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.

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By GhandiInstinct on 12/2/06, Rating: 0
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.

A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By Aelius on 12/2/2006 7:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
All you need to do is combine this capability with Echelon. What you get is the instant ability to listen to just about any conversation in the world, record it, categorize it, flag it and archive it forever. It's not just possible but inevitable.

Google Toolbar has hidden code allowing someone with the knowhow to activate your mic. This has been outed by some hackers who found the code and Google responded with a lame answer about it's use for customer service assistance. Ummm no.

Previously unknown Fact:
Telecom companies such as Bell not only have the hardware to listen in on your converstaions but all calls are recorded and sent for storage at a CO "Central Office". Previously the process of recording and filing was thought to be a part of Echelon. In fact it probably is an extention of Echelon acting as a funnel for voice/data at various CO's where all calls are routed through.

If you give them an inch they will take a mile. We gave that inch a long time ago. I think they are past the mile.

RE: A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By yacoub on 12/2/2006 11:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it is true that there were/are closets in the COs where the feds had the ability to store recordings of conversations, but it wasn't ALL conversations. They had to choose which splices and connections they would record.

RE: A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By Aelius on 12/3/2006 6:09:15 AM , Rating: 2
This is incorrect. ALL conversations are recorded, categorized and sent for storage. Period. This has already been outed by at least one NSA employee. I think it was on 60 minutes.

All conversations are recorded and Echelon simply sorts through it. We assume that those converstaions that do not include key words are deleted.

This may seem fiction to some people but you have to remember that the computer industry is about 4 years ahead of what is out today. They are far ahead of where people think they are at. All major software companies are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to get inside information so they can write code for upcoming hardware. This is fact and has been outed by Brad McQuad on the Vanguard forums some months ago.

Black Ops tech projects are aproximately 20+ years ahead. No one really knows how far ahead, even many of those working at the NSA even on Echelon. The reason is simple. Compartmentalization. They probably won't even let a programmer write more than one part of the code and have someone else write another. We know for a fact that those working on Echelon work under this system and no one employee knows the entire system.

RE: A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By KristopherKubicki on 12/3/2006 6:54:07 AM , Rating: 2
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the NSA almost certainly has quantum computers. There were dozens of researchers close to "breakthroughs" with regard to quantum computing back in the 80s and early 90s, yet it took almost 15 years in some cases to see even the most basic quantum tech become at least commercial research projects.

Of course, you could just argue that "it is very hard," but I mean c'mon. The US built The Bomb covertly and spent nearly $5 billion (adjusted for inflation) on just the first test weapon.

You're right, some of the tech being used for this is easily 10+ years into the future.

RE: A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By mino on 12/3/2006 7:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well this "future tech" is purely insane.

The fact is, Complete echelon thingie is/was doable with 90's commercial available tech. And it was done that way. Now they are "just" extending the reach an possible consequences with it...

RE: A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By Aelius on 12/4/2006 1:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
80s actually. It was first designed to monitor the "enemy" that being communist nations and purely voice.

The installation of the funneling/recording devices/software at COs was most likely done in the early 90s so Clinton could turn it on Americans.

Today it does voice/data. What exactly "data" means is anyone's quess but it is a known fact that e-mail is one such source. SMS is most likely another. The list is most likely quite long.

RE: A Part of Echelon? Probably...
By goku on 12/5/2006 6:03:30 AM , Rating: 2
"We know for a fact that those working on Echelon work under this system and no one employee knows the entire system."

Hmm, this sounds familiar, what organization acts like this? Oh I know, it's al qaeda... You know, terrorists groups have it setup so that no one particular group or person knows too much.

This is Old News
By Dactyl on 12/2/2006 8:15:37 PM , Rating: 3
Michael Totten reported this over a year ago.

So long as this is only used in extreme cases (vs. organized crime, for instance), why would this be so terrible? If it makes it that much more difficult for organized crime to get organized, that benefits those of us who aren't mafioso. The important thing here is judicial oversight.

A cell phone that can turn itself on is no more intrusive than a real bug attached to someone's jacket.

