Observations of an Invisible Woman

Big Brother is Listening

The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone’s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.

The technique is called a “roving bug,” and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.

Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.

The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the “roving bug” was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect’s cell phone.

Kaplan said that the eavesdropping technique “functioned whether the phone was powered on or off.” Some handsets can’t be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.

While the Genovese crime family prosecution appears to be the first time a remote-eavesdropping mechanism has been used in a criminal case, the technique has been discussed in security circles for years.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s security office warns that “a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone.” An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can “remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner’s knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call.”

Because modern handsets are miniature computers, downloaded software could modify the usual interface that always displays when a call is in progress. The spyware could then place a call to the FBI and activate the microphone–all without the owner knowing it happened. (The FBI declined to comment on Friday.)

“If a phone has in fact been modified to act as a bug, the only way to counteract that is to either have a bugsweeper follow you around 24-7, which is not practical, or to peel the battery off the phone,” Atkinson said. Security-conscious corporate executives routinely remove the batteries from their cell phones, he added.

But other experts thought microphone activation is the more likely scenario, mostly because the battery in a tiny bug would not have lasted a year and because court documents say the bug works anywhere “within the United States”–in other words, outside the range of a nearby FBI agent armed with a radio receiver.

A BBC article from 2004 reported that intelligence agencies routinely employ the remote-activiation method. “A mobile sitting on the desk of a politician or businessman can act as a powerful, undetectable bug,” the article said, “enabling them to be activated at a later date to pick up sounds even when the receiver is down.”

For its part, Nextel said through spokesman Travis Sowders: “We’re not aware of this investigation, and we weren’t asked to participate.”

Other mobile providers were reluctant to talk about this kind of surveillance. Verizon Wireless said only that it “works closely with law enforcement and public safety officials. When presented with legally authorized orders, we assist law enforcement in every way possible.”

A Motorola representative said that “your best source in this case would be the FBI itself.” Cingular, T-Mobile, and the CTIA trade association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

{Recopied from Yahoo}


Dear Black Family,

This is just the beginning. Your E-Z Pass, Driver’s licence, Debit card and GPS system can also be “activated” to spy on your whereabouts. The new TV’s, dishwashers, refrigerators and ALL digital appliances in your home can and will be equipped with microphones/ cameras to spy on you in your own home.

If you are like me and my family, discuss “private” matters outside of your home, like in your backyard, and remove the cell phone battery from your phone if certain conversations are taking place.

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38 thoughts on “Big Brother is Listening

  1. Sanctified Brother on said:

    I’ve been mentioning this for years and folks think I’m one big conspiracy theorist. There are so many forms of interception employed today that we don’t know about because most of it is higher level than our intelligence allows.

    I remember getting my first pager and mobile phone in the 1990s and suddenly realizing that something was dangerously unsettling if a signal could reach me, while in motion, anywhere I was. I was, obviously, trackable anywhere as long as I had such a [homing device] on me.

    Our society is perpetually wired and it’s only going to get worse. Even discussing topics outside is unsafe. Surveillance is everywhere, all the time. Ever see the Google Maps car? How ironic that every corner of every street is being documented…

    Blessings for posting this article. Sound the alarm, sister.

  2. blackmystory on said:

    I concur with sanctified brother, big ups for this article. That’s why some people put computers, phones (not just cell) and tel-lie-vision out of the house. We know that there are surveillance camera on the street corners, the guy hooking up your neighbours cable could also be an agent. But what is most sinister yet flying under the radar is the injection of Nanites into the blood stream during flu season and a visit to the doctor.

    Conspiracy? paranoia? You are not paranoid if they are coming after you!

  3. This is real life Eagle Eye. Even actor Shia LeBoeuf said that he was afraid to use a cell phone and after I saw that movie, I see why. The movies drop dimes on what can/will happen to us in the future. It is not all made-up stories. As the old saying goes, the truth is stranger than fiction.

  4. I bet that they’ll be implanting microchips into people pretty soon. These people love spying!

  5. Kushite Prince on said:

    Britain’s largest police force is operating covert surveillance technology that can masquerade as a mobile phone network, transmitting a signal that allows authorities to shut off phones remotely, intercept communications and gather data about thousands of users in a targeted area.The surveillance system has been procured by the Metropolitan police from Leeds-based company Datong plc, which counts the US Secret Service, the Ministry of Defence and regimes in the Middle East among its customers. Strictly classified under government protocol as “Listed X”, it can emit a signal over an area of up to an estimated 10 sq km, forcing hundreds of mobile phones per minute to release their unique IMSI and IMEI identity codes, which can be used to track a person’s movements in real time.
    The disclosure has caused concern among lawyers and privacy groups that large numbers of innocent people could be unwittingly implicated in covert intelligence gathering. The Met has refused to confirm whether the system is used in public order situations, such as during large protests or demonstrations.
    Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, warned the technology could give police the ability to conduct “blanket and indiscriminate” monitoring: “It raises a number of serious civil liberties concerns and clarification is urgently needed on when and where this technology has been deployed, and what data has been gathered,” he said. “Such invasive surveillance must be tightly regulated, authorised at the highest level and only used in the most serious of investigations. It should be absolutely clear that only data directly relating to targets of investigations is monitored or stored,” he said.

