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Your Own Mini-Stalker

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the keep-it-in-your-pants dept.

109

kashif.ahsan writes "A ComputerWorld article discusses the inherent privacy dangers of carrying around our ubiquitous technological assistants. They're like miniature stalkers, right there in your pocket. 'Camera phones contain all the necessary ingredients for completely invasive stalking: a microphone, camera, personal data on the user, location information, a chat and call history — you name it. And victims carry them everywhere they go. All that's missing is the software that lets stalkers take control ... new software, called snoopware, does just that.'"

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If I've got stalkers... (3, Funny)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936031)

Does this make me a celebrity?

My god...then it's true! I /AM/ important on the internet! Woohoo!

slashvertisment (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936051)


dont bother reading its just another multi-page spammy article shilling software
if site owners want to know why people use adblock that site is a good example

Y do U think the iPhone has an unremovable battry? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936053)

Wake up and smell the earwax of the walls folks.

Personal infromation (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936055)

Love how their is only a hypothesis that can scare people with not actual concept that is even possible. This will make billions !!

______________________

how is it possible that free speech has become something that only applies to special interest groups? I for one say fuck that nappy headed nigger al sharpton

Re:Personal infromation (5, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936195)

Nah, it's possible. All you need, and this is really easy--trust me--all your need is to write an application that can run on any weird-endian processor, hundreds of different micro-oses, or in the case of java-supporting phones, break out of the java sandbox, or on brew phones just get yourself the developer certificate from qualcomm and then get the carrier to distribute your app to their customers.

This is going to be huge.

...

Well, there's always BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.

Re:Personal infromation (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936387)

I'm afraid not. Getting it written into a small set of popular cellphone or appliance technologies will make it broadly available, if not universal.

For example, can you spell "Blackberry"?

Re:Personal infromation (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936389)

BlackBerry? No, never heard of it.

Re:Personal infromation (3, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936429)

I love Google so much. Look for "blackberry snoopware" and see references like this.

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/tech-news/?p=785 [com.com]

Given the Blackberry popularity among the "power tie" crowd and among their account managers, if I were a stock investor interested in gaining some nsider information, or a reporter willing to bend some laws, I'd be sitting at the booth at Infoworld or the Republican national convention monitoring as much data as possible.

Re:Personal infromation (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936441)

Well, there's always BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.

Dude, I know.

Re:Personal infromation (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936461)

That article points back to one key resource - Slashdot! Someone Help! I'm in an endless loop! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............

Re:Personal infromation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936737)

this [slashdot.org] should help

Re:Personal infromation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936831)

Nah, it's possible. All you need, and this is really easy--trust me-- [sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm] This is going to be huge.
Or you could go to ebay, search for 'spy phone', and then buy one [ebay.com] .

Re:Personal infromation (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937949)

You are right that this is a huge headache. But there are only two endians, and in reality only a handful of relevant processor architectures. Not that I'm suggesting you try it yourself, but a motivated community has done similar things in the past.

Re:Personal infromation (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939345)

I wish I could mod this as funny in addition to the insighful.

Currently, cell phones can be used to spy, somewhat successfully, on people that carry them around. If I were to call 911 on my razr, or my old samsung a660 with the e911 activated, the dispatcher would in most cases know where the phone is based upon the built in GPS chip and hopefully send assistance in a more efficient manner.

Overall this is a good thing, there was that teen, I think last year, that used her cell phone to anonymously call 911 when her captor thought she was playing games. Fortunately the chip in the phone was able to get a signal and snitch out the location to authorities. And as a result there was a reasonably happy ending.

Most of the claims in the article are more or less bunk and really just fodder for FUD.

Ooooooh Kaaaaay.... (5, Funny)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936091)

And carrying a remote control is like having a little telekinetic friend.

Re:Ooooooh Kaaaaay.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936121)

That means I have friends!

Temporary fix (3, Funny)

zantolak (701554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936097)

Take out the battery and SIM card, and tape over the camera and microphone when you aren't using it.

Re:Temporary fix (2, Funny)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936267)

Don't forget to put the SIM card in one of those alu-coated bags that you bought your RAM in.

Re:Temporary fix (1)

TEMMiNK (699173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936827)

Actually I think the most appropriate temporary fix would be to cover the device in tin foil, some may even decide to craft tiny hats for their phones...

