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Cell Phones Used to Spy on Public

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posted on Oct, 14 2002 @ 06:00 PM

Secret radar technology research that will allow the biggest-ever extension of 'Big Brother'-style surveillance in the UK is being funded by the Government.
The radical new system, which has outraged civil liberties groups, uses mobile phone masts to allow security authorities to watch vehicles and individuals 'in real time' almost anywhere in Britain.

The technology 'sees' the shapes made when radio waves emitted by mobile phone masts meet an obstruction. Signals bounced back by immobile objects, such as walls or trees, are filtered out by the receiver. This allows anything moving, such as cars or people, to be tracked. Previously, radar needed massive fixed equipment to work and transmissions from mobile phone masts were thought too weak to be useful.

The system works wherever a mobile phone can pick up a signal. By using receivers attached to mobile phone masts, users of the new technology could focus in on areas hundreds of miles away and bring up a display showing any moving vehicles and people.

An individual with one type of receiver, a portable unit little bigger than a laptop computer, could even use it as a 'personal radar' covering the area around the user. Researchers are working to give the new equipment 'X-ray vision' - the capability to 'see' through walls and look into people's homes.

Ministry of Defence officials are hoping to introduce the system as soon as resources allow. Police and security services are known to be interested in a variety of possible surveillance applications. The researchers themselves say the system, known as Celldar, is aimed at anti-terrorism defence, security and road traffic management.

However civil liberties groups have been swift to condemn the plan.

'It's an appalling idea,' said Simon Davies, director of Privacy International. 'The Government is just capitalising on current public fears over security to intoduce new systems that are neither desirable nor necessary.'

The system, used alongside technology which allows individuals to be identified by their mobile phone handsets, will mewan that individuals can be located and their movements watched on a screen from hundreds of miles away.

Prototypes have been effective over 50 to 100 metres but the developers are confident that range can be extended.

After a series of meetings with Roke Manor, a private research company in Romsey, Hants, MoD officials have started funding the multi-million pound project. Reports of the meetings are 'classified'.

Whitehall officials involved in radar confirmed that the MoD was 'very interested' last week. 'It's all about resources now,' said one.

Private security specialists have also welcomed the new technology.

'It will be enormously useful,' the director of one private security firm said. 'Instead of setting up expensive and cumbersome surveillance equipment, police or the security services could start work quickly and easily almost anywhere.

'For tracking a suspect, preventing a potential crime or a terrorist strike or simply locating people [the system] has enormous advantages.'

It is likely that the technology would be used at first to protect sensitive installations such as ports and airfields.

The perimeter of a nuclear power station or an RAF base could be watched without having a bank of CCTV screens and dozens of expensive cameras.

If the radar picked up movement then a single camera could be focused on a specific area.

Celldar could also monitor roads when poor visibility due to bad weather rendered cameras useless.

'The equipment could pick up traffic flows towards an accident site and the details of a crash; who is where and so on,' said Peter Lloyd of Roke Manor.

Lloyd also outlined a number of military applications for the technology. Individual armoured vehicles or even soldiers could carry the detectors which could tell them where enemy troops were.

Security specialists point out how useful personal radars would be in siege situations. However there are significant concerns that the technology might be abused by authorities or fall into the wrong hands.

'Like all instrusive surveillance, we need to be sure that it is properly regulated, preferably by the judiciary,' said Roger Bingham of Liberty.

Bingham expressed concerns that the new equipment, which would be virtually undetectable, could be used by private detectives or others for personal or commercial gain.

Modern technology has brought massive opportunities for wider surveillance. Since the 11 September terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, the government has been pushing through a package of anti-terrorism legislation which targets electronic communications.

Senior police officers are now allowed to access mobile telephone and email records without judicial or executive assent. Within two years, all mobile phones are expected to have satellite-locating devices built into them.

posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 01:49 AM
How come this doesn't surprise me.

posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 04:54 AM
Its a pretty amazing developent. On the one hand, the technology overcome is very significant and on the other, its the most intrusive technology into peoples privacy ever committed. This blows the security cameras on the street corners out of the water! To think, if you own a cell phone, and are within cellphone signal distance, "law enforcement" can track your every move no matter where you are.

