21

It's clear that from a legal point of view, the are obliged to do so. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) wiretapping law was passed in 1994. requiring that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have ...


18

It is technically possible to set up this type of surveillance without raising alarms, and it has been reported by credible sources to have been used by both the FBI and foreign governments to surveil cell phones, as is discussed in this related question. There are well known techniques for surreptitiously "rooting" or "jailbreaking" a phone, which is ...


16

Ars Technica reported on the change in infrastructure on May 1st 2012. Microsoft has drastically overhauled the network running its Skype voice-over-IP service, replacing peer-to-peer client machines with thousands of Linux boxes that have been hardened against the most common types of hack attacks, a security researcher said. The change, which ...


13

The presidential alerts are part of a bigger system that also includes AMBER alerts and alerts for bad weather and "other threatening emergencies". These alerts are called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). FEMA explains how it works: Does WEA know where I am? Is it tracking me? No. Just like emergency weather alerts you see on local TV, WEAs are ...


10

I genuinely thought this was unanswerable, because of the weirdness of linking surveillance culture to Ritalin, until I read the attempted answer by Daniel Hicks, where he has trouble finding any information about overprescription of Ritalin in the 1970s. I was convinced that such information is somewhere buried on the Internet, so here's what I found: A ...


10

Edward Snowden seems to think so: "Mr Snowden said [UK intelligence agency] GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking pictures and listening in." And via the UK's Express "Nosey Smurf is the 'hot mic' tool, so for example if it's in your pocket they can turn the microphone on and ...


9

No, conclusively they do not work. There have been many studies done on them and there are several companies that do exactly this kind of debunking. Every major photo enforcement company knows exactly what people will try in order to evade detection and are very adept at either countermeasures or legislation that will prevent you from doing it. Testing ...


6

This isn't a complete answer to your questions, but I'd like to point out that the government doesn't need access to the E911 chip to locate you. Traditionally mobile phone networks were switched networks. They work by locating where you are in the world, and routing your telecoms through a microcell / macrocell transmitter. It's been some time since i ...


6

Comey testified that the FBI was investigating Flynn, Manafort, Page, and Papadopoulos, however the FBI application for a FISA wiretap was turned down and they were told to narrow the focus. A later attempt was granted. Page is the only American to have had his communications directly targeted with a FISA warrant in 2016 as part of the Russia probe, ...


5

The Atlantic article in the question provides references to support its claims: And a group of researchers led by a Berkeley Ph.D. student presented technology at a 2014 conference that could “hear” what people were saying by analyzing the distortions and reflections in Wi-Fi signals created by their moving mouths. The system could determine which words ...


5

Is it possible possible that the NSA possesses portable radar systems that can put out 1 kW? Sure it is. There are mobile units able to output far more than just 1 kW. MIT developed a portable 250 kW radar system back during WWII. The TPQ-36 can output +20 kW and its larger cousin can go well over 100 kW. Define "portable". There are many possible setups ...


4

Yes. And not just by the police. There are existing demonstrated attacks which allow a malicious 3rd party to do so. http://www.computerworld.com/article/2472441/cybercrime-hacking/mobile-rat-attack-makes-android-the-ultimate-spy-tool.html At the RSA conference, there was a particularly scary session called Hacking Exposed: Mobile RAT Edition. ...


2

Browsing the article it's unclear, but I get a hint that, at one point, Ritalin was being "prescribed" by school districts in New Mexico, and this is the practice that was ended. And the ACLU involvement was rather incidental. But, as I said, it’s unclear — I could not find a reference that spells it out very well. However, the Wikipedia article on Ritalin ...


1

As far as I know there has only been one successful "plot" foiled, involving a San Diego cab driver who gave $8,500 to an al-Qaeda affiliate(archive.org version). Note that the source may have some bias even though it claims to be nonpartisan.


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