Re:Temporary fix (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19941613)

You mean something like a Tinfoil Pope's Hat the PDA can ride around in on top of your head? Hmmm, time to start up a new religion! Move over "Flying Spaghetti Monster" (FSM), Theres a new Nutty Cult in town

Re:Temporary fix (1)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19941129)

Take out the battery and SIM card...
I have a Verizon phone, you insensitive clod!

THAT certainly scared me! (5, Insightful)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936099)

So let's get this straight...

- I'm already being spied on by close-circuit cameras planted everywhere short of the public toilet (may be wrong on that one as well)
- Government agencies and their friendly associates already have records of my name, sex, DOB, address, occupation, salary, and other "general statistics"
- Corporate spyware already records my keystrokes, browsing habits, shopping history, porn preferences, dubious sources of owned MP3s, financial credentials, political views, and probably things I don't even know about

And now you are trying to tell me I need to be scared of my 4x3 inch PDA? Right, because OBVIOUSLY that's the only thing threatening my privacy!

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

wiremind (183772) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936289)

lol!

thankyou.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936687)

You're carrying a microphone that is made in order to transmit voice wirelessly, you probably have it on in your pocket, at voice reach during all of your private conversation and you rely on a non-disclosed, neither third-party-approved proprietary software running on proprietary hardware to prevent it from spying on you.

Of course threats to privacy are multiple, but this issue has a very serious potential. It is good to educate people about this fact.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19939527)

But if you're talking about getting a rinse for your dogs new hairstyle should you really care? We are talking about cellphones here...

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19941267)

My cellphone is usually in my jeans pocket. All people are getting if they snoop my (deliberately low-tech, no camera etc...) phone is the sound of my balls rubbing against my underwear.

They can do whatever they want with that. The phone I have has a useless active vocal range anyway. Hold it six inches from your mouth, nobody will hear you on it.

My call history... Wow, they'd be thrilled. And my text messages. It's all to and from my wife.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (2, Interesting)

LyingForTheGreaterGo (990397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19940277)

When I was doing business in Russia in the early 90s, Russian businessmen regularly would take the batteries out of their cellphones when not using them in order to prevent GPS tracking and/or remote recording of conversations via the cellphone's mic.

Paranoid or rightfully wary?

(Or maybe just Russian?)

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19941531)

Paranoid and pragmatic. In other words : Russian

If I owned a private company providing cellphones and cellphone service, I would surely investigate if I could not put some clients on the spy list.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936865)

lol.

Privacy in a public space was always a bit of an illusion - the authorities can work out your position from the cell towers anyway, and how many people walk past you in a day, or follow you in their car for a few minutes? You could be being watched every minute of the day right now and you wouldn't know it.

I went the other way. Downloaded bliin and have it on when I'm out of the house. Wanna spy on me? I'm telling everyone where I am... but is anyone going to bother? Probably not.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937031)

I am somewhat of a privacy fanatic which is probably a futile exercise in today's world. Here is what various on-line databases, shopping cards and cell phone tracking would probably show about my so called life:

  • A) My driving record shows no accidents or tickets in over 35 years of driving
  • B) I have never been arrested
  • E) I don't owe any money to anyone and always completely pay of my charge card bills off every month
  • H) My shoppers discount card record would show that I don't purchase junk food, liquor or tobacco.
  • I) My bookstore discount card would show that I read magazines on Linux and ham radio and books on dieting.
  • J) That I don't use text messaging or make many cell phone calls and do not keep the cell phone with me most of the time
  • K) That once in a while, I have occasionally looked at soft-core porn
  • L) Tracking my movements by my cell phone would show that I walk 3 miles everyday for exercise along the same route. It would also track my weekly visits to the grocery store, the health food store and my my annual Christmas shopping visits to the mall and Wall-mart. An occasional cell phone photo would show a tarantula, quail, snake or Javalina from my daily walks.

