An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI)
is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program
, the police
, Chinese spammers
and spies all around Washington DC
and the world
to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in
all sizes and flavors, from tiny
professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions
, to Chinese DIY
(links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher
. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread
, with far-reaching constitutional
The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed (large PDF
) the California Court of Appeals in Riley v. California
, deciding that police cannot search the contents of a phone without a warrant during an arrest
, and that "the fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought." [more inside]
One year ago, America was gripped with controversy over the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who claimed he was shooting in self-defense under the "Stand Your Ground" statute, while many believe the shooting, subsequent police inaction, and even the court actions had racial undertones
- given Martin was black and Zimmerman Hispanic. Now, furor somewhat quieter, the trial is beginning, with startling (and occasionally hilarious) presentations and demands from each side, including cellphone photos and texts from Martin's phone
showing drugs and someone holding a gun, which the defense claims the prosecutors withheld
, a list of words
Zimmerman's attorneys want not to be used during the trial, which include any mention of racial profiling, and a (rejected) request that all 500 potential jurors be sequestered until their selection. [more inside]
: the Science Museum asks us the question "should we upgrade our mobile phone?" "No
" and "no
" say the Times and the Observer, but we still do: on average every 18 months. What's the problem? Well it isn't just the lead, arsenic, beryllium and brominated fire-retardant
cases (pollutants all) disappearing into our land fills (which are not covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive [WEEE
] in Europe). Coltan also goes into our phones. It occurs mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as such our demand for upgrades has been contributing to a war
(despite mobile phone companies' claims to the contrary, coltan is not regulated like timber). If we must upgrade, we can at least recycle or
hack our old phones
I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so
Someday, the cell phone will be the only contraption I use. (Hopefully in this century.)
Carriers Aim to Kill Number Portability
- Large cell phone carriers are trying to squash a requirement that they allow consumers to switch services and still keep their same phone number. This would allow them to continue providing low levels of customer service, coverage, and quality.
Sacrifice your mobile?
Not sure if the US of A is gripped by the text epidemic sweeping Europe, but this sounds a bit different. What messages would you send? (Clean ones please!)
9 out of 10 Brit Kids Have Cell Phones...
and 8 out of 10 have tumors the size of oranges above their right ear. Beer with school lunches
and now cell phones for kids?
What happened to tying up the phone line for hours and hours til mom turns red?
WAP is dead.
Can the Mobile Services Initiative make the wireless Web really useful?
Before you get that cell phone
check to see where the tantalum inside it comes from. You could be funding a civil war in the Congo.
The next must have tech gadget
is on its way this fall. Sure it probably weighs 50 pounds, but it's just too damn sweet not to get.