U.S. Using Fake Cell Towers On Planes To Gather Cell Phone Data

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Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program http://online.wsj.com/articles/americans-cellphones-targeted-in-secret-u-s-spy-program-1415917533
U.S. Using Fake Cell Phone Towers On Planes To Gather Data http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/cell-phone-data_n_6155532.html
US spies on mobile phones from the sky http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-us-spies-on-mobile-phones-from-the-sky-2014-11
US government planes collecting phone data http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30054137
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David Howard:

So the government is monitoring the communications of persons who are suspected of terrorist or criminal activity, and for whom warrants have been issued by FISA or criminal courts. This is what I pay my taxes for. What's the problem? The *real* problem, not the problem as hyped by the media.
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:54:21 -0500, Davoud wrote:

Did you read the FBI letter to MLK, purportedly from a black compatriot, but, in actuality from the FBI themselves, telling MLK that they had the goods on him (with respect to extra marital affairs), and therefore giving him exactly 34 days to commit suicide?
That's real stuff. Not made up. It's 100% abuse of surveillance power!
http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/mlk-uncovered-letter.png
What makes you think they won't do the same abuses with today's airplane based cellphone towers?
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Per David Howard:

How was it determined that the letter came from the FBI and not some nut case?
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:43:16 -0500, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Every single paper in the United States reported the FBI redacted version in January of this year.
The only thing new this week is that a researcher found the *original* unredacted letter, which the NY Times published.
You really think all these newspapers are making it up?
Here's just one, but google it if you don't believe me. FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/11/fbis-suicide-letter-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-dangers-unchecked-surveillance
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:14:32 +0000 (UTC), David Howard

You must be kidding.

There's no doubt about unchecked surveillance, but is the letter from the FBI?
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:18:09 -0600, BobbyK wrote:

You're a crackpot. Or an ostrich.
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 21:23:24 +0000 (UTC), David Howard

Nope, you're a sheep and obviously buy anything at face value. In reality I believe that Sullivan probably did write the anonymous (look up the word) letter, but I have seen no absolute proof, certainly none in the articles you offered.
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:40:09 -0600, BobbyK wrote:

Well, you've explained yourself well, so I apologize for my attitude.
What you're saying is that everyone says Sullivan did it, but, there's nothing explicit that says he did do it.
What you're further saying, is that the FBI did authorize extensive surveillance of MLK, but, that there's no evidence that the letter in question was authorized (or written) by the FBI.
I can't say that the Church Report clarifies that, so, you may very well be correct. From what I've read, nobody seems to doubt it - but from what you've read (same stuff), nobody seems to verify it for sure either. in the
OK. Fair enough. We should probably read the Church Report, at the very least (which I have NOT done), to be sure of that though.
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:34:39 +0000 (UTC), David Howard

Just to put this to rest here is the Church Report's actual words in the National Archive. Even though Sullivan admitted knowledge of the letter and had a copy of it everything is still an assumption that it came from him. They also say that Hoover was not only aware of the letter but maybe authorized it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/part-2e.html
Page 437
In the final analysis, the committee was unable to fix personal responsibility for the threatening letter to Dr. King, but it noted that it did reflect the extent of the hostility in the Bureau toward Dr. King.
Page 437
In the final analysis, the committee was unable to fix personal responsibility for the threatening letter to Dr. King, but it noted that it did reflect the extent of the hostility in the Bureau toward Dr. King.
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:49:48 -0600, BobbyK wrote:

By that, I understand them to indicate that they don't doubt the letter originated from the FBI but that they couldn't figure out exactly which *person* in the FBI conceived/wrote/sent the letter.
Anyway, we're getting off topic, as the government has shown themselves to not be trustworthy, simply because power corrupts.
Our job is to *protect* ourselves from that power, and one way to do that is to figure out *how* to tell if our phone sees a rogue tower.
I think the Android people *already* can do that, but I'm not sure exactly how simply because I'm not an Android expert.
On Android, there is freeware called Wigle.net which *already* reports all the cellphone towers in the vicinity and the WiFi access points in the vicinity, and their signal strengths in decibels (e.g., -50dB).
For each, they already report what appears to be a somewhat unique identifier (e.g., the MAC address of the access point and a number of the format "123456_123_12345-GSM-EDGE" for the cellphone towers.
And, for each, they already upload that at the touch of a button to a geographic map, available on the web at wigle.net
So, my question is, can't we use *that* information to determine if a rogue tower exists within signal strength of us?
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On Sat, 15 Nov 2014 00:06:37 +0000 (UTC), David Howard