Yes, you can see how much I have to hide, so I use an RFID blocking wallet? I keep my cell phone charging in a rarely used room, just in case some government official were to ever to secretly activate it as an eavesdropping device (I can still hear it ring from there). I keep all ports closed on the firewall in my router, use an ad blocking hosts file, use Linux and diligently install the latest security updates. I use a knob to turn off my ethernet connection when not using the Internet. I do not use my Windows computer for email or Internet browsing and do not even have it connected to the Internet most of the time (I use the Linux computer for that and a KVM switch to switch between the two computers). Perhaps, I should take the battery out of my cell phone when I do my daily walks so they can't track where I am. As a consumer, I will try to avoid buying any of the RFID tagged clothing and shoes that they are planning to sell to us in the near future (RFID tags for inventory control purposes). Even if I am not sure what I have to hide, when recently re-reading parts of George Orwell's "1984," I felt uncomfortable with how much more our world has become like what he describes in his book.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937105)

* A) My driving record shows no accidents or tickets in over 35 years of driving
        * B) I have never been arrested
        * E) I don't owe any money to anyone and always completely pay of my charge card bills off every month
        * H) My shoppers discount card record would show that I don't purchase junk food, liquor or tobacco.
        * I) My bookstore discount card would show that I read magazines on Linux and ham radio and books on dieting.
        * J) That I don't use text messaging or make many cell phone calls and do not keep the cell phone with me most of the time
        * K) That once in a while, I have occasionally looked at soft-core porn
        * L) Tracking my movements by my cell phone would show that I walk 3 miles everyday for exercise along the same route. It would also track my weekly visits to the grocery store, the health food store and my my annual Christmas shopping visits to the mall and Wall-mart. An occasional cell phone photo would show a tarantula, quail, snake or Javalina from my daily walks.
Brother, we gotta get you laid.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

0rionx (915503) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939361)

No worries. That's covered under the missing list item "F".

Oblig. xkcd reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19937403)

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (4, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937603)

Obviously you have something to hide. Namely C and D.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

Monsieur_F (531564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19938523)

What about F and G?

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (1)

akeyes (720106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939007)

Or just his overall lack of knowledge of the alphabet.

Re:THAT certainly scared me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19941063)

You forgot your egomania... who on earth would want to spy on someone as boring as you? "Government officials" indeed... >_>

BORING.

GET

A

LIFE

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936143)

Isn't the government already doing this?

One minor point... (3, Insightful)

geekyMD (812672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936149)

I can barely get my camera to sync with my computer with a wire, as it is I just yank the SD. Good luck getting software to make it wireless now.

If someone is willing to violate my personal space and physically take my stuff, I might suggest stalking my filing cabinet instead.
It never moves and has way more juicy data than my latest vacation photos and lunch planning.

Re:One minor point... (3, Funny)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937093)

Can't sync your camera? That's one of the symptoms of the stalker virus!

FUD (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936151)

victims? stalkers?

Given that all of these appliances are carried voluntarily and have an off switch, this story has no merit at all.

At best it's the basis for a (rather bad and technically unsound) horror story. At worst it helps spread fear and paranoia - as if we didn't have enough real problems to worry about.

Re:FUD (3, Informative)

Mister Kay (1119377) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936185)

according to various news outlets, turning a phone off doesn't solve the problem because the software is 99 parts code, 1 part magic
example: here [consumerist.com]

Re:FUD (3, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936887)

So they received an SMS from someone they didn't know. Clicked on it and it said that it wanted to install something. They said yes.

It's very likely the app didn't have a legit certificate so the phone said 'this application is untrusted. continue anyway?' and they said yes.

The app then installed itself.. now it has to send data to the internet. because it doesn't have a proper certificate every time it starts up it'll say 'allow access to the internet?' and each time they're *still* clicking 'yes'!!!

(examples taken from symbian.. messages on Windows mobile are probably different)

This isn't snoopware it's bloody stupidware.

Re:FUD (1)

danbuhler (661233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19941099)

Hey that's just like spyware..i mean cool awesome smilies for my MSN!!!111111

And I've never heard of anyone stupid enough to install that!

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936495)

http://www.youareanidiot.org/ [youareanidiot.org]

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19939431)

Given that all of these appliances are carried voluntarily and have an off switch, this story has no merit at all.

What a coincidence -- desktop computers also have off switches, and you don't even carry them around. I guess stories about malware on those must have even less merit then.

The other poster said it more succinctly: you are an idiot. Even by Slashdot standards.

