[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]
Big Brother’s little brothers are listening in on your calls, tapping your data
When the government and ruling elites fashion a Creepy-State, it inevitably spawns a surveillance arms race. If your private data is valuable to the Feds, it is valuable to others….and if the Feds are violating the Constitution they aren’t too likely to energetically enforce the law against imitators.
Seventeen fake cellphone towers were discovered across the U.S. last week, according to a report in Popular Science.
Rather than offering you cellphone service, the towers appear to be connecting to nearby phones, bypassing their encryption, and either tapping calls or reading texts.
Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, used ESD’s CryptoPhone 500 to detect 17 bogus cellphone towers. ESD is a leading American defense and law enforcement technology provider based in Las Vegas.
With most phones, these fake communication towers are undetectable. But not for the CryptoPhone 500, a customized Android device that is disguised as a Samsung Galaxy S III but has highly advanced encryption.
Goldsmith told Popular Science: ” Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”
The towers were found in July, but the report implied that there may have been more out there.
Although it is unclear who owns the towers, ESD found that several of them were located near U.S. military bases.
“Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that’s listening to calls around military bases? Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it? The point is: we don’t really know whose they are,” Goldsmith said to Popular Science.
It’s probably not the NSA — that agency can tap all it wants without the need for bogus towers, VentureBeat reported:
Not the NSA, cloud security firm SilverSky CTO/SVP Andrew Jaquith told us. “The NSA doesn’t need a fake tower,” he said. “They can just go to the carrier” to tap your line.
Indeed. Subterfuge is required only by those who cannot slap you with a national security letter.
My first comment is that the journalists did not engage in any serious kind of investigation here.
Every one of these towers, unless it was thrown up in the dead of night (unlikely), went through the usual local zoning or planning approval process, which means that there is a paper trail involving land sales, applications, permits and hearings before a local municipal or county board. I know. I sat on one of these commissions for a number of years and jack does not get built in most of the United States until they approve and (usually hefty) fees are paid. These towers aren’t some fat trucker’s CB antennae or ham radio set-up next to a double-wide. A construction crew and heavy equipment were required
My second comment is that since these devices are engaged in ongoing, infinite count, felony eavesdropping, wiretapping, hacking etc. violations, the chances are excellent that corruption of local officials was in play to get these fake towers approved. At least in some of the cases and it is likely that the local officials had some idea of what the tower builders were up to ( or at least their professional engineering staff did). All these towers and no one said “no” or asked tough questions. Think of the odds. You can’t get rubber-stamp approval to build a dog house in most jurisdictions.
My third comment is to wonder who would show up if motivated citizens decided to disable the towers – either by vigilantee action or pressuring public officials to remove these illegal towers.
My fourth comment is that when our public officials are co-conspirators with criminals against the people and their Constitution, the Republic as we knew it is fading away.
If we continue down this road we will await only the coming of a Sulla.