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FBI Has Access to Technology to Remotely Bug Your Cell phone?

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posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 05:13 PM
Court rulings during the trial of two US Mafiosi may have revealed that the FBI`s " roving bug " technology is actually a secret method to remotely activate the microphone of a target cell phone. The " roving bug " has been ruled legal due to the extra ordinary scope of federal wiretap legislation, but the revelation that the technology can be accessed anywhere in the USA suggests that firmware changes secretly downloaded to the handset allow agents to remotely activate the microphone, listening to any conversation within range at will.
The U.S. Commerce Department's security office warns that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Despite our paranoia of an encroaching “1984esque big brother “ watching our every move. It is the possibility of criminals and hackers discovering the secrets of this technology that should be more worrying to the average person. As our mobile phone handsets become more sophisticated, storing increasingly vital and sensitive personal information, the risk that your identity could be stolen from your phone, in a single download becomes a real one.

[edit on 5-12-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 05:24 PM
Well Im going to guess they are working on ATSNN right now since yours is pending yet I can post on it right now.

Anyway, I have only had a cellphone for a few months now and already know that its pretty much like having a tracer on you at all times. They have GPS installed into the new phones I believe, or mine at least. Luckily I won't have it for long because once my sister comes back from england its going to be hers. I can say I will miss having it, but I lived 17 years without any form of cellphone, and did just fine.

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 06:32 PM
Heheheh, and my friends said I was paranoid about my cell phone. This ladies and gentlemen is why I tend to "forget" my cellphone at home, and almost never turn it on.

Although this has me pretty interested, make's me what else the FBI can do with cell phones. Could they perhaps use camera phone's to covertly take pictures from any cell phone they want? Could they potentially do the same microphone tactic with the Nintendo DS? Could microphones and webcams on your computer be secretly watching you?

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 06:48 PM

Originally posted by cyberdude78
Heheheh, and my friends said I was paranoid about my cell phone. This ladies and gentlemen is why I tend to "forget" my cellphone at home, and almost never turn it on.

Sorry, but from what I read, having it turned off is no guarantee that they can't remotely turn it on and listen to you anyway. The article I read said that they can listen even if the phone was off.

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 06:53 PM

if , as my story speculates - they are uploading a firmware hack to the handset enabling them to control the microphone - then yes activation of the camera and any other F/n would be possible , although the utility of being able to see the inside of your pocket would be rather limited

being able to steal your address book , and any files you have on memory cards etc would be far more usefull.

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 07:45 PM
That's it, I'm wrapping my cell phone in tin foil.

No... wait... that might give it better reception.

Well dang, if they can remotely turn those things on then they could potentially collect stuff on virtually anyone in the US considering the popularity of cell phones these days. Guess I'll just have to remove the battery from mine and not let guests bring phones inside my house.

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 10:26 PM
how can this be legal? doesn't it impede on our amendments?
why can't we the people put an end to these things? what has happened to our voice?

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 10:43 PM
The article states that these "roving bugs", as conducted by the FBI, have all been under legally issued warrants. I have to assume that any technology the FBI has access to is also available to various other Government agencies, ie. the CIA, the NSA, etc..

In fact, it is logical to assume that the software/hardware which makes this technology possible was developed by an agency other than the FBI, and later (how much later, one wonders) made available to the FBI. Given their much publicized involvement with unwarranted (and arguably, illegal) wiretaps, one wonders if in fact the National Security Agency might not be the source of this technology. And if the NSA has in fact been utilizing this spying/prying tool in conjunction with its on-going warrantless tapping efforts.

If such is the case, how many loyal Americans have had their innocent, yet confidential, conversations compromised without their knowledge, simply by virtue of holding them within "Big-Ear"-shot of a monitored cell-phone?

And please don't argue that no one, especially a "crimminal" or possible "terrorist" should have an expectation of privacy in a public place. Without even going into the basic legal concept of "innocent until proven guilty", this technology, like second-hand smoke, threatens the sanctity of All in its vicinity, be that space public or private; especially since the action can be initiated remotely on even a phone in the "Off" mode.

Please, PLEASE! Hackers of the world unite and make available some means to detect and delete this insidious software from our phones! Perhaps some one can market a combination flash memory and external power source for our phones so that when not in use they may rendered inert and unavailable to government snoops.

posted on Dec, 5 2006 @ 11:04 PM
If you have an old-style phone, an old-style wiretap allows the tapper to hear what's picked up by the phone's microphone, even when it's "on the hook."

It seems to me this is just duplicating that ability in cellular phones, so I'm not exactly sure what the real difference is. Perhaps a skilled Constitutional lawyer may find some points he could argue, but realistically there's not much difference.

posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 04:22 AM
I've suspected this for a long time, but it's nize to finally have it confirmed. There's a reason why drug dealers and other organized crime elements turn off their cell phones and REMOVE the batteries before they sit down to make a deal...

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 09:23 PM
This Fox News Clip with the Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith explains that the FBI can listen in on your conversation from the microphone embedded in your Mobile PHONE

...and they can do this EVEN IF YOUR PHONE IS OFF !

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 09:30 PM

Originally posted by cyberdude78
Could they perhaps use camera phone's to covertly take pictures from any cell phone they want?

Well, they'd be taking pictures of the inside of my purse or pocket.

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 09:33 PM
Wouldn't it be fun to reverse this technology and use it to spy on what our government is really doing? There's a few conversations I really want to be listening in on.

posted on Dec, 8 2006 @ 06:38 AM
Has anybody seen the movie The Departed?

There's a scene when they are getting ready to bust the main bad-guy, they've set up video surveilance and have a "war room" ready. The chief of the police says something like: "All cell phones in the area are under surveilance courtesy of our friends at the FBI. Patriot Act, I love it, I love it, I love it!!"

Granted it's just a movie, but I'm guessing that's not too far from reality these days.

posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 11:46 AM

Originally posted by Bhadhidar
The article states that these "roving bugs", as conducted by the FBI, have all been under legally issued warrants.

Judging by this, I would have to assume the recipient of "roving bug" would have given the authorities just cause to obtain that warrant in the first place. I.e., some form of criminal activity of which is a federal offense.

And of course, the media gets a whiff, and hypes it up.

I'm not saying the possibility of abuse does'nt exist, but I would like to have a little more evidence that it can be used on the general public without just cause, for me to get all hot and bothered about it.

If I am missing any key points, do tell.

[edit on 12/11/2006 by Mechanic 32]

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