FBI Used this trick recently... (1)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939613)

Not sure if the article was on slashdot or somewhere else, but the FBI listened in on regular conversations while no phone call was happening because they had downloaded software (with a warrent) onto the person's phone allowing them to control it.

Re:FBI Used this trick recently... (1)

Hyperspite (980252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19941139)

I searched for the story on google news, but I couldn't find it. Link please?

Open it up.... (2, Interesting)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936169)

The stalkers of the world will always have the upper hand as long as we try and keep the genie in the bottle. We need to make the technology a two-way street and get rid of the myth of privacy. I don't have a problem giving away my personal infomation as long as I know who has access to it and I'm able to get the same back in kind. A battered woman is more empowered by knowing where her abusive ex-husband is at all times or knowing when he accesses information about her than she is by going undercover and into hiding.

Re:Open it up.... (1)

geekyMD (812672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936217)

I don't mean to be crude, but...
While she may feel empowered, I'm sure that with your 'two way street' she is also much more likely to end up dead.

Not only can her abuser track her, but so can the thugs he hires.

Bilateral empowerment tends to only benefit the powerful while giving the weak only the illusion of power.

Hillbilly (2, Interesting)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936261)

A battered woman is best off when related to a real man, a member of a dying breed. We remember how to disappear a guy. Counseling not required. Without a father, father-in-law, brother, cousin, close friend, or godfather in possession of Actual Real Testicles (TM). Sadly, a battered woman is best served with tartar sauce, justice system on the side. A stupid ass phone is a hill of beans unless 911 is dialed on it, and that usually happens when it is too late.

I know what you're getting at with the two-way street bit, but with that location tracking info you'll just be like Sigourney Weaver with the little alien-detecting-PDA. Blip, Blip, Blip, there he is. Difference is that Sigourney had an assault rifle and a handful of jarheads to tend to her woes. Who is gonna be there when Bobby the beater is in the ceiling?

Re:Hillbilly (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936573)

o.O

Are you suggesting that if one of our loved ones is abused, we should go out and kill the abuser!?

Re:Hillbilly (3, Funny)

runep (159408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936667)

Sounds more to me like he's suggesting to nuke the site from orbit.

Re:Hillbilly (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936891)

The one time in my life I was in that situation then yes if I'd seen the abuser at that time I'd happily have taken the jailtime for murder.. no kidding.

Nowadays I'd simply leave him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Luckily perhaps for both of us the likelyhood of me meeting him is very low.

Re:Hillbilly (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939263)

Maybe just break some bones, and tatoo "I like to hit women" on his forehead. Because if being gentle with him and quietly hopeing he would improve, or calling the police actually helped, then you loved one wouldn't be abused. And before you get all worked up about brutality and violence, consider what would happen if you follow the rules and he get's sent to prison. Well in short, he goes to prison. That place is far more violent,brutal, and humiliating than any single beating could manage.

Yes the abuser has personal probelems and they need help to change, but they have to want to change. Getting a severe beating when they get out of line is a good motivation for change. Consider this: Most women are killed by men they know well and most killers of women start off as abusers. Who's life do you value more? Which person is your "loved one".

Re:Hillbilly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19939355)

there's really nothing hillbilly about it. If someone touched one of my kids or my wife, they'd wish they hadn't period. And in this burg, where all the cops are family guys, so if they got him first, it would probably pretty easy to get a few minutes alone in the interrogation room...

Re:Open it up.... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936907)

Me too.. I'm *extremely* easy to find out about - to the point where I broadcast my exact position over the internet (helps friends know where I am.. and anyone else that might be interested). We hide behind walls of fear all the time when privacy is a complete illusion outside your own home.

Re:Open it up.... (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937501)

as long as I know who has access to it and I'm able to get the same back in kind.

I think this is the gap. Just look at spam as an example. Someone had your information, likely you knew who it was at the time. But THEN... someone else had access to your information who you did not know, and you got no additional information in return. Well, except for how to get \/|/\6R4 or some other substance.

Sure, "big Brother" or some other entity can easily track you and gather information about you. You may even willingly allow it to happen, because you were told who would keep the information and why. However, you cannot guarantee that what they told you is true, or how long it will be true, and what the truth will be later. "Big Brother" or a corporation (arguably not much difference any more) has not demonstrated to anyone, that I can tell, a track record to earn anyone's trust.