There's an easy way around this, anyway: design a phone so the talk button is a slider on the side. To make a call, push the button up. To end the call, slide the button back down. When the button is down, the mic would be physically disabled (not even wired to the rest of the phone). That's the easy solution. Of course the phone companies won't make this, because they're tied in very deep to the government.

The government regulates the airwaves that cell carriers need to use, so the cell companies all try to be the government's best friend. They can't afford to be cut off, or they'll lose tremendous business. That means cuddling up to law enforcement. It's that simple. There's no way around it.

RE: This is Old News
By SLEEPER5555 on 12/2/2006 8:47:18 PM , Rating: 3
i too remember this being reported a loooooonnng time ago, they used a blondstar mic to listen in on a guy (i think it was a mob guy) he got the recording thrown out of court because it created a safety issue where during that time he wouldnt have been able to use blondestar for an emergency and therefore it was illegal.


RE: This is Old News
By Dactyl on 12/3/2006 12:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
That rationale does make sense. People rely on cell phones now more than ever. Because everyone has a cell phone, there are so few pay phones. Which means people need cell phones that much more.

I don't know who would buy a phone based on my "MafiaPhone" concept (organized crime? privacy buffs?), but I'll bet government agents have phones that are not susceptible to this sort of bugging. I seriously doubt the FBI allows its agents to use phones that are vulnerable to the same tricks the FBI is using against criminals.

This is new?
By tk109 on 12/2/2006 8:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
Wierd I always just assumed they had been able to do this for years. Seems natural that this would be an essential asset in fighting criminal activity and keeping the public safe.

RE: This is new?
By DigitalFreak on 12/2/2006 9:50:57 PM , Rating: 3
ROFLMAO. You really think that's all it's used for?

As long as there is due process behind it.
By VooDooAddict on 12/2/2006 7:20:03 PM , Rating: 3
As long as there is due process behind it.

As long as there's a warrant and the only evidence they can collect against you is limited to a particular case.

Making this available to any government body at any time without a wire tapping/servailance warrant ... then we are in big brother territory.

By Aelius on 12/2/2006 7:28:44 PM , Rating: 1
Take into context what has occured with wiretapping up to this point. They have been doing it in secret already, illegally, without warrants of any kind. They then came up with laws to legalize what has already been done.

Echelon was first turned on Americans under Clinton. A totally illegal act since it gathers everything based on key words. Again... everything. Try to understand the scope. Yet people cheer him on even today.

So really... what due process.

They'll know where the crooks are too
By borowki on 12/2/2006 10:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Soon most cell phones will have GPS receiver built in (to comply with the E911 initiative). Remote activation will allow the Fed to pinpoint the person being monitored. I guess that'll make stakeouts history.

By rykerabel on 12/4/2006 3:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
I have a very common cell phone issued to me for work... it has neat GPS features built into it too. My boss enjoys teasing us about how he can track us via the phones GPS. You think if he can do it remotely that the FBI etc cannot? LOL, its a web interface that lets him do it, which means any decent hacker can do it too.

Yay me, i'm instantly locateable any time by anyone for any reason unless i remove the batteries... which i can't do and still keep my job.

People need to wake up and smell the morphene that the governement is slowly feeding us. Yeah it feels great, removes the pain, but it weakens us and greatly reduces our alertness and self awareness.

By ER34 on 12/2/2006 11:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
Considering how bad the reception is 90% of the time with my phone though, I feel sorry for the FBI agent(s) trying to listen in on my conversations..

Seriously though, if you were a terrorist(or even if you're just paranoid), you can always pull out the battery on your phone until you needed to make a call...

RE: lol.....
By ira176 on 12/3/2006 4:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
not if it's on the Verizon network....Are you there..., Good!

You guys are shocked at this?
By rushfan2006 on 12/4/2006 10:50:12 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly, after reading through comments here -- the only thing about this article that shocks me is the comments where people seem shocked that this is going on.

While I'm in the same ball park as those who generally believe ...well if I keep my nose clean I have nothing to worry about, I certainly don't like the rather uncomfortable trend that technology is undoubtly going to lead us to.

