Saturday, June 22, 2013

Taking your cell phone to the range?

Government could use metadata to map your every move.
Metadata with GPS locations, for example, can trace a teenage girl to an abortion clinic or a patient to a psychiatrist’s office, said Karen Reilly, the development director for The Tor Project, a U.S.-based nonprofit that produces technology to provide online anonymity and circumvent censorship.
Metadata can even identify a likely gun owner, she said.
“Never mind background checks, if you bring your cellphone to the gun range you probably have a gun,” Reilly said.
“People don’t realize all the information that they’re giving out,” she said. “You can try to secure it – you can use some tech tools, you can try to be a black hole online – but if you try to live your life the way people are expecting it, it’s really difficult to control the amount of data that you’re leaking all over the place.”
A former senior official of the National Security Agency said the government’s massive collection of metadata allowed the agency to construct “maps” of an individual’s daily movements, social connections, travel habits and other personal information.
“This is blanket. There is no constraint. No probable cause. No reasonable suspicion,” said Thomas Drake, who worked unsuccessfully for years to report privacy violations and massive waste at the agency to his superiors and Congress.
Metadata “is more useful than (the) content” of a telephone call, email or Internet search, Drake said in an interview. “It gets you a map over time. I get to map movements, connections, communities of interest. It’s also a tracking mechanism.”


Mr. White, Reservoir Dog Groomer said...

Wonder if lining a small box with aluminum foil would work like a Farady cage? If so, you could just drop the phone in when you were going to the range or to visit your Grandpa, the one with the long white beard who leans his chair against the wall... or meetings of the Canine Town Rangers...

SWIFT said...

"...if you bring your cell phone to a gun range, you probably have a gun". Yep, and a reputation for willingness to use it.

Scott J said...

Yep, and post pics and vids to Facebook too.

I want them to know I actually practice and not just hoard. I want them to know I'm capable of 1 MOA or better at 500 yards.

bubba said...

The people who are collecting data are getting more than they really want to know. Take for instance the data about all the new firearms, magazines, ammunition, etc. which they have noticed being bought in the last almost five years, that is some data they don’t like. There is a quality to quantity and it has a chastening effect on would be tyrants and their lackeys. They know full well that there are plenty of experienced patriots out there who will never submit to the outrageous demands of these would be rulers.

Every violation is going to have a consequence and they understand that they’re not going to be in control of those consequences either.

William Flatt said...

If anyone's worried about being tracked to certain destinations because of cellphone metadata, or for that matter being eavesdropped when you're NOT talking on the phone, TAKE THE BATTERY OUT. It's the one sure way to protect your privacy!!

Allen said...


tin foil or aluminum foil won't work as a faraday cage to block cell phone and GPS signals.

I've heard of people using copper window screen to make small faraday cages

you do probably need to solder connections between the components of the box and ground it to your car chassis to work properly.

Dakota said...

Well I for one don't give a shit if the enemies of the Constitution know if I go to the range and own a gun. I think that ship sailed a long time ago.

I refuse to live in fear, although there is plenty to worry about. I would suggest that removing your battery from your cell phones or dropping them into a metal container with a lid or both when talking about anything sensitive however.

Anonymous said...

I was at home with my land line and a buddy needed to borrow my phone. Or it was lost. Or it was stolen. Prove it was me at the range.

Roger J said...

All these mounds of data are essentially useless until a person or group of persons is specifically targeted for further scrutiny. There are 40 - 100 million gun owners in the US. That's many "tons" of metadata and I doubt seriously even the government computing clusters are capable of a full analysis of that many subjects in a reasonable time frame. Then again, I'm a scientist, not an IT guy, so maybe one of the readers with IT expertise could comment further.

(Many phones allow you to turn off the built-in GPS locator, but you'll still be pinging off nearby cell towers unless you turn the phone off/remove battery too.)

Molon labe, as it says in Greek on the bumper sticker on my car - the college kids think it's some weird fraternity except for those in the know. ;-)

Anonymous said...

With an I phone, putting it in Airplane Mode shuts off all of the transmitters.

Paul X said...

They already know who essentially all the gun owners are (NICS and 4473's). What matters is not what they know about that, but whether or not you turn the guns over when they come knocking. Refuse to be disarmed, folks. Your choice, not theirs.

An article I wrote:

William Flatt said...

Roger J;

Four words for you. "Deep Blue" and "Main Core". If you're a Threeper, they will be paying closer attention to your comings and goings. If you're a mover and shaker among patriots & 3%ers in particular then you will most definitely be watched regularly.

I am of the belief that if they wanna spy on me, I will do everything I can to waste their time LOL 3:-)

But they can and do track millions of Americans. My intel says they can track up to 10% of the population with the hardware capability they just recently added. So we should all poke big brother in the eye and waste their time. Often.