Take Google. Who do you know using gmail? Google Documents? Google Calendar? Google Browser Sync(when it worked)? All of Google's other toys? Now, THAT is a lot of personal information willingly turned over! Can we trust Google?

Re:Open it up.... (1)

robably (1044462) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937607)

The stalkers of the world will always have the upper hand as long as we try and keep the genie in the bottle. We need to make the technology a two-way street and get rid of the myth of privacy.
Completely 180-degrees wrong. Privacy is not a myth; it's something you have to continually work at, but that doesn't stop it existing. Throwing privacy away is not the solution. You may not care about your own privacy but seeing as many other people do, it makes sense to protect their rights and you lose nothing, instead of giving away everyone's privacy and making a lot of people lose out.

PS. Your "battered woman" scenario has nothing to do with privacy - assault is illegal and stalking is illegal, the privacy debate is irrelevant to it.

not that battering a women is wrong! (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19940271)

Sometimes they like it, especially if you lick off the batter.

Tip: don't put raw eggs in the batter, because the woman will probably object to being deep fried. (it doesn't hurt to ask though)

Forget SnoopWare.... (1)

akkarin (1117245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936177)

Forget Snoopware: What about the actual phone's OS? Proprietary systems like Microsoft's could very well call-home to update the location of the cell-phone. There aren't yet mobile firewalls to prevent internet, wap, or WiFi access by rogue programs, or the OS itself.

Re:Forget SnoopWare.... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936915)

The location of the phone is known by triangulation to within a few metres anyway.

It's not down to the OS it's down to the design of the network. If that bothers you switch the mobile off and throw it in a river or something.

Don't need to be malicious to be dangerous (1)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936181)

Your kids are going to have (at least) two people who are a) their history b) documented better than ever before.

Their kids will have an amazing amount of data from 6 people. 10 generations in there will be a huge mass of mundane details for 2046 people just in their own family tree.

Hopefully someone will invent a better search engine because otherwise it's going to be impossible for them to find the interesting things without being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of rubbish blog posts and bad photos posted to flickr. There is one obvious solution of course... [revis.co.uk]

That's a feature (5, Interesting)

oheso (898435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936201)

In Japan it's marketed as a feature. You can stalk your kids as they walk from school to home (with various detours into convenience stores to read the manga, etc.). There's an ad with some kid walking home and everywhere he goes there are black hats videoing him and speaking into lapel microphones.

Holy crap! People can see me? (2, Insightful)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936221)

There seems to be this ridiculous notion out there that you and everything about you is some kind of giant secret. Case in point, has anyone gone shopping for car insurance lately? Honestly, the password to your email account is the least of your concerns when compared to the way that credit scoring rapes you on something like that.

If I have:
A) No speeding tickets
B) No DUI convictions
C) No accidents
D) An eviction five years ago
E) A big student loan

then I will have higher insurance rates than an 18-year-old with no credit whatsoever. ZOMG the insurance company is in my credits powning my billz!

Furthermore, has anyone paid taxes lately? We carefully pen or key all of our vitals, all of our earnings and where we earned them, all of our expenditures and where we spent them, our political affiliations, our medical conditions, our contact info, our religion, our blood types, et cetera. Then what? We can but choose between the creepy old letter carrier, Chester, and the creepy old internet. Who gets all this juicy data next, we can only imagine. I promise, it is not good.

Here's a tasty one for you... Homeland security. Had to get that phrase in there for all the conspiracy types on Google. Tracking your library card? To hell with that lame crap... to hear them tell it they are in your fone processin your data anyway.

Speaking of Google... well... Google. Sign in to be mined^W Googled^w convenienced.

There are a Segan Billion Billion data leaks out there, and you and your data don't exactly get to choose where to leak.

So when I see these articles about **DIGITAL DEVICES CONTAIN DATA AND THEY CAN SEE MEEE ZOMG** I tend to seriously consider going back to lighting my farts, just to cover the evidence. Plus, it is truly entertaining when compared to sweating about the spy in my pocket. Fsck my own mini-stalker, where do I get a mini-hooker [wikipedia.org] ?