And they are developing the technology to look through walls! No #, I used to joke about this, but you better think about wall papering your house with aluminim foil if you want privacy in your home!

posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 11:14 AM
Lead works better but it's more expensive...

Maybe I'll start stocking up on it now so that I'll be ready by the time the US government starts doing that.

After all, they already have tracking devices in celluar phones now...It's there so that the telephone network can calculate which comm satellite is in the best orbital position to transfer a phone call.

Now they want to be able to see through walls to keep track of us? That's taking "invasion of privacy" too far.

posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 11:34 AM
I knew that a long time ago.
Recently i heard something new about security cameras. If your on the run they can program your mug into the survelance system and the next time you pass a camera it automaticly recognises your facial patterns and reports you immidiately to the centre.

posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 11:40 AM
My twin brother would be glad to hear that...

...If I had a twin brother to begin with.

What a minute! My brother was an only child!

posted on Oct, 15 2002 @ 03:54 PM
thats whre the #G telephones comes into place Europe already has it. I used to really want it to come here asap but now that ive been reading the 3g phone can wiat for ever if it was up to me.

posted on Aug, 27 2004 @ 03:10 PM
I know this kid, Jeff Dumas, who unfortunately had trouble staying out of trouble... with the law. I don't think the extent of his crimes ever reached beyond drug charges, but get this:

The authorities brought him in based on information they'd gathered by tapping his cell phone. Not just by listening to conversations... by listening to him via his cell phone, which was sitting idly in his pocket.

Big brother is watching.


posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 04:06 AM
I heard about this system, but it only meant to support the emergency situations, so if anyone calls the hotline, they can be found quick and easy, right away.

I am not sure, if it will be used for illegal operations...

posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:29 AM
Cellphones can be traced because of the way the cellphone network functions. If a cellphone is in range of 2 or more antennas, the network knows what is the closest antenna so that the communication is the best possible. Allways has been that way, only people did not knew that they could be tracked that way.
Vodafone and others use this method to show in the phone information about the stores, pharmacies, cinemas, etc. that are around you.

posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:37 AM
So much for technology not only I see this as an invasion of privacy but just plain sick and low, we don't need peeping tom on looking into our homes.

I guess I will stick with calling cards to make phone calls to home.

posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 12:36 PM
There are phones which cannit be tracked down, but a little bit expensive. Very good for criminals and terrorists... and top officials.

posted on Sep, 8 2004 @ 09:54 AM
Its already here, in the UK, if you send a SMS to 300 (orange) with the word "bank", "ATM" or "PUB", it fixes your position using GPS and send back a list of the nearest banks, ATMs or Pubs to your location.

If they can do it for that, what stops them doing it anyway when they feel like it.

posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 07:26 AM
i dont use cell phones anyway. those things emit negative particles that shoot through your brain. not good.

posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 10:03 AM
I have a cell phone and I love it. I'm not much of a phone talker, in the sense that many people are. I do like to be able to make a call no matter where I am. Verizon has great coverage. I like that the people I care to hear from can call me when they want. I like sending text messages to my cuddly ones. I keep my GPS turned on so that if I'm involved in a mishap someone can find me.

I have full knowledge that my cell phone is a radio. I know that it's signal is out there to be intercepted by anyone who can put together the technology to intercept it. My cordless phone works with much the same technology.

There is one thing that I will always remember. If I ever want not to be followed, I will turn off the GPS and remove the battery from the phone. If my privacy becomes of the utmost importance, I will cancel my cell phone service and use land lines only. If people are sufficiently concerned about their privacy, I think a mass cancellation of service would get the attention of "Corporate America" and the Government.

posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 11:17 AM
If it catches the "bad guys", I'm all for it. I have no problem with "big brother" listening to my cellphone conversations because I'm not doing anything illegal (well other than burning a few mp3s now and then). If I don't want to be tracked or listened to, I just turn my cell off. Not a big deal. Besides, when I'm talking internationally with a business friend I/we always throw in some bonus codewords just for kicks. "The ducks ...are on the road. Shoot the moon, shoot the moon!"

posted on Sep, 14 2004 @ 09:46 AM
As far as I understand, simply turning the phone off does not stop it being tracked from base station to base station due to residual signals being sent fron the handset.

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