Is Your Mobile Phone Protected?

According to an independent investigator, when millions of people write, view and search on their mobile phones, their actions are recorded. The information is sent to a corporation and we don’t know what the company is doing with our personal data.

Sounds like an old period, but it’s happening in 2017.

Sen. Al Franken asked the company, Carrier IQ for justification. He calls its technology, “deeply concerning.” He demands a full inquiry.

Carrier IQ works with mobile phone manufacturers and carriers to install cell phone spyware on both Android and iPhone. The software is installed on models manufactured by BlackBerry, Nokia and other producers.

Researcher Trevor Eckhart revealed a shocking video that shows how Carrier IQ secretly monitors and records each and every activity that you do on your phone. Whether it is dialing numbers for calls, sending text messages, browser search or viewing the main menu – all information is sent to Carrier IQ headquarters.

There is no way to turn this off without hacking your phone. The mobile carriers denied informing the public about the presence of cell phone spyware.

Mobile phones have become essential democracy tools. The emergence of activities from Cairo to New York City to Los Angeles show us that people use their mobile phones to record images of pepper spraying cops, handcuffed journalists and roughed-up activists. We must make sure that the most significant movements of our time are not threatened by data hackers regarding our free speech or privacy.

Mobile Phone.According to Sen. Franken, consumers must be guaranteed their safety and privacy by the companies they trust with their private information. He further says that “Carrier IQ is answerable to many concerns.”

Paul Ohm, a law professor, says the company should be prosecuted for breaking federal law.

In another case, a US patent and Trademark revealed StingRay II as a mobile site simulator used for investigation purposes. The site is manufactured by Harris Corporation, of Melbourne, Fla.

Under the new Citizen Privacy Protection Act, a warrant is required before the use of StingRay, a cell phone spyware device which can extract information such as location, text messages, contact lists and data transfers. Law enforcement is answerable to the court regarding the use of technology and how they plan to tailor it so it does not harm citizens.

Ed Yohnka at the Chicago ACLU, said if police are looking for one person at a public event, they must delete the information about everyone else who was there so it does not invade their privacy.

Privacy advocates put forward a complaint that the StingRay captured data from all other cellphones in its range in addition to the intended target. The police are required to remove the other users’ data within 24 hours.

The police perspective on this technology is that it can help to instantly locate a kidnapper, for instance.

In 2012, a citizens summit in Chicago alleged CPD used StingRay technology on anti-NATO protestors. The devices such as StingRay and Tiggerfish are known as cell tower site simulators. They are equivalent to the dimensions of a suitcase that can be hidden in a police car, airplane or supported by an individual.

As soon as StingRay is activated, it mimics a cell tower by broadcasting signals to track nearby cellphones and connects the surveillance device. Once it drops the cell phone signal, the phones reconnect with an authentic cell tower.

However, phone users may notice whenever a cell tower site simulator is near. There is rapid battery drainage, difficulty while sending or receiving messages and calls, trouble connecting to the internet and at times, the phone may also shut down.

This surveillance technology was designed for military purposes and it is being used by federal investigative agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals Service.

Matt Topic, a Chicago civil rights attorney said, “Once the manufacturers sell the technology to the federal government, they will start selling to to local administrations as well.”

However, many departments are not willing to allow the use of StingRay. Legal experts have concerns that some police departments may mislead judges or remove information from warrant requests about how the technology is installed.

Awais Ahmed is a student, blogger and digital marketer who helps small entrepreneurs to improve their online presence. He has a range of interests including technology, apps and small business.