Why bother being paranoid? They're going to get you anyway.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (4, Insightful)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936297)

>18-year-old

Way to contribute to the very same problem you are complaining of being treated with (prejudice and irrelevant facts being taken into account).

It's sick to see governments repeatedly marginalize young drivers' rights by blanket higher premiums, harder process to get a car, tougher fines for exactly the same offences, and restrictions which don't apply to older drivers. And I'm not talking about "novice" vs "veteran", I'm talking about real age being taken into account (and even if you are above the legal age of majority you still may be considered "young" for these purposes).

Look, just because there are SOME asshole teens who zip by your street in their pimped out Civic doing 160mph with music so loud you see the windshields vibrating, doesn't mean ALL young drives drive this way, and there should not be a blanket prejudice towards all younger drivers.

Seeing you whine for suffering the consequences of people with big loans being put in the same category as bad drivers for insurance purposes, while implying young drivers should get higher premiums just because they are young, is hypocritical at best.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (1)

Mizled (1000175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936655)

Way to contribute to the very same problem you are complaining of being treated with (prejudice and irrelevant facts being taken into account).

Someone mod this guy up. If I had mod points to give you...I would give you all of them because you just served the parent thread his ass on a silver platter.

I can't agree with you more. They also will give an 18 year old female cheaper insurance than an 18 year old male because studies show males are more likely to have wrecks and speed. Did they ever think that maybe guys drive more often than females? Think about this, when you go out with your girlfriend or wife...Who drives more often? That's what I thought.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936925)

Whether you are more likely to have a accident because you are a worse driver or because you drive more often is irrelevant, either way the insurance company will have to pay up. Sure it sucks if you fall into a higher risk group even though you yourself may be a better driver and not likely to have an accident, but it is just the way insurance works.

Insurance premiums are based on how much the insurance company is likely to pay out, that means higher premiums for groups that are likely to cost them more. Of course the insurance companies will want the premiums to be as high as possible so they can make more profits, but if they go too far above their costs there will be another insurance company that will charge lower premiums to get those customers.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19940103)

Look at all the statistics and information on teen driving, the highest risk age group is 16-25. As a 22 year old paying $3000 for 6 months of full coverage I am fine with this, sure it would be great if it was lower but as long as I've got peace of mind I'm ok.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936515)

Furthermore, has anyone paid taxes lately? We carefully pen or key all of our vitals, all of our earnings and where we earned them, all of our expenditures and where we spent them, our political affiliations, our medical conditions, our contact info, our religion, our blood types, et cetera. Then what? We can but choose between the creepy old letter carrier, Chester, and the creepy old internet. Who gets all this juicy data next, we can only imagine. I promise, it is not good.

You must live in a very strange country. When I make my online tax submission, they don't even need my address (it's already on file). All I have to put in is the tax ID number the govt. sent me, my earnings for the year, tick a few boxes regarding benefits, fill in a couple of boxes regarding allowed deductions and off it goes - works out my tax liability instantly and tells me how much I've over/under-paid.

10 minutes, tops.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19940661)

Who do you have to notify if you move? Do you have to ask permission?

People move around in the US, enough that it is almost impossible for the government to know your current address.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19937061)

Mod parent down for being a jackass.

Re:Holy crap! People can see me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19937401)

Can't, as of yet, there's no (-1, Jackass) mod option.

Better and easier to MUG you (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936249)

I will mug your pretty little arse with the cute iphone thing coming out of your ears. You mark yourself. I oblige. I don't need no stupid snoop. All I need is to pound a little sense into your arse and out pops MY new toy and a future x-mas present for the needy.

Re:Better and easier to MUG you (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936353)

This is not a roll post. It is insightful. People worry about being E-mugged all the time, so why not bring up the (bigger) possibility of getting straight up jacked?

Re:Better and easier to MUG you (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939755)

People are afraid of all kinds of stupid crap. Doesn't mean we should feed it. But I guess it's "Irrational Fear Weekend" here with this and the stupid article about dying in an air crash.

The linked article is seems to be highly overrated (3, Interesting)

xk0der (1003200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936307)

I still can't figure out how the hell the so called "hacker" was able to install the so called "snoopware" into their new phones?? ... were these people soooo stupid to have their Bluetooth turned on, or installing any xyz application sent by a person they don't even know??

