

    All cars with OnStar can be monitored the same way. Welcome to 1984.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin

  • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:42PM (#22559750)
    You mentioned blue laws.. HAHA.. Here in Oregon, you cannot buy Liquor anywhere but at a state owned liquor store. The state owns the store, then leases it out to a private individual to run. You can buy beer and wine at grocery stores, but not between 1am and 9am. (which sucks when you try to go to the 24 hour supermarkets at 5am to avoid the crowds). All liquor stores close at 7pm, 8pm on friday and saturday nights, and they are closed on Sundays. The state sets the prices of the liquor, because they get a percentage of the prices in taxes. I'm 20 minutes from California border, and can get a fifth of Rum for about $9 from a grocery store down there, but have to pay about $16 for the same bottle in Oregon. Fortunately, a huge wholesaler, Costco is challenging the constitutionality of those laws in Oregon and Washington (which has similar laws) because they make so much money off of liquor in CA.
    I spent a few weeks in WI this summer, and was completely blown away by their state fair. Every food booth there sold beer along with food. (I imagine it had something to do with WI being the brewery state!). In Oregon, you have to have a fenced off area, with guards manning the entrance, ID'ing everyone that wants to walk in. My cousin couldn't enter the beer garden, because her 1 year old son was with her in a stroller, and they wouldn't let her in, she might give alcohol to a minor! Nice to know that Oregon is there to Protect you from yourself!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:57PM (#22560004)
    ...their own temporary, and mobile, cellphone mini towers programmed to spoof the Afghan towers that are powered down, and then be able to simply and rapidly p0wn the cellphones that were left powered up, and triangulate their positions within seconds, and also perhaps even give them dialtone and the ability to make and receive calls on a totally 100% monitored and recorded man-in-the-middle intercept.
  • by Kiralan ( 765796 ) * on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @01:07PM (#22560168) Journal
    This may backfire on them. If they are anything like US cell phones,when they do not receive a signal from a tower, they kick into a higher power transmit mode in search of any tower. If anything, this would make them even more detectable. Also, what would prevent the 'opposition' from setting up other better-protected/secured towers, which they would then connect to?
  • by zzsmirkzz ( 974536 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @01:20PM (#22560406)

    But if that's the will of the majority, then so be it. And if that's not the will of the majority, then get organized and change the law.

    Now do you mean the simple majority which can be expressed as 50.1% vs. 49.9%? Does that really seem fair? I certainly don't think that it does. Or, you can live in Washington, where they are trying to reduce the 50% (super-majority) vote to less than that for raising taxes to fund schools, which is bullshit.

    That's what I think this country really needs, eliminate the simple majority rule. If the country is really divided 50/50, then nothing should be done. We should up it to like 60/40 or 65/35 for simple laws, and at least 75/25 or 80/20 for constitutional amendments. That'll keep these silly Government Nanny laws from being passed and pissing off the average citizen.
  • We have no right to drive on public roads, it is a privilege. We knowingly enter into a contract in order to exercise that privilege.
    Roads have existed long before cars and used by horse, carriage, and other methods of transportation for millenia. Yet, only recently have we tried this mantra of "it's not a right, it's a privilege". I can see where people come from, given that today's modern vehicles are far more heavy and faster than those older methods - so there are safety concerns; but let's not forget that we do have an inherent and essential right to travel through the methods available to us. Horse & carriage is really available any more. Vehicles are. It's more of a right, than a privilege, than you may realize.

    Also, remember that the Constitution (in the US) grants only a specific set of rights/abilities to the federal government (intra-state, and external activities), the states (within their borders, and according to their Constitution which must be similar to the it), and releases all else to the people.

