Sunday, November 30, 2008

FEDs can lojack mobiles without telco help

| w0lf |
An article states that government can determine location of mobile phones without the help of Telco. They can do this by cell-site simulators or digital analyzers called Trigger-Fish. Well nothing new about this technology. It had been well known from Mitnick's time when Tsutomu Shimomura used to track him.

But recently there had been many issues as
ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation have received several batches of Justice Department documents in response to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (and subsequent lawsuit) for records relating to the government’s use of cell phones as tracking devices. This has raised an alert lately as they will do this without court permissions.

Triggerfish is supposedly to be sold only to law enforcements and was agreed to be used only with proper court permission. But recent buzz seems that the later is not required. So the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit in July 2008 urging a federal court to order the Department of Justice (DOJ) to turn over records related to the government's use of people's cell phones as tracking devices.

As one of the documents intended to provide guidance for DOJ employees explains, triggerfish can be deployed "without the user knowing about it, and without involving the cell phone provider." That may be significant because the legal rulings requiring law enforcement to meet a high "probable cause" standard before acquiring cell location records have, thus far, pertained to requests for information from providers, pursuant to statutes such as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the Stored Communications Act.

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