May be the MMS or SMS they received with the "snoopware" had the title "P0rn" ...

Apart from this .. the article seems too far fetched from reality! (IMO)

Re:The linked article is seems to be highly overra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19937129)

You, and the mod who pointed you, are seriously out of touch with the state of digital security in today's world.

You'd have to be a conspiracy theorist to think that there's a group of people protecting you because, with things like the Grecian cell switch rootkit, it's more probable than not that _all_ devices are rk'd to some extent. Sandboxes? Pah--useless. Virtual machines? Pah--the better to slip the rk underneath. Java in a web browser? *snort* Have you read any security lists lately?

Great for the press too (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936377)

The real trick is battery life, compression and sending it out in real time.
No good getting something on tape and having it 'dropped' in front of you.
One of the good examples of this was at the GOP debate with live net streaming.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4916858200 42435524 [google.com]

Re:Great for the press too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19937113)

Mod parent down for being a fucking lying sack of 9/11 conspiracy theory SHIT.

Re:Great for the press too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19937295)

Can't, there's no (-1 fucking lying sack of 9/11 conspiracy theory SHIT) mod option. I don't think it would fit into the combobox.

Solution: Battery removal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936381)

If/when you want to be certain of your privacy, the first thing to do is to remove the battery from your cellphone.

it's true already (1)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936691)

Sounds to me like what is happening now in Germany. In a recent article in a renomated german magazine, they describe how some policemen in one state already turn mobiles into a wiretap, even when the mobile appears to be off. The case of the arrest of New-York mafiaguy John Ardito is probably in the same direction: http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035_22-6140191.html [zdnet.com] . If you can turn a mobile into a wiretap, and even fake that the mobile is turned off, you most probably can do much more like reading SMS, calendar, etc. That's were our rights are going :(

Re:it's true already (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936941)

To do that you'd have to have physical access to the mobile I'd expect. Bugging devices is not a new idea and is already controlled by various laws in most countries.

Re:it's true already (1)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937027)

Somehow my reply went as reply to the article, not to your post, so here is the reply, sorry for the dupe:

No, according to the article it's possible to program a mobile through air (as example they say that some providers do that for maintenance). So police and government can work with the provider to accomplish this.
Alternatively, you have Bluetooth, infrared, WLAN.
So from how i see it, it is technically possible that people can track my position (that's old), hear what i hear (hands-free-mode, article in german magazine "Spiegel 29/07"), see my contacts, my calendar, my photos, and activate my camera (tfa).
That's probably only possible for the government right now (and even that is far too much power over my privacy as i want them to have!) but i guess some company or hacker will figure how to do that with just a laptop or whatever in the future.

not "all that's missing" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19936771)

One more thing is missing: an always-on GPS that appends your location with a timestamp to a log every 5 seconds.

Camera? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936793)

If they want a picture of the inside of my pocket, or a closeup of my temple when I'm using the phone, they're welcome.

Download my photos? (1)

Aquatica (1131135) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936859)

I can barely get my own family and friends to download my photos. If some creepo wants them, woo hoo! =E=

Re: (1)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19936997)

No, according to the article it's possible to program a mobile through air (as example they say that some providers do that for maintenance). So police and government can work with the provider to accomplish this.
Alternatively, you have Bluetooth, infrared, WLAN.
So from how i see it, it is technically possible that people can track my position (that's old), hear what i hear (hands-free-mode, article in german magazine "Spiegel 29/07"), see my contacts, my calendar, my photos, and activate my camera (tfa).
That's probably only possible for the government right now (and even that is far too much power over my privacy as i want them to have!) but i guess some company or hacker will figure how to do that with just a laptop or whatever in the future.

in other news... (1)

macTijn (717215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937477)

...Aluminum foil sales are skyrocketing. One person, who bought 100kg of aluminum foil, even wrapped his glasses in the stuff while franticly screaming something about miniature camera's.

Correcting a misconception; CID != ANI (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19937951)

Correcting a misconception: CID != ANI

FTFA:

Most carriers offer a "skip passcode" feature that lets you turn off voice mail password-checking when you call from your cell phone. But because carriers use Caller ID to verify the phone, cell phones "spoofing" another phone's number can get in, enabling hackers to access your voice mail and other features without ever knowing the password.

