Print 76 comment(s) - last by Nemisisorama.. on Dec 10 at 8:53 PM

They can see us, read our emails, watch our IM conversations, and now even hear us whether we want them to or not

It seems as though George Orwell hit it the bullseye again when he wrote about Big Brother and the government's way of keeping track of the general public. It has been recently revealed that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has a way of tapping a cell phone and using the microphone to listen in on nearby conversations.

The method used for listening in on conversations held by alleged members of Cosa Nostra is called a "roving bug" and was ruled to be a legal method of wiretapping by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. The bug was alledgedly used on two Nextel phones. It looks like all cellular phones are vulnerable to this sort of wiretapping according to CNet's findings:

The U.S. Commerce Department's security office warns that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."

Kaplan further added that the functionality of the roving bug was in place even when the phone was powered off -- or at least when the phone looked to be powered off.  One possible method that the FBI used to tap into the two Nextel phones is by getting the network to install a rogue firmware update which gave the agency access to such features.

Such capability has long been rumored to exist in Motorola phones after it was discovered how the 9/11 terrorists used cellular phones to coordinate most of their activities.

Still there are some skeptics who believe that this method does not exist and that the FBI had to have physically planted a bug into the cellular phone to monitor conversations. But with the recent boom of PDA phones and devices that support custom software it was only a matter of time before hackers, or the government found a way to exploit similar features.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By GhandiInstinct on 12/2/2006 7:41:05 PM , Rating: 0
Can Bush become a bigger nightmare? This just gets worse and worse, and the people who voted for him deserve it, the rest will flee to Canada.

By darkfoon on 12/2/2006 9:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
You forget, you now need a passport to go to Canada.
So, you can't really "flee" anymore.

By yacoub on 12/2/2006 11:11:34 PM , Rating: 3
Plus there'll be a wall to the south (and did you know you cannot legally own firearms in Mexico? Yes, they're more socialist than the US, so you don't want to flee there. Then again, Canada is socialist in their healthcare and they don't have speech laws as free as those in the US. It's really poor choices all around these days.

By ColossusX on 12/2/2006 11:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
If I remember correctly, you will only need the passport if you want to re-enter the US...if he wants to flee to Canada and stay, I dont think he will need one. LOL

By creathir on 12/3/2006 12:06:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, that is until Jan 1, 2008. After that, ANY person LEAVING would not be allowed to without a passport.

- Creathir

By ira176 on 12/3/2006 4:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
Does the passport thing sound like a tax wrapped up in a neat little package designed to look like it's meant to fight terrorism?

By mino on 12/3/2006 7:22:40 PM , Rating: 1
More like a CAGE AROUND US up in a neat little package designed to look like it's meant to fight terrorism.

By creathir on 12/3/2006 7:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a break... as much as I cannot stand the idea of having to have a passport...
You are not FORCED to stay here. Leave if you do not like it...
This is not the USSR.

- Creathir

By rykerabel on 12/4/2006 3:32:35 PM , Rating: 1

By CABCDEFG on 12/4/2006 12:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
I have to clear up a gross inaccuracy in your post - the U.S. has no plans to require a passport to leave the country.

The FAQ you cited confirms this - U.S. citizens will be required to present a passport to re-enter the U.S. from Canada and Mexico, even if traveling by land. Previously you could enter with just a driver's license.

Of course, Canada and Mexico may begin to require passports as a result of the U.S.'s action, but that's a different story.

By CMcIntyre on 12/4/2006 2:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I'd rather be in canada, even if I had to pay a tax to get in. Everybody pays tax's who cares, The whole point of the U.S. gun rules was to so call "Protect Each other" but most U.S. deaths are caused by guns. Canada is a lot safer because they do not allow guns and as well there health plans are 100% better, Canada focus's more on there country and citizens then there army like America does. Canada does not send there troops in if it doesn't concern them or if they need to. Remember vietnam U.S. citizens? Need I say more?

By rykerabel on 12/4/2006 3:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have many friends in Canada that have suffered under that 100% health care. It sucks. I've personally suffered under US government healthcare (both Army and Medicaid). It sucks.

There is no such thing as free. You better stick up for what few liberties we have left, or you won't have any.

PS. A suburb of New Orleans during the Katrina recovery passed a law greatly encouraging gun owners to turn in their guns... most did, now its crime rate is 288% higher only 6 months later... you don't see that on the news here, but luckily, i remember both news reports that were seperated by 6 mo and can see for myself the significance.

Democrats believe people are stupid and need to be controlled. Republicans believe people are stupid and can be fleeced. Of the two, i'd rather be robbed than caged, but neither's idea of "for my own good" corresponds to my idea of "whats good for me"

By dever on 12/3/2006 12:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
Most people who voted for conservatives, are those who love and value individual freedoms above all else. Any freedom-threatening behavior by this administration goes against the core of it's constituency. However, I doubt "W" had any engineering escapades late night at the FBI. Of course, the only other party choice has restriction of personal freedoms as part of their basic platform. Tough choice.

By lwright84 on 12/4/2006 11:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
shutup and good riddance.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

Most Popular ArticlesFree Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki