by Susanne Posel
October 2, 2014

from OccupyCorporatism Website






Recently, adding to the drama concerning maintaining privacy while using smart-phones, James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) commented to the press that he is "very concerned" about tech corporations such as Apple and Google who are "beefing up" security on their latest mobile products.


Comely said:

"I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is beyond the law. What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."

The FBI director claims that regardless of right to privacy, beyond when law enforcement obtains a warrant,

"there needs to be a loophole that allows for government access in extreme cases."

Apparently, the new security also has law enforcement "scrambling" because they are allegedly unable to snoop on their targets via smart-phones.


Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the Global Alliance Conference Against Child Sexual Abuse Online (GAC), voicing "concern" that,

"encryption technology rolling out on iOS 8 and Android L - which is meant to protect users’ personal information - could also provide a safe haven for criminals since firms like Google and Apple will have a limited ability to turn over data stored on devices to law enforcement officials."

Holder remarked:

"…we would hope that technology companies would be willing to work with us to ensure that law enforcement retains the ability, with court authorization, to lawfully obtain information in the course of an investigation, such as catching kidnappers and sexual predators.


When a child is in danger, law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step to quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children. It is worrisome to see companies thwarting our ability to do so."

The focus away from metadata toward encryption devices is a clever marketing tactic that creates a false sense of security in the general public as they continue to purchase products that do not guarantee their private data is protected from prying eyes.


Earlier this year, a study from Stanford University (SU) Law School Center for Internet and Society (LSCIS) showed exactly why metadata is an important topic when it comes to surveillance and the National Security Agency (NSA).


Findings of the study showed that metadata is sensitive information that can be analyzed to reveal intimate and personal details about the person being spied on.


Jonathan Mayer, co-author of the study explained:

"We did not anticipate finding much evidence one way or the other. We were wrong. We found that phone metadata is unambiguously sensitive, even in a small population and over a short time window.


We were able to infer medical conditions, firearm ownership, and more, using solely phone metadata."

During the project initiated by Stanford Security Lab (SSL), requested that the 500 volunteers install the ‘MetaPhone’ app to their mobile devices.


The participants, who used Facebook to install the app, allowed researchers to siphon information from their smart-phone at will, including:

  • Monitor phone calls

  • Record text messages

  • Geo-location

  • Duration of call

Last year it was reported that the NSA used a secret court order to syphon telephone records from millions of Verizon US customers.


Telephony metadata, which Verizon is ordered to give to the NSA, is defined as,

"comprehensive communications routing information... session identifying information, trunk identifier, telephone calling card numbers and time and duration of call."

That innocuous metadata that the NSA has been collecting includes trunk identifiers which are used to gather the metadata.


In fact, when hacking into a call, a trunk identifier can be used to not only gather information about the call, but to listen in on the conversation from both the caller and receiver.


Trunking is the way that the police can change their signal when on the radio every few seconds so that it cannot be siphoned by hackers. It is used by cell phone towers to encrypt the signal for a secure line.


Trunking follows the sender and receiver when they change channels so that GPS-like surveillance is conducted.


This allows the surveillance apparatus to have a continue stream regardless of when the channel changes every few seconds, which in turn allow those listening in to have a steady signal without breaks.


Effectively, they can listen to the entire conversation and follow the signal as it changes.