My question is, even if we can make that determination what can we do about it, other than to hang up?
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On Fri, 14 Nov 2014 18:16:08 -0600, BobbyK wrote:

I like that you ask good probing questions.
I think that the rogue towers will already have gotten you by the time you figure out that they're there, since they don't need you to make a call. All they need is the phone to have a battery in it (and probably turned on).
So, they *already* got you by the time you see them; but, let's remember, we're not the bad guys. They got us caught in their net, but we're not the ones they're looking for.
So, it's just nice to know *when* you're being caught in the drag net.
For that, I *think* the WiGLE freeware can tell us what's going on, at least when we're in familiar territory.
For example, right now, I can see only one T-Mobile tower. I called a neighbor, who could see only one Verizon tower. Since we're very close, I suspect the WiGLE software only shows the tower of the carrier we're using (he's on Verizon and I'm on T-Mobile).
To do my part, I wrote down what appears to be the equivalent of a unique MAC address for that cellphone tower in my records: T-Mobile 209159_256_17859-GSM-EDGE -85dB
I'll look tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, etc., to see if that changes (I presume it will be stable).
Then, when I drive around, I'll look to see what *other* towers are in the area, and write them down. Over time, I'll find out if WiGLE freeware only reports *one* tower, or if it reports more than one (I only have one in sight now, but there are a dozen WiFi access points, so, I assume if two towers are near, I'd know it).
I also *know* where my tower is (T-Mobile told me when I had complained about my coverage), so, I can drive within sight of it, and see if the signal strength improves, which would probably indicate that I have the right tower in my records).
Over time, I'd get a good idea of the local cellphone towers, so, if I saw a new one, I would be forewarned.
Of course, doing this manually is crazy, but, for a test, it's reasonable.
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We're getting half the thread on alt.internet wireless.
Here is the Wigle website https://wigle.net/
The wigle app sounds like it only does wifi. I will check it out later to see if if logs towers.
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On Sat, 15 Nov 2014 22:10:45 -0800, miso wrote:

I have WiGLE and it logs cell phone towers. It only logs towers that you actually *connect* to. So, for example, my neighbor only sees Verizon towers while I only see T-Mobile towers.
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On Mon, 17 Nov 2014 05:32:47 +0000, David Howard wrote:

I have been checking WiGLE lately, and it knows a string of numbers about the tower, and it puts the tower on a Google map almost exactly. T-Mobile 209159_256_17859-GSM-EDGE -85dB 3:33:19pm T-Mobile 209159_255_10503-GSM-EDGE -85dB 10:12:32pm
When I touch the tower on the map display, it gives me: T-Mobile 209159_255_10503 - null - HSPA;us Signal = -79dB Type = GSM First Seen = 3:41:11pm Capabilities = EDGE;us Channel = N/A Observations = 94
Any idea what the "observations" indicate?
Googling, I found a few programs aimed at cell towers.
3G 4G WiFi Map & Speedtest, by OpenSignal https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.staircase3.opensignal&hl=en
Signal Finder https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.akvelon.signaltracker&hl=en
Antennas http://www.panix.com/~mpoly/android/antennas/r1.0/
RF Signal Tracker https://sites.google.com/site/androiddevelopmentproject/home/rf-signal-tracker
It looks like "open signal" is the recommended cellphone tower tracking app: http://forums.androidcentral.com/verizon-htc-thunderbolt/94962-cell-tower-location-app.html http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s3/679917-cell-phone-tower-locator-app.html
So, I'll test these out, but this search shows that "open signal" is the one to use first and foremost.
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You already tried and failed to do that once. No need to repeat yourself.
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If cellular interceptor devices only existed on planes you might have a point. Oops.
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I think the bottom line here is that if you want your government to be able to find, investigate and stop homegrown terrorist attacks, like the Boston Marathon bombing, you have to give up some personal privacy.
A deaf, dumb and blind government cannot protect itself nor it's citizens.
And, I don't see what the problem is. When I send an e-mail, or make or answer a phone call, there is absolutely nothing in that communication that would be of any interest to anyone else, much less the government trying to find terrorist plots, so why would I care if they see it or not?
I thank God that the vast majority of people on this continent feel much the same way about it as I do. Protesting government evesdropping on our personal communications helps those who would do us harm.
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One of the United States founders wrote:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"
- Benjamin Franklin
No truer words were ever spoken.
Far more people die each year in the US from traffic accidents than from terrorist incidents.
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