    Datong’s website says its products are designed to provide law enforcement, military, security agencies and special forces with the means to “gather early intelligence in order to identify and anticipate threat and illegal activity before it can be deployed”.The company’s systems, showcased at the DSEi arms fair in east London last month, allow authorities to intercept SMS messages and phone calls by secretly duping mobile phones within range into operating on a false network, where they can be subjected to “intelligent denial of service”. This function is designed to cut off a phone used as a trigger for an explosive device.A transceiver around the size of a suitcase can be placed in a vehicle or at another static location and operated remotely by officers wirelessly. Datong also offers clandestine portable transceivers with “covered antennae options available”. Datong sells its products to nearly 40 countries around the world, including in Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In 2009 it was refused an export licence to ship technology worth £0.8m to an unnamed Asia Pacific country, after the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills judged it could be used to commit human rights abuses.

    A document seen by the Guardian shows the Metropolitan police paid £143,455 to Datong for “ICT hardware” in 2008/09. In 2010 the 37-year-old company, which has been publicly listed since October 2005, reported its pro forma revenue in the UK was £3.9m, and noted that “a good position is being established with new law enforcement customer groups”. In February 2011 it was paid £8,373 by Hertfordshire Constabulary according to a transaction report released under freedom of information.

    Between 2004 and 2009 Datong won over $1.6 (£1.03m) in contracts with US government agencies, including the Secret Service, Special Operations Command and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In February 2010 the company won a £750,000 order to supply tracking and location technology to the US defence sector. Official records also show Datong entered into contracts worth more than £500,000 with the Ministry of Defence in 2009.

    All covert surveillance is currently regulated under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which states that to intercept communications a warrant must be personally authorised by the home secretary and be both necessary and proportionate. The terms of Ripa allow phone calls and SMS messages to be intercepted in the interests of national security, to prevent and detect serious crime, or to safeguard the UK’s economic wellbeing.

    Latest figures produced by the government-appointed interception of communications commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy, show there were 1,682 interception warrants approved by the home secretary in 2010. Public authorities can request other communications data – such as the date, time and location a phone call was made – without the authority of the home secretary. In 2010, 552,550 such requests were made, averaging around 1,500 per day.

    Barrister Jonathan Lennon, who specialises in cases involving covert intelligence and Ripa, said the Met’s use of the Datong surveillance system raised significant legislative questions about proportionality and intrusion into privacy.

    “How can a device which invades any number of people’s privacy be proportionate?” he said. “There needs to be clarification on whether interception of multiple people’s communications – when you can’t even necessarily identify who the people are – is complaint with the act. It may be another case of the technology racing ahead of the legislation. Because if this technology now allows multiple tracking and intercept to take place at the same time, I would have thought that was not what parliament had in mind when it drafted Ripa.”

    Former detective superintendent Bob Helm, who had the authority to sign off Ripa requests for covert surveillance during 31 years of service with Lancashire Constabulary, said: “It’s all very well placed in terms of legislation … when you can and can’t do it. It’s got to be legal and obviously proportionate and justified. If you can’t do that, and the collateral implications far outweigh the evidence you’re going to get, well then you just don’t contemplate it.”

    In May the Guardian revealed the Met had purchased software used to map suspects’ digital movements using data gathered from social networking sites, satnav equipment, mobile phones, financial transactions and IP network logs. The force said the software was being tested using “dummy data” to explore how it could be used to examine “police vehicle movements, crime patterns and telephone investigations.”

    The Met would not comment on its use of Datong technology or give details of where or when it had been used.

    A spokesman said: “The MPS [Metropolitan police service] may employ surveillance technology as part of our continuing efforts to ensure the safety of Londoners and detect criminality. It can be a vital and highly effective investigative tool.

    “Although we do not discuss specific technology or tactics, we can re-assure those who live and work in London that any activity we undertake is in compliance with legislation and codes of practice.”

    A spokesman for the Home Office said covert surveillance was kept under “constant review” by the chief surveillance commissioner, Sir Christopher Rose, who monitors the conduct of authorities and ensures they are complying with the appropriate legislation.

    He added: “Law enforcement agencies are required to act in accordance with the law and with the appropriate levels of authorisation for their activity.”

  6. I heard about this. I do not have a phone.

  7. Pingback: Big Brother is Listening « diaryofanegress « Innerstanding Isness

  8. Brother:

    Ever had a census worker come to your home? Her car is equipped with a GPS tracker to record EVERY inch of these divided states.

