Britain's Metropolitan Police Tracking Mobile Phones with New Surveillance System
October 31, 2011 10:04 AM
comment(s) - last by
Critics say the new system is not proportionate under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
The UK has committed some Big Brother-like acts in the recent past, such as
collecting citizens' email
, phone and Web history. The Metropolitan police are now continuing such acts by launching a new technology that tracks all mobile handsets in a set area.
This surveillance system is referred to as "Listed X" under government protocol, and was made by Leeds-based compant Datong plc, which specializes in surveillance technology for law enforcement, military, special forces and security agencies.
The system has the ability to emit a signal over an area of up to 10 sq km. This signal returns the IMSI and IMEI identity codes of all mobile handsets in that area by acting like a mobile phone network, and the recipient of these codes is able
to track the devices
. Those with these uniqie codes can also intercept SMS messages and phone calls, collect information about the user and even turn phones off remotely.
The Metropolitan police, Britain's largest police force, is reportedly using this technology in order to be able to cut off a phone that is used as a trigger for a potential explosive device.
The new system has raised a lot of questions concerning citizen's privacy. According to Big Brother Watch, a privacy and civil liberties group, the Met police could use the technology for indiscriminate monitoring.
"It raises a number of serious civil liberties concerns and clarification is urgently needed on when and where this technology has been deployed, and what data has been gathered," said Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch.
Currently, all covert surveillance is regulated under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which says that intercepting communications is acceptable if a warrant is authorized by the home secretary and the action is necessary/proportionate. In 2010, 1,682 interception warrants were approved by the home secretary. About 552,550 requests were made that year.
"How can a device which invades any number of people's privacy be proportionate?" said Barrister Jonathan Lennon, specialist in cases involving covert intelligence and RIPA. "There needs to be clarification on whether interception of multiple people's communications -- when you can't even necessarily identify who the people are -- is compliant with the act. It may be another case of the technology racing ahead of the legislation. Because if this technology now allows
and intercept to take place at the same time, I would have thought that was not what parliament had in mind when it drafted RIPA."
Datong currently sells its products to about 40 countries around the globe, including South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The Met police paid £143,455 to Datong in 2008/2009 for ICT hardware, and in 2010, Datong announced its pro forma revenue in the UK was £3.9 million.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
11/1/2011 3:20:25 AM
Wonder if your handset still reacts to that ping, if you set you carrier your self in your phone, instead of the auto select from the sim info.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
Australian Mall to Track Shopper Locations Via Mobile Phones
October 14, 2011, 10:02 AM
Apple is Tracking iPhone, iPad Users' Location; Easily Mapped With OS X App
April 20, 2011, 3:17 PM
UK Government Wants Citizens' Web, Phone, E-mail History
May 21, 2008, 2:48 PM
Google's Gleaming Glass HQ Gets Mountain View Snub, LinkedIn Gets the Love
May 7, 2015, 6:58 AM
Tech's Tax Day Fortunate Few: Qualcomm, Xerox, GE, et al. Pay Little or No Taxes
April 15, 2015, 11:30 AM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Former NSA Lawyer: If Google, Apple Encrypt User Data, They’ll Wither on the Vine Like Blackberry
November 6, 2014, 12:15 PM
Most Popular Articles
Glenn Beck's Attempt at Anti-Refugee Meme Proves He's Really, Really Dumb
November 18, 2015, 4:17 PM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
True Beef or Sloppy Sausage? Digging Into the Red Meat + Cancer Correlation
October 27, 2015, 3:05 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information