Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.
The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of "surveillance fees" to police departments to determine a suspect's location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.
With cellphones ubiquitous, the police call phone tracing a valuable weapon in emergencies like child abductions and suicide calls and investigations in drug cases and murders. One police training manual describes cellphones as "the virtual biographer of our daily activities," providing a hunting ground for learning contacts and travels.
Got any parking tickets? Unpaid fines? Done any speeding lately? Constable Plod knows who's been naughty or nice.
What to do, what to do?
Brazen it out, I say. Constable Plod can blow it out his shorts, because for now at least cell phone data is proof of nothing in court. However when that changes, as we can be quite sure it will, your only defense will be to take the battery out of the phone and stick it in a Faraday cage. Along with your ID and credit cards, because they have RFID in them as well.
Might have to go over your vehicle and make sure it isn't radiating too. For all I know they could have stuck unique identifier tags on my truck any time its been parked, or when it was built for that matter.
Time to go build/buy an RF spectrum analyzer and an RFID antenna. Ain't nothing been built can survive a determined assault with a pair of side cutters and a soldering iron. All else fails there's always the cutting torch. Or plasma. I like that one, its hot. :)
The Side Cutting Phantom