If spoofed CID info allows access to YOUR mobile phone's voice mail, then (IMNSHO) it's time to change carriers!!!

Background: I worked for a specialized PBX company, hardware and software, in the late 1990's. Things may have changed since then, but I have no doubt I'll get educated quickly if that is the case! :-)

The quoted part from the article continues a common misconception. First, some definitions:

  • CID: "Caller ID". Just another call feature, can be be readily spoofed (via Asterisk, PBX, web-sites, etc.)
  • ANI: Automatic Number Information (AFAIK) cannot be spoofed.

Let's try some use cases to put this in perspective:

  • Case 1: Plain Old Call Someone calls me and I see a CID number displayed on my phone. No guarantee of accuracy -- easily spoofed or suppressed data.
  • Case 2: Collect Call When someone calls me collect, my bill will contain the ANI data, which may or may not match the CID info I see on my phone.

    The premise is this: If I am paying for the call, then I am entitled to see what I am paying for. IIRC, even a call from an unpublished number will appear in my phone bill.

  • Case 3: Toll Free Calls

    The same concept applies for calls made to a toll-free number (1-800-xxx-xxxx, 1-888-xxx-xxxx, 1-877-xxx-xxxx, etc.)

    The call costs nothing for the CALLER, because the CALLEE is paying for the call. The CALLEE is entitled to know what they are paying for; the actual phone number that you call from will appear in their phone bill.

Here's the confusion: For an additional fee, the CALLEE can receive the actual phone number (ANI) transmitted in real time, instead of waiting for their bill to arrive. This affords the CALLEE the ability to do customer-centric things like pre-fetching data about your account based on your phone number. This seems to an ordinary user to be the same as CID, but it is not; the source and veracity of the data is quite different!

OTOH, Even if the carrier uses ANI, a couple minutes' access to the actual phone would still provide ready access to your voice mail, unless this "feature" is deactivated.

ANI can be spoofed (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19940343)

It's harder to aquire the needed control, but certainly not impossible. There are places that will help you.

There are so many ways. Be government. Pay off a phone company insider. Set up your own phony phone company even.

Re:ANI can be spoofed (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19940871)

It's harder to aquire the needed control, but certainly not impossible. There are places that will help you.

There are so many ways. Be government. Pay off a phone company insider. Set up your own phony phone company even.

Thanks for the feedback! Your response got me to wondering, so I just did some googling. It appears from the first link I found: Automated Caller ID / ANI Spoofing [rootsecure.net] that it is relatively easy to spoof either of these, today, as long as one has access to a willing VOIP company. Didn't used to be so easy!

Already exist (1)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 7 years ago | (#19938275)

They're known to teenagers as 'helicopter parents'.

Why shoud I care? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19938295)

that someone might get to see how boring my life really is.

Pro Boner (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19938317)

A tech support dwad I used to know called a boner a stalker. This was a while back and it seemed less weird than it would today. Well, kinda anyway. The term 'mini-stalker' instantly reminds me of this guy. "I've just measured it and I've got a mini-stalker!!! About 8cm!!! Woo-hoo! Does anyone need service pack two?"

Made me laugh anyway. . . . . .

Anyone can do this with Flexispy (1)

Talaria (874527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19938625)

Yep, it's out there, and it's dead easy to do. Flexispy is a particularly insidious program that allows you to do it all, and do your spying on the tapped phone through a pretty web interface! Anyone can download it, and you only need to have the victim's phone a few minutes to install it! Currently available for all Blackberries, Nokia 60, and Windows Mobile phones, and they say that they are adding more all the time. Here's an article about it - where they are openly soliciting someone to test it out and report their results: http://www.theinternetpatrol.com/flexispy-cell-pho ne-tapping-software [theinternetpatrol.com]

Microphones in laptops.. (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19938999)

Years ago I found a website (soon taken down) that had snoop recordings taken with "back orifice" (a Windows root-kit).

Ever since that, the first thing I do when I get a laptop is open it up and remove the built in microphone.

Will the iPhone bring the wonderful world (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939071)

of worms, rootkits and spyware uh snoopware to the masses?

I already have a mini-stalker (1)

PassTheGravy (1131233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19939855)

His name is Bonzi Buddy.
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