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BlueWolf's Howl

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June 27, 2004

Cell Phones

Doing a lot of reading often leads you to consider things that perhaps may have gone by unnoticed. As I read Computer Forensics, I ran into the section on Cell Phones. Yes, you read right...Cell Phones.

So what the heck is *that* doing in a computer forensics book? Well, John Vacca covers not only the forensics part, but also Information Warfare and other related topics. The information stuck with me and caused me to think...

Quite a few people now have cell phones. They're very convenient. I remember my mom was pretty ticked off when she had to replace her old phone just because she switched providers. Of course... this is just to rook us out of more money, right? Well...not really. John covered that in the book. The old handsets (the phones) worked in a certain way (analog) and met all the requirements at that time to comply with all the federal regulations. Apparently, the regulations have changed and the old handsets aren't capable of meeting the new requirements.

One of those new requirements regards enhanced 911 services. Cell phone providers are required to have little gps doohickeys (that's a technical term; use it carefully) that are able to locate your position to within so many meters (also specified in the regulation). This is so emergency services (police/fire/ambulance) can find you when you call 911 -- even if YOU don't know where the heck you are. If I remember correctly... it wasn't very long ago that a story appeared on the local news about how some stranded people were found because one of them had a cell phone.

Yet....there is nothing so good that it cannot be twisted for evil purpose - nor something so evil that cannot produce some good.

So now that handy little phone you carry can tell Big Brother where you are and where you've been. You can easily be tracked by the movements of your cell phone.

Guess what? Big Brother is not the one you need to worry about. Marketing people are taking this idea and trying to hook into it. They want to be able to use the gps locator to find the people nearby and let them know about the opportunities in their current location. So you'll be driving down the road and your phone will ring... it's Red Roof Inn within a 300 meter radius.... McDonalds on Pine Street is near your current location and we're having a special on....

I can see where this would be useful when you need it. I can also see where it would be annoying when you don't...

Posted by BlueWolf on June 27, 2004 11:23 PM