A lot of the stuff we first think is BS in the movies where people track folks using satellites and you seem them just pick a house and they can see throught he walls and stuff and actually watches a woman take a shower or whatever the case maybe. One day, if its not the case already today -- I can honestly see that being reality.

Not to be crude -- but I don't much mind when I'm in a public place and a camera is on me...but I do mind a "bit" when I'm (gonna use a clean term) "making love" to my girl or in the case of this cell phone business they are listening in to some steamy talk....I'd feel a little bit upset if I found out that kind of spying was going on.....

....after all I'd want a copy of that material for my own review.......or at least a cut of the profits. ;)

By Christopher1 on 12/5/2006 5:23:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm wondering if the cell phone manufacturers will now fix this bug in their phones. People aren't going to buy them if the government can all of a sudden hack into their phones and listen to their conversations.

It's not a problem by itself, but...
By daniyarm on 12/4/2006 12:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's a big problem by itself, but when you add all other government "programs", all of a sudden it becomes a huge problem. The government is using this terrorist excuse for everything. You can't take a normal trip with a kid anymore without being harassed about baby food and formula at the airport. Every time you pick up a phone, get on the internet or watch TV, you can't help but think that somebody knows what you are doing at this very moment. I grew up in ex-USSR, and US is now doing exactly what the Soviet government used to do. US scares it's people into believing that all this control is a way to fight terrorism. Unfortunately, it's not.

By EastCoast on 12/5/2006 1:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
David’s Sin in Numbering the People. 2Samuel 24:1-25. This lesson demonstrates how God looks on pride.

By bobobeastie on 12/2/2006 7:27:54 PM , Rating: 1
Such capability has long been rumored to exist in Motorola phones after it was discovered how reliant the 9/11 terrorists used celluar phones.

reliant or used is incorrect, as well as celluar. Come on guys aren't you using Firefox 2 yet?

RE: Um
By mino on 12/3/2006 7:33:07 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they are on Opera :)

By dajeepster on 12/4/2006 6:03:47 PM , Rating: 3
I hope they're not using up my minutes!!!

By yacoub on 12/2/2006 11:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny that people forget that all big electronics companies in the US work in cooperation with the federal government in the designing of their devices to allow the government backdoor access to certain functionality. This is just one example. Others have been found on the past. More certainly exist.

Known for some time?
By faiakes on 12/3/2006 6:23:19 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps any of you have seen:
The Listening

By ThisSpaceForRent on 12/3/2006 2:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
The real danger behind a capability such as this isn't misue by the FBI, but by the NSA. The FBI is part of the Federal court system, and to a certain extent there are checks and balances. The FBI can tap anyone's phone if they wanted to, but then that evidence isn't usable in a court of law. An agency such as the NSA does not operate in the Federal court system. They were never intended to operate domestically, which is why there was such a bug fuss over Bush's decision to use the NSA to intercept outgoing international calls. The NSA can basically do whatever they want to since they were never intended to be used to monitor the activities of those inside the United States. The other problem with the NSA is anything that they, or the CIA do for that matter, is not usable in a court of law. I read an article forever ago, wish I had a link to reference for this, which stated that the CIA knew about the 9/11 hijackers being in the country prior the attacks. However, at the time, there was a disconnect between the CIA and FBI, because of legal reasons. Anything the CIA knew the FBI could not use domestically for legal reasons.

I have no personal issues with the FBI using technology such as this. There is a system of checks and balances in place with the FBI. The real potential for abuse exists with our intelligence gathering services abusing this technology. Granted the potential is small, but given the state of the world today, it is only a matter of time before this is abused. We have already kidnapped people by accident, so this too will be abused with time.

By deastles on 12/6/2006 10:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
does it really matter what you say? All of you americano's have had your civil rights removed. You are all f****ed!!
have a good one

By Goty on 12/2/06, Rating: -1
RE: So?
By Brainonska511 on 12/2/2006 6:10:43 PM , Rating: 5
Why should the government have a need to listen in on people's conversations without probable cause?

