By Derrick Broze
Even if you disable GPS, deactivate phone location tracking, and turn off your phone, it’s still possible for Google and the NSA to monitor your every move.
Over the last two decades, cell phone use has become an everyday part of life for the vast majority of people around the planet. Nearly without question, consumers have chosen to carry these increasingly smart devices with them everywhere they go. Despite surveillance revelations from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, the average smart phone user continues to carry the devices with little to no security or protection from privacy invasions.
Americans make up one of the largest smartphone markets in the world today, yet they rarely question how intelligence agencies or private corporations might be using their smartphone data. A recent report from the New York Times adds to the growing list of reasons why Americans should be asking these questions. According to the Times, law enforcement have been using a secret technique to figure out the location of Android users. The technique involves gathering detailed location data collected by Google from Android phones, iPhones, and iPads that have Google Maps and other Google apps installed.
The location data is stored inside a Google database known as Sensorvault, which contains detailed location records of hundreds of millions of devices from around the world. The records reportedly contain location data going back to 2009. The data is collected whether or not users are making calls or using apps.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says police are using a single warrant—sometimes known as a “geo-fence” warrant—to access location data from devices that are linked to individuals who have no connection to criminal activity and have not provided any reasonable suspicion of a crime. Jennifer Lynch, EFF’s Surveillance Litigation Director, says these searches are problematic for several reasons.
“First, unlike other methods of investigation used by the police, the police don’t start with an actual suspect or even a target device—they work backward from a location and time to identify a suspect,” Lynch wrote. “This makes it a fishing expedition—the very kind of search that the Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent. Searches like these—where the only information the police have is that a crime has occurred—are much more likely to implicate innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Every device owner in the area during the time at issue becomes a suspect—for no other reason than that they own a device that shares location information with Google.”
The problems associated with Sensorvault have also concerned a bipartisan group of lawmakers who recently sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The letter from Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee gives Google until May 10 to provide information on how this data is used and shared. The letter was signed by Democratic Representatives Frank Pallone and Jan Schakowsky and Republicans Greg Walden and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
Google has responded to the report from the Times by stating that users opt in to collection of the location data stored in Sensorvault. A Google representative also told the lawmakers that users “can delete their location history data, or turn off the product entirely, at any time.” Unfortunately, this explanation falls flat when one considers that Android devices log location data by default and that it is notoriously difficult to opt out of data collection.
No matter what promises Google makes, readers should remember that back in 2010, the Washington Post published a story focusing on the growth of surveillance by the National Security Agency. That report detailed an NSA technique that “enabled the agency to find cellphones even when they were turned off.” The technique was reportedly first used in Iraq in pursuit of terrorist targets. Additionally, it was reported in 2016 that a technique known as a “roving bug” allowed FBI agents to eavesdrop on conversations that took place near cellphones.
These tools are now undoubtedly being used on Americans. The reality is that these tools—and many, many others that have been revealed—are being used to spy on innocent Americans, not only violent criminals or suspects. The only way to push back against this invasive surveillance is to stop supporting the companies responsible for the techniques and data sharing. Those who value privacy should invest time in learning how to protect data and digital devices. Privacy is quickly becoming a relic of a past era and the only way to stop it is to raise awareness, opt-out of corporations that don’t respect privacy, and protect your data.
This article was originally published by “The Mind Unleashed“
Burkina Faso: Christians killed in attack on church: Gunmen have opened fire on a church in northern Burkina Faso, killing at least six people, officials say.
US Attacks Islamic State in Northern Somalia: US Africa Command reported that the April 26 airstrike targeted the Islamic State fighters as they “staged in a remote location in Northern Somalia.
Mozambique flooding ‘worse than thought’: UN agency: Around 700,000 people are now thought to be at risk in the area as torrential rains continue.
Sri Lanka Bans All Face Coverings: This country-wide prohibition will prevent women from wearing the niqab, which covers all but the eyes, and the burqa, which covers all except a veil across the eye-opening.
Putin and Kim Announce the US Is Irrelevant: The U.S. is welcome at the negotiating table but they are not necessary to resolving the situation. Russia, however, is.
U.S. envoy signed North Korea document to pay for Warmbier’s care – Bolton: The United States signed a document agreeing to pay North Korea for the care of American Otto Warmbier but never paid the $2 million Pyongyang demanded,
France foiled terrorist act, suspects held in custody; The police source said the four suspects had been arrested on suspicion of acquiring weapons “with a view to committing a terrorist act.”
Spain says a US Marine raided a North Korean embassy: They stole documents, computers, and maybe more, making off with the material. The men then handed the material over to the FBI.
Russia launched the world’s longest submarine, which is set to become the country’s first operational launch platform for the Poseidon nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed long-range torpedo.
Putin breaks silence on Russian spy Maria Butina after jailing in US; Vladimir Putin has called the 18-month prison sentence handed to Russian foreign agent Maria Butina by US authorities “an outrage”.
Huawei tech would risk UK-US intelligence ties, official says: A US official has threatened that the UK and any other western countries that adopt Huawei technology for 5G mobile phone networks risk affecting intelligence cooperation with the United States.
Secret UK military lab killed some 50k animals in 7 years: Report: The experiments saw researchers blow up pigs, infect monkeys with biological weapons and poison guinea pigs with nerve gas.
New technologies drive military spending: SIPRI: Global military spending reached $1.822 trillion (€1.632 trillion) in 2018, according to an annual report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday
Maduro Says Venezuela Now Free of ‘US Ministry of Colonies’: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described the country’s withdrawal from the Organization of the American States (OAS) as a liberation from the “US ministry of colonies.”
Lula da Silva: “I Will not Exchange my Dignity for my Freedom”: The Brazilian president said in an interview from prison that the country is governed by “a bunch of crazy people”
Íntegra sem cortes da entrevista com Lula: Confira a íntegra da entrevista do ex-presidente Lula.
Migrants Face Greater Dangers Amid Tougher Mexican Policies: Under pressure to do more to curb the mass movement of migrants through its territory, Mexico has tightened a previously open-doors policy.
Trump Regime Used a Private Intelligence Firm to Monitor Family Separation Protests: A Virginia-based firm, gathered information on more than 600 demonstrations across the country, information that was then shared with DHS and state-level law enforcement agencies.
Our Enemies Are the Same People: San Diego Synagogue Shooter Inspired by New Zealand Anti-Muslim Massacre
Synagogue Shooting Suspect Was a Nursing Student From Religious Family With a Racist Secret: Earnest also claimed responsibility for an attempted arson attack last month on Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in Escondido, about nine miles from Poway
US Navy SEAL Facing War Crimes Charges for Killings in Iraq; Stabbing a teenage prisoner to death, picking off a young girl and an old man with a sniper rifle
The Mueller Report Indicts the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory: It presents no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with an alleged effort by the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton, and instead renders this conclusion:
Trump wins over big donors who snubbed him in 2016: The president’s 2020 campaign is launching an ambitious fundraising network aimed at supporters of his past GOP rivals.
Most Americans say they will not vote for Trump in 2020: Poll: Trump’s disapproval rating among US adults is at 54 percent, while only 39 percent approve of his work
Watch: Trump talks Mueller report fallout in ‘Hannity’ exclusive : President Donald Trump joins ‘Hannity’ in an exclusive interview to discuss to outcome of the Mueller report and the role the FISA abuse scandal played
Joe Biden Has Comcast-Owned MSNBC in the Tank: , Biden hit the suburbs of Philadelphia to attend a $2,800 per person fundraiser at the home of David L. Cohen, the executive vice president and chief of lobbying for Comcast.
SHARE THIS POST