London Indymedia

Phones and privacy at the camp for climate action.

phreak | 23.07.2008 20:48 | Climate Camp 2008 | Technology | London

Traditionally it has been the content of communication that has been
the focus of government surveillance but the police are increasingly
interested in data mining techniques to uncover patterns of
association. Simple data, when stored, aggregated and analyzed using
sophisticated computer algorithms, contains far more information than
is commonly appreciated. Collating mobile phone numbers, and the data
retained by network providers, can provide the police with a powerful
incite into our networks of associations. This is not only an invasion
of our privacy but may also threaten our ability to work together

At least years climate camp the police were taking people phone from
them during stop and search. As well as browsing through people
phonebooks and text messages, they were typing *#06# to get the phones
unique serial number (IMEI). They would then look up the registered owner of
phone then threaten the holder of the phone with being arrested on suspicion of theft if they refused to prove that they were the owner of the phone by revealing their identity.

To reduce the ability of the police to steal our identities and learn
more about our social networks, please consider the following advice.

Mobile phones are useful tools for communicating and organising - we do not advise you to leave them at home. You will find them essential for staying informed and informing others. However...

Copy the entries in your phonebook and leave it at home.

Delete from your phonebook all but the numbers that will be essential during the week.

Rename those contacts to remove surnames, perhaps using code names instead.

Erase your sent and received call logs and text messages and do repeat this regularly.

Make use of the security features of your phone so that a PIN code is required to access any of its features.

There are generally two types of security on mobile phones, the PIN that protects the phone and PIN2 that protects the SIM card so it can't be used in another phone without the code. It may be a little inconvenient to have to type in the number each time but it's better than allowing the cops to browse through your phone book, call logs and messages.

If you can't set your phone to require a PIN code each time it is used, simply switch off your phone when it looks like a police stop and search is likely.



Might be worth noting about mobiles:

23.07.2008 22:38

* That the police are also able to retrieve phone calls and sent text messages, both from the phone and the SIM. Once deleted off the phone they are NOT gone for good. If you have made a foolish phone call or sent something dodgy, and you are at risk from having your phone taken, get a whole new phone and SIM card.

* Police can use your mobile as a tracking device of your whereabouts, this evidence has already been used in cases - especially if making a call. This pinpoints your exact location. So don't take it anywhere you'd rather the cops didn't know about. Disconnecting the phone by taking out the battery apparently can stop this as the phone is no longer connected to any electrical source.

* Police can bug a mobile and use it as a listening device... if you are saying something you don't want the cops to hear, and you want to be extra paranoid, remove the battery from your phone or leave it elsewhere. Turning it off will not necessarily work!

* If the cops ever get your phone and give it back to you... give it to someone else not involved in anything you are, donate it to charity or burn it. Do not ever use it again!

Sneaky Geeky

much more info at

25.07.2008 07:48

check it out


Display the following 10 comments

  1. PAYG SIM cards — MonkeyBot 5000
  2. @MonkeyBot 5000 — Jon
  3. Another 2 cents worth — one2one
  4. Wifi and Bluetooth — overheard
  5. Leave them at home. — Voice of experience
  6. Contrary advice — freaky too
  7. Too much 007 stuff as usual — get a grip people
  8. Too much 007. . . I think not — Ivor Point
  9. gripage — Harry Purvis
  10. public scrutiny — A N Other


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