    BTW - that doesn't mean we shouldn't ensure people know how to use the methods of transportation.
  • agreed (Score:5, Informative)

    by filthpickle ( 1199927 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @02:04PM (#22561026)
    You might want to do a little reading about the current state of things. Saw an excellent interview with Sarah Chayes on PBS over the weekend. I can't remember what show it was on. She is an American that lives in Afghanistan now, her story is pretty cool []

    The best quote from her was along the lines of 'They have paved the roads in Kanahar, which is great, but if you drive on them you'll be shaken down by the government in the day and the taliban at night.' She said that before the taliban fell that she could drive into Kandahar (when the roads were dirt), but wouldn't dream of doing it now (she was making a point, not saying that they should come back).

    She is on the ground there living as a citizen and doesn't think that the taliban is going anywhere anytime soon. Her opinion of the government is that we have replaced the taliban with criminals.
  • by kd5ujz ( 640580 ) <<william> <at> <>> on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @02:17PM (#22561186)
    Pakistan has since lifted the ban.

    The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told Internet service providers to restore access to the site after the removal of what it called a "blasphemous" video clip, authority spokeswoman Nabiha Mahmood said. []
  • by bperkins ( 12056 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @02:56PM (#22561840) Homepage Journal
    article 29 of convention of Geneva, clause c:

    Also, apart from the baths and showers with which the camps shall be furnished prisoners of war shall be provided with sufficient water and soap for their personal toilet and for washing their personal laundry; the necessary installations, facilities and time shall be granted them for that purpose.

    ref: []
  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @04:49PM (#22563696) Journal
    An active radar has both a transmitter and receiver in the same device, a semi-active radar has the transmitter and receiver separated. The bird I worked on, the HAWK Missile [] worked this way.
  • by CBravo ( 35450 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @05:16PM (#22564164)
    about the palestine argument: it is the chicken and egg-problem and you're not giving the complete context (and I'll refrain from that too).
  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @06:01PM (#22564932) Journal
    Prisoners of war are uniformed combatant in the employ of a country engaged in a declared war, any civil treatment the enemy combatants and insurgents receive is an unearned. Honorable prisoners of war will except neither parole or pardon from his or her captors and will either escape to their freedom or remain incarcerated until the conclusion of hostilities. The Taliban is not known for honorable behavior.
  • Re:agreed (Score:4, Informative)

    by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @06:27PM (#22565340) Journal
    Women don't drive in Traditional Islamic Countries; a few dared to in Saudi Arabia after the shooting started but not after the shooting stopped.
  • by darkfire5252 ( 760516 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @07:42PM (#22566320)
    Yep, the GP really pulled that one from nowhere. However, this is actually there:

    A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
    (2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions: (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
    (6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
    I can't claim to be familiar enough with how the Taliban operates, but if they disguise themselves as citizens, conceal their firearms, or violate the customs of war then they do not fall under the title of "Prisoner of War" and are not protected by it.

    So, while wildly off on the citation, the GP is correct that a fighter who does not obey the Geneva convention (or any other customs of war) or does not openly display recognizable symbols or weaponry does not get protected by the Geneva convention.
  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @08:49PM (#22567030)
    Non uniformed partisans are covered under the same clause as spies (I don't know the specific clause). It's been this way since the first Geneva convention. Some nations chose (Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia just to name few) to shoot insurgents or send them to prisons without the possibility of release upon capture. For civilised western nations it is considered law that captured combatants (uniformed or not) are sent home upon the cessation of hostilities (actual spies/infiltrators are executed).
  • Re:agreed (Score:2, Informative)

    by ramsun ( 62627 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:43AM (#22571110) Homepage

    Women don't drive in Traditional Islamic Countries; a few dared to in Saudi Arabia after the shooting started but not after the shooting stopped.

    They certainly do, in the UAE, in Oman, in Kuwait, in Syria, in Iran, in Iraq (even before you guys invaded it).

    In fact the only country where they are not allowed to drive is in Saudi Arabia.

    And what do you mean by "in Saudi Arabia before the shooting stopped.." I am aware of no such incident, and I live here.

Trap full -- please empty.