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AZ Progressive

(3,411 posts)
Thu Jun 13, 2013, 02:53 AM Jun 2013

The FBI can secretly turn on your cellphone mic to eavesdrop on you [View all]

You think the NSA recording all your emails and messages is bad? How about recording all your in-person conversations without you even knowing it? Say you are in a "subversive" organization like an antiwar group or women's rights group (as the FBI defined such groups during the days of Cointelpro) and the FBI or NSA records what you are saying to other people in person. Your phone could be used against you. This has been used by the FBI but one must conclude that the NSA could be using it as well. An article from 2006:


"The technique is called a "roving bug," and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.

Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia."


Kaplan's opinion said that the eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off." Some handsets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.
While the Genovese crime family prosecution appears to be the first time a remote-eavesdropping mechanism has been used in a criminal case, the technique has been discussed in security circles for years.

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."

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FBI usage would just be a start. Out of jealousy, local cops will ultimately want to do this as well AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2013 #1
I know a cop who used this method to catch his wife cheating (n/t) dorkzilla Jun 2013 #9
Hackers (Not Government) can turn your laptop into a spycam JaneQPublic Jun 2013 #2
A school loaned out computers and turned on the cameras and microphones to see what the students MADem Jun 2013 #3
I remember that.....don't talk in your cars either...OnStar ElsewheresDaughter Jun 2013 #10
Why does this keep coming up? defacto7 Jun 2013 #4
this is not about downloading, but your providers ability to do "silent" updates Monkie Jun 2013 #19
Understood... I wasn't discussing download vulnerabilities. defacto7 Jun 2013 #34
Seems they would have to treat Control-Z Jun 2013 #5
no your phone doesn't have to be "set up" ElsewheresDaughter Jun 2013 #8
How do you connect to it without setting it up? East Coast Pirate Jun 2013 #16
your provider, or a government, can "push" "silent" updates to your phone Monkie Jun 2013 #18
Would that take a warrent or is "probable cause" now good enough? East Coast Pirate Jun 2013 #23
this is beyond wire tapping this is bugging ThomThom Jun 2013 #15
Would that be bad Control-Z Jun 2013 #35
just a fact ThomThom Jun 2013 #36
"roving bugging" ElsewheresDaughter Jun 2013 #37
Just think what they'd get if they turned on Mith NcConnels phone ashling Jun 2013 #6
I read about this in Wired years ago...remove your battery to prevent eavesdroppinhg ElsewheresDaughter Jun 2013 #7
On an Iphone? quakerboy Jun 2013 #11
They sell RF shielded cell phone pouches PuffedMica Jun 2013 #13
All the more reason not to get one. hobbit709 Jun 2013 #20
Also prevents usefulness. GeorgeGist Jun 2013 #14
Given that the cellphone is in the room with you quaker bill Jun 2013 #12
And you live alone and don't talk to yourself. DCKit Jun 2013 #32
Glad we live in a country where that requires a warrant, aren't you? (nt) Recursion Jun 2013 #17
Do they charge you for roaming? Orrex Jun 2013 #21
No, kentauros Jun 2013 #29
Well played! Orrex Jun 2013 #31
Smoke 'em if you got 'em... kentuck Jun 2013 #22
i'd kinda like it if some government dick listened to me sing nonsense songs about testicles datasuspect Jun 2013 #24
We pay them good. kentuck Jun 2013 #25
Lmao!! darkangel218 Jun 2013 #26
Which is why real criminals use temprary cell-phones..... cbdo2007 Jun 2013 #27
The answer to this problem is obvious: kentauros Jun 2013 #28
now that made me laugh..ty ElsewheresDaughter Jun 2013 #38
YOu're welcome :) kentauros Jun 2013 #40
Fat lot of good it would do them with me dipsydoodle Jun 2013 #30
The tecnology that dotymed Jun 2013 #33
and THAT can hardly be a secret in China where all the phones are made KurtNYC Jun 2013 #39
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