Who says you have nothing to hide? Maybe something that you do normally now suddenly becomes illegal? Maybe instead of just looking for terrorists, they'll start listening on people who don't like the government or are just of a different party affiliation than the party in control of the executive branch.

RE: So?
By FITCamaro on 12/2/06, Rating: -1
RE: So?
By joust on 12/3/2006 12:22:10 AM , Rating: 5
You should care because of the potential for abuse in the future. What if your employer gets a hold of such a system? What if one political party hires agents to 'silence' outspoken critics?

Some might respond by saying that tyrannus/abusive behavior will never happen here in the USA. I think that's a very dangerous and imprudent assumption to make. As citizens we must keep a vigilant watch against encroachment.

Allowing the government to enter the private sphere and spy on its citizens on a broad scale without clear and present danger is the first step towards tyranny.

RE: So?
By joust on 12/3/2006 12:26:29 AM , Rating: 3
Keep in mind, of course, that I am a conservative who supports Bush. I think his programs do have merit, are exaggerated in scope, scale, and impact, and are justified on a short-ternm timeperiod.

Despite this I believe conservatives and liberals alike ought to keep a constant guard on liberties.

RE: So?
By Tyler 86 on 12/3/2006 5:08:55 AM , Rating: 2
Here's to flexibility, concern, and justice served where justice due.

But forget not, lifting the blind-fold on our lady of swift justice has it's consequences.

Now it lies in the hands of our children, and our children's children, and so forth, to learn from what has been accomplished, and what has been damaged, and to take away what vengful abundance of authority has been granted in the name of our now-visionary lady of justice.

We can only pray that it does not fall on deafened or distracted ears.

Ya'll know the edumakashun system's gonna f*** it up... F***ing "So?"'ers.

RE: So?
By mino on 12/3/2006 7:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, ask some of your older friends(if you have any) from the former eastern bloc what it feels like when gov snoops on its citizens regularly.

You know, the so much heralded FREEDOM (those countries paid for hugely by made-up economic crisis in the 90's) IS ABOUT GOV _NOT_ SNOOPING on its citizens.

RE: So?
By OddTSi on 12/3/2006 1:00:00 AM , Rating: 3
You're overlooking the hugely important fact that this was pre-approved by a judge. The FBI agents didn't do this "without probably cause" as you imply. Perhaps next time you'll RTFA.

RE: So?
By Brainonska511 on 12/3/2006 1:42:15 AM , Rating: 1
I did RTFA. Maybe you should RMFC. I was answering the first comment which stated (and I paraphrase here): "I don't mind the government listening to what I do since I'm doing nothing wrong."

RE: So?
By Shining Arcanine on 12/3/2006 9:07:48 AM , Rating: 2
Probable cause means that they have a reason to believe that something illegal is happening and thus do not need a judge's warrant. An excellent example would be if they hear screaming and gunshots coming from a building; they are not going to need a judge's warrant to break into the building to investigate, which is what is known as probable cause.

RE: So?
By Tyler 86 on 12/3/2006 11:23:46 PM , Rating: 1
Lifted from the Grand Wikipedia;

In the context of warrants, the Oxford Companion to American Law defines probable cause as "information sufficient to warrant a prudent person's belief that the wanted individual had committed a crime (for an arrest warrant) or that evidence of a crime or contraband would be found in a search (for a search warrant)."

Screaming and gunshots prompting immediate lethal reaction is to witnessing unaccounted-for containers handled by suspicious persons as warrantless probable cause is to warranted probable cause.

Different smell, same crap.

RE: So?
By Shining Arcanine on 12/3/2006 9:05:49 AM , Rating: 2
Who said anything about the government havinga need to listen to people's conversations without probable cause? If they find that they need to listen to people's conversations, they have probable cause, period. This like the police, where if they hear what sounds like a rape inside a home, they will break open the door, forceably entering the premises to investigate.

RE: So?
By UnFaZeD on 12/3/2006 9:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
"Any society that gives up a little liberty to gain a little security deserves neither and will lose both."

maybe the cosa nostra need to watch The Wire, and give up on cell phones altogether...

