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Cellphones Communications United States

Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US 237

Trachman writes: Popular Science magazine recently published an article about a network of cell towers owned not by telecommunication companies but by unknown third parties. Many of them are built around U.S. military bases. "Interceptors vary widely in expense and sophistication – but in a nutshell, they are radio-equipped computers with software that can use arcane cellular network protocols and defeat the onboard encryption. ... Some interceptors are limited, only able to passively listen to either outgoing or incoming calls. But full-featured devices like the VME Dominator, available only to government agencies, can not only capture calls and texts, but even actively control the phone, sending out spoof texts, for example."
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Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

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  • by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @10:07PM (#47813381) Journal

    We could listen to AMPS cell phone calls by tuning to the high UHF channels and tuning between channels... Ahhh anyone remember the joy of pressing the outer tuning ring and going back and forth???

  • Sponsored post (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ourlovecanlastforeve ( 795111 ) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @10:20PM (#47813473)

    It's a thinly veiled ad for a supposedly "secure" cell phone.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @04:05AM (#47814729) Homepage Journal

    They are US towers designed to track people who visit military sites. If some potential terrorist visits a few different military sites to do reconnaissance with their phone they can be flagged up in a database somewhere. As a bonus whoever owns those towers gets to monitor all the calls, texts and data going through them. They probably like to keep an eye on military personnel too, in case any of them are traitors.

  • by American Patent Guy ( 653432 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @04:33AM (#47814829) Homepage

    There is no U.S. constitutional right to privacy.

    Yes there is. It is contained in implications of and the relationships between the 4th, 9th and 14th amendments. See Griswold v. Connecticut [] for more details.

    No, there isn't. The case law you refer to defines aspects of privacy in the "penumbra" of other rights. Now, I can define any term I want to any way I want to and, if it appears in a Supreme Court case, it instantly becomes "the law" to those who want it to be. The "right to privacy" that Griswold discusses is the right individuals have to control aspects of their lives (such as the use of contraception). Griswold does not grant any right to keep the government from peering in your open windows, following you around town or reading your postcards you put in the mail.

    Perhaps the most supportive case you have is Mapp v. Ohio: [] ... and that says that the government can't invade your SECURED residence to collect evidence. If you leave the information or the evidence in the open (as you're doing when you broadcast your cell phone conversations), you aren't protected by that decision. If you walk out to the street and shout a message to the world, there is no "right to privacy" granted by the Constitution you can use to keep anyone from hearing and recording it.

    May I suggest to you that the flaw in your lack of "privacy" lies in the technology, and not in the law as it presently stands? Do you want privacy? Then demand it from your communications carrier, or see that you implement any necessary encryption yourself.

  • by sociocapitalist ( 2471722 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @05:01AM (#47814919)

    Looks like Apple has built in detection from IOS 5 (though being Apple it might well have an off switch for legal intercept type applications): []

    And it looks like some developers have gotten together to do something for Android with a project called Android IMSI-Catcher Detector (AIMSICD) [] []

    Has anyone tried this?

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