Monday, March 16, 2015

Some things which are troubling today.

Hertz puts cameras in their rental cars.  Its in their newest navigation device, along with a microphone. But they have "no plans" to actually use the camera. Honest. Pinky swear.

Open secret StingRay phone tracker remains a State Secret. 

The issue led to a public dispute three weeks ago in Silicon Valley, where a sheriff asked county officials to spend $502,000 on the technology. The Santa Clara County sheriff, Laurie Smith, said the technology allowed for locating cellphones — belonging to, say, terrorists or a missing person. But when asked for details, she offered no technical specifications and acknowledged she had not seen a product demonstration.

Buying the technology, she said, required the signing of a nondisclosure agreement.

"So, just to be clear," Joe Simitian, a county supervisor, said, "we are being asked to spend $500,000 of taxpayers' money and $42,000 a year thereafter for a product for the name brand which we are not sure of, a product we have not seen, a demonstration we don't have, and we have a nondisclosure requirement as a precondition. You want us to vote and spend money," he continued, but "you can't tell us more about it."

The technology goes by various names, including StingRay, KingFish or, generically, cell site simulator. It is a rectangular device, small enough to fit into a suitcase, that intercepts a cellphone signal by acting like a cellphone tower.

I've posted about this thing many, many times before. Everybody knows about it, some guys even built one and stuck it in a model airplane. There's Instructables on YouTube how to make one. But this StingRay remains a super secret as far as officials are concerned.

Interesting, yes? Probably because it can do things they don't want you to know it can do. Like, it can scan an entire area and identify every phone in its range, because that's how it actually works. It finds one phone by scanning ALL the phones.  And if I may speculate, it can most likely take control of any phone in its range, turning on camera and microphone on command. We know that can be done, this is likely the machine that does it. Speculating just a little bit further, it can probably hoover up the contents of your phone too.

Formerly only for super spies, now available to Constable Plod of the Podunk Police Department. You think they aren't downloading all the selfies off the phones of random hot girls they spot on patrol? If not there's a bridge in Brooklyn I can get you a really good deal on.

And now the kicker, Albert W. Gore comes right out and says Climate Change Deniers Must Be Punished!!!

For the third time in the last few years, Al Gore, founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project, spoke at the festival on Friday. Naturally, his interactive discussion focused on addressing the climate crisis. The former vice president focused on the need to "punish climate-change deniers, saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting 'accepted science,'" said the Chicago Tribune.

Gore said forward-thinking investors are moving away from companies that invest in fossil fuels and towards companies investing in renewable energy. "We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends," Gore told the Chicago Tribune, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. "And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics."

Are YOU a Climate Change Denier? Big Brother wants to know, and is more than happy to subvert your phone so he can listen to you in real-time, so as to gather evidence of your Denial.

Or just to get any pics of babes in yoga pants that you may have on there. Big Brother don't pay for pr0nz.

The Phantom

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