RE: So?
By ChoadNamath on 12/2/2006 6:26:34 PM , Rating: 5
How about a tap on your homephone? Tracking all the websites you visit (which is probably already done)? Why not install cameras in every room of your house, including the bathroom and bedroom? It's not about whether you are afraid of getting caught doing something, it's about the principle of privacy.

RE: So?
By HueyD on 12/4/2006 8:55:44 AM , Rating: 3
Project Echelon has been going on since the early '90s.

RE: So?
By feelingshorter on 12/2/06, Rating: 0
RE: So?
By yacoub on 12/2/06, Rating: -1
RE: So?
By feelingshorter on 12/3/2006 2:08:19 AM , Rating: 2
Well this is off topic but i must respond. Last time I herd on the news, an Israeli soldier can kill innocent people and get only two weeks detention. Last time I herd the news, the ambassador from Israel was caught lying. No buddy, if there is an animal that wants to hurt you, I question why we are putting it in a cage. You speak of religion as though Muslims is the only violent religion? Crusade? If you read the bible, it says that everyone who doesn't believe in it will go to hell.

The Jews have committed just as many atrocities as the Muslims. What I'm trying to say is that privacy is necessary for our safety, and not the other way around. I don't want anyone disappearing after discovering the "truth." Whatever that may be. There are tons of conspiracy theories about there how Jews are controlling this country and such. Lets agree to disagree but I feel privacy protects us more than the other way around.

Like I said, if there is a terrorist that the FBI needs to monitor, they will do it illegally anyways. What I don't want is some Enron or a World Comm witness disappearing and such.

RE: So?
By Chillin1248 on 12/3/2006 3:27:07 PM , Rating: 3
I hope you can put your money where your mouth is.

I live in Israel, and there is no law that says a Israeli soldier who kills a innocent person gets two weeks.... So maybe he didn't kill someone innocent, except to your political viewpoint? And which Israeli ambassador was lying about what?

Please show me all the "atrocities" the Jews have committed, I want some hard facts here, cause I have a very long list starting off with recent atrocities the Muslims have done to the Christians and other Muslims here in the Middle East just recently:

Or how about we take just three (3) simple days in Israel in populated civilian centers, sounds nice doesn't it? Not if your "peace loving 'Syria Palistina' friends have anything to say about it:

But I guess you have lived under the threats of rocket attacks and everything and fully comprehend the situation here don't you?


RE: So?
By rykerabel on 12/4/2006 3:10:25 PM , Rating: 4
so, when a car bomber bombs your guards, its a good idea to demolish peoples homes?

terrorist reaction to a terrorist act. you are no better than your enemy.

RE: So?
By nunya on 12/3/2006 2:44:34 AM , Rating: 4
I was with you 110% until you brought race into it, then you lost all credibility.

RE: So?
By MobileZone on 12/3/2006 9:15:43 AM , Rating: 3
Even worse. He's not talking about race, he's talking about religion and beliefs. That's ignorance to the extreme.

By the way, this phone tapping thing looks like old USSR, communism, anti-democracy and so on. A few years more and the US will be as democratic as China.


RE: So?
By mino on 12/3/2006 7:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
He was citing facts. Dot.

We may not like them, but that US heavily sponsors Israel(which IS a Jewish state whether we like it or not) IS a fact.

That this sponsoring does NOT benefit US is a fact.
That this sponsoring has its reasons, some of them undisputed is a fact.

RE: So?
By Chillin1248 on 12/3/2006 11:41:23 PM , Rating: 5
Fact 1:

Israel recieves $3 Billion a year in both Military and Economic aid. Saudia Arabia recieves $3 Billion a year just in military aid alone.

Fact 2:

U.S. gets no returns on aid to Saudia Arabia. Aid to Israel gets returned in the form of technology. Ever heard of Raytheon? Guess where that new Anti-Missile laser was developed? Guess who gave NATO the first look inside a MiG-21? Or how about all the details on the T-xx series of Russian tanks? Now name me one return from Saudia Arabia that you know of?

The U.S. sponsors a country like Saudia Arabia far in excess of Israel, yet I don't see you complaining about them; guess your second paragraph says why, cause they are not Jews while Israel is.


