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You’re being followed. Stalkers are everywhere, even in your pocket.
That’s the warning Wednesday from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco-based civil liberties group.
In a “white paper” entitled On Locational Privacy, and How to Avoid Losing it Forever, the group warns how everyday ways of life and our gadgets are transforming us into a digitized stalking society.
“Over the next decade, systems which create and store digital records of people’s movements through public space will be woven inextricably into the fabric of everyday life. We are already starting to see such systems now, and there will be many more in the near future,” the report said.
The EFF writes that threats to “locational privacy” include:
* Monthly transit swipe-cards.
* Electronic tolling devices (FastTrak, EZpass, congestion pricing)
* Services telling you when your friends are nearby.
* Searches on your PDA for services and businesses near your current location.
* Free Wi-Fi with ads for businesses near the network access point you’re using
* Electronic swipe cards for doors.
* Parking meters you can call to add money to, and which send you a text message when your time is running out.
“In the world of today and tomorrow, this information is quietly collected by ubiquitous devices and applications, and available for analysis to many parties who can query, buy or subpoena it or pay a hacker to steal a copy of everyone’s location history,” the report said. “It is this transformation to a regime in which information about your location is collected pervasively, silently, and cheaply that we’re worried about.”
Web page searches display two levels of commercial intent: informational and transactional. This tool can detect customer intent to acquire information or to purchase products based on their search queries or recently visited URLs. Source
A year after the CALEA passed, the FBI disclosed plans to require the phone companies to build into their infrastructure the capacity to simultaneously wiretap 1 percent of all phone calls in all major U.S. cities. This would represent more than a thousandfold increase over previous levels in the number of phones that could be wiretapped. In previous years, there were only about a thousand court-ordered wiretaps in the United States per year, at the federal, state, and local levels combined. It's hard to see how the government could even employ enough judges to sign enough wiretap orders to wiretap 1 percent of all our phone calls, much less hire enough federal agents to sit and listen to all that traffic in real time. The only plausible way of processing that amount of traffic is a massive Orwellian application of automated voice recognition technology to sift through it all, searching for interesting keywords or searching for a particular speaker's voice. If the government doesn't find the target in the first 1 percent sample, the wiretaps can be shifted over to a different 1 percent until the target is found, or until everyone's phone line has been checked for subversive traffic. The FBI said they need this capacity to plan for the future. This plan sparked such outrage that it was defeated in Congress. But the mere fact that the FBI even asked for these broad powers is revealing of their agenda. My Emphasis arstechnica.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Source