Cell Phones & Smartphones

Documents Obtained by ACLU Shed Light on Other Telecom Surveillance Techniques

Documents Obtained by ACLU Shed Light on Other Telecom Surveillance Techniques

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 9:57am
For the past year, the ACLU has been gathering information on local law enforcement agencies’ use of cell phone location tracking. (We’ve written about what we’ve learned here, here, here, here, and here.) In addition to everything we’ve discovered about location tracking itself, we’ve also learned about a number of other techniques law enforcement and the telcos can use when they work together. Sometimes the information came to light because, as with this telecom data retention chart, the information on the other techniques was mingled with the information on cell phone location tracking. Sometimes it was because law enforcement agencies misunderstood our public records requests and sent us everything they had related to telephones.
Tuesday: Federal Appeals Court Hears Important Cell Phone Tracking Case

Tuesday: Federal Appeals Court Hears Important Cell Phone Tracking Case

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:05pm

Tomorrow, the Department of Justice will tell a federal appeals court panel in New Orleans that law enforcement agents should be permitted to obtain two month’s worth of historical cell phone location information without a warrant. Several civil…

Breaking the Law, Videotaping Suspicious Characters, and Seeing Through Walls (Friday Links Roundup)

Breaking the Law, Videotaping Suspicious Characters, and Seeing Through Walls (Friday Links Roundup)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:28pm

Reports circulated this week that Facebook’s new Timeline was placing private messages into people’s public Timeline displays. Facebook said it was certain that was not happening. According to a statement from Facebook:

Our engineers…

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:48am

Smartphones can be a cop's best friend. They are packed with private information like emails, text messages, photos, and calling history. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement agencies now routinely seize and search phones. This occurs at traffic stops,…

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:19pm

Police in Tampa used smartphones and tablets to spy on protesters at the Republican National Convention, according to a report today from the National Journal.

Smartphones have proven to be an excellent tool for empowering individuals faced…

The President Reads His Daily Brief on an iPad (and Other Lessons From the NSA)

The President Reads His Daily Brief on an iPad (and Other Lessons From the NSA)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:10am

(Updated below)

I was invited to give a talk on surveillance at the Information Security Systems Association (ISSA) Baltimore Chapter yesterday, and the keynote speaker was Dr. John Levine of the NSA. He works on the “information assurance”…

New Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

New Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:04pm

It’s been over a year since 35 ACLU affiliates filed over 380 public records requests with state and local law enforcement agencies seeking information about their policies, procedures, and practices for tracking cell phones. And 13 months later…

Apple, Drone Strikes, and the Limits of Censorship

Apple, Drone Strikes, and the Limits of Censorship

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:55pm

Wired reported last week that the Apple App Store has rejected an app that compiles news reports in order to map overseas U.S. drone strikes, and provide users a pop-up notification whenever a drone strike has been reported.

Apple rejected…

ACLU Asks Appeals Court to Reconsider Cell Phone Tracking Decision

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:22pm

Yesterday we asked the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to consider the arguments in our amicus brief that it should rehear a case decided by a three-judge panel in a ruling last month that undermined the privacy rights of everyone who carries a…

Apple’s Persistent Device ID is a Threat to Privacy

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 7:14pm

Today, a group known as Antisec released a collection of one million UDIDs—serial numbers associated with Apple mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads—which they claim came from a trove of 12 million UDIDs pilfered from an FBI agent’s…

Statistics image