RE: So?
By mino on 12/3/2006 7:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't read second part of your post ...

Yes it does look EXACTLY like the policy our gov(Czechoslovakia) forced on its citizens in the 50's. Even the arguments - "imperialist agents" (now "terrorists"), "its for your protection"... - were pretty much of the same kind.

FIY it took the society 15!!! yrs to become aware of the direness of the system.
And another 30!!!yrs(AND with external help) to get rid of the system.
Also _average_ education level in the population was higher than is in the US now(no offence, just a fact).
Also no such effective systems as FoxNews were available to the gov back then...

RE: So?
By Tides on 12/2/2006 8:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
knowledge is power my friend and with all the knowledge comes all the power

RE: So?
By ira176 on 12/3/2006 4:26:43 AM , Rating: 3
A wise man once told me that total power corrupts totally.

RE: So?
By InsaneScientist on 12/2/2006 8:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
Admittedly, I don't really care if they listen to my phone calls, as long as they're actually confining that power to actually looking for people like terrorists. (Whether they are or not is an entirely different discussion.)
I, too, have nothing to hide....

This, however, irritates the heck out of me. So they can turn on my phone at any time they like and activate the microphone?
Presumably that means that it's sending the audio stream to the cell network, just like it does when I'm talking on the phone normally.

Well, I don't know what kind of phones or batteries they're using, but phone (with a full battery) goes from 6 days of uptime when it's on standby to a measly 3 hours when it's active.

So if they excercize their "rights" to listen in to someone on my phone for a couple hours, and my phone has already been on for, oh, say, a day... all of a sudden my phone has no power.

What happens then if I need to use my phone? Not 'need' as in jabber with a friend (though I like to do that), no I'm talking about the sort of need that occurrs when you're having an emergency. (i.e. Car died in the middle of nowhere, you broke your leg on a hike, if you're a woman... you're going into labor, etc...)

There are reasons that people have cell phones. Many will talk to friends on them, but most at least view it as a fallback if something happens: then can call someone, be it a friend, an ambulance, or the police... whatever.

Now you're telling me that they've effectively taken that security blanket and thrown it out the window?!?!?

I'm not saying that this will be common, but all it takes is for this to happen at the wrong time, with the wrong person, once, and they've just indirectly killed someone.

Forgive my little rant, but does this thought scare anyone else as much as it does me?

RE: So?
By MrBungle on 12/2/2006 11:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
It baffles me to think of how many people share this point of view. What's at stake with these kinds of issues is not "having anything to hide," but having the right to privacy, freedom from government intervention in your private life (eavesdropping is a form of intervention), and ultimately, the security of you and others around you.

While this may not offend you personally, this subject is not limited to you - and I think you should therefore approach it on a more macroscopic scale. Would you be comfortable with the FBI listening in on your spouse's private life? Your children's? Though it's a hypothetical question, where do you draw the line between privacy and the ultimate rule of law? Should every petty crime committed privately, that's audible to the FBI, be prosecutable?

What makes this particular technology so dangerous is not its practicality (there are nowhere near enough FBI agents to monitor the level of cell phone traffic in this country) but its power. Without proper legislation and oversight, this kind of technology could be used for just about any purpose against just about any individual.

RE: So?
By copiedright on 12/3/2006 12:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
The key argument is that even though you may have nothing to hide, without privacy you can be exploited more easily.

Information is power and every person should have a right to keep there private information secure to prevent people from having power over them.

RE: So?
By Nemisisorama on 12/10/2006 8:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
So hacking into my ex girlfriends email account to read her private emails because I am insanely jealous about her new boyfriend is a no no? damn.......

RE: So?
By msva124 on 12/3/2006 2:10:38 AM , Rating: 2
Because you are in the minority. Most people do have something to hide.

RE: So?
By shortylickens on 12/3/2006 8:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
Its a fair question, but if you really want to know why you should read things like 1984 and Brazil or heck just about any movie or book where the government has slowly strangled the will of the people.

And before anybody says its fantasy, keep in mind we are currently seeing things that people back in the 50's thought was fantasy.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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