    The best option….well let’s not discuss that on the internet.

  9. Black mystory

    Cointelpro used your neighbors as spies. Who better to watch you than the person One hundred feet away?

  10. Never saw it but now I want to.

  11. Prince

    Thanks for this. It seems that the brits are ahead of us, eh? Wonder why….(end sarcasm)

  12. I’m on the verge of cutting myself off completely and living on mars.

  13. It’s an action film where Shia LeBoeuf’s character and a female are forced to do different tasks, along with others, in order to carry out an end result and the person orchestrating all of this is a supercomputer, which tells them what to do, how to dit, who to see, etc. It reminds me of that computer Dr. Umar Johnson talked about in the first video I ever watched of him, where he says that every text message, voicemail, email, etc. is put into this massive storage unit where its contents are never destroyed or deleted. Scary…ass…shit.

  14. Yup.. the surveillance technology industrial-complex has WELL SURPASSED the level of sophistication depicted in Will Smith’s flick, Enemy of the State.

    It’s NOT being paranoid when we know that precious little is what it appears to be.
    It’s being realistic. Hardly anything can be taken for granted these days!

    Especially the declarations of: Peace & Safety – that will be soon be broadcasted …

  15. larissa on said:

    There are times when I ask myself whether this blog and other pro black blogs are actually hoaxes aimed at confusing blacks and giving the appearance of progress. I mean no disrespect, it’s just a side effect of living in this system. The sane part of me knows they are not hoaxes, and I keep coming back because the content is positive, yet there is that tiny part of my brain that always wonders…..

  16. Larissa

    I’m no hoax. I’m not working for anyone or with anyone. I make zero dollars doing this. My hope is one day, we’ll awaken and be free from this prison.

  17. Has anyone heard of microchips in chocolate bars? They’re doing this in England for a Willa Wonka contest.

  18. Sanctified Brother on said:

    I believe enlightenment is the idea, not confusion. Incidentally, there are many watchdog organizations worldwide that are not “black owned” that blow the whistle on these same issues. A quick Google search (and I’m no fan of them with their business “practices”) will reveal many organizations that are against these types of challenges to our freedoms and liberty. Many Americans willingly gave up some freedoms in the name of outing “terrorists,” only to find themselves left unfavorably vulnerable in the event of a witch hunt…

  19. mary burrell on said:

    This like Enemy of the State. Next it will be invasion of the body snatchers. Scary as hell.

  20. mary burrell on said:

    Is it going to be a police state soon?

  21. I have come to the conclusion that all is lost and we may as well gave up now.

  22. blackmystory on said:

    especially when you a nappy headed, African centric, vegetarian, grow your own tomato in your front yard, non christian “looking” heathen..lol!

    Then you know they’ll probably run to “daddy themselves, cause you depreciating the neighborhood’s value.

  23. Ms. J

    Great video!

    And all true. Please do not get vaccines.

  24. Yes..it has already begun.

  25. Not me sir…my ancestors would not want that.

  26. If you are like me and my family, discuss “private” matters outside of your home, like in your backyard, and remove the cell phone battery from your phone if certain conversations are taking place.

    In addition to removing the battery from your cell phone, some network use a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)card in their cell phone, take that out too, phone that usually contain them are sold by companies like T-mobile, Cingular and TracFone. The SIM card is a slim, rectangular card that is usually located behind the battery that contains your phone number, contacts and other personal information that are an identification for that specific cell phone. Without the card, the phone cannot be linked to your cell phone account.

  27. @Negress

    Fascism…When Business & Government Collide

    Google is a major player in all of this, have been from their inception. I can recall watching various cable news shows years ago debating whether or not Google’s footprint via personal privacy and security was a good or bad thing. Folk were crying about databases that were set up by Google, global satellite capabilities that could look into your backyard from space, tracking internet search patterns, etc. At the time, we were told that we had nothing to worry about, Really?


  28. Kushite Prince on said:

    Oh yeah,they’ve been on this path for quite awhile. The Brits and the US have never separated. They’re one in the same.

  29. Sanctified Brother on said:

    Here’s an interesting article: http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/281284

    There are interesting comments around the web about Big Brother using such options for remote sniffing and peeking. Thee is, of course, much more out there than we know…

  30. Brother:

    Another great article. Thanks.

  31. http://www.surveillanceissues.com/
    Here’s a site that explores a phenomena that I believe a lot of people are experiencing yet don’t realize the cause. Pay special attention to the Dep’t Of Defense Directive, Directive 5240 1-R. So when people say we are dealing with the 666 beast, they are not exaggerating. True Frankensteins.

  32. Kushite Prince on said:

    @nmaat433 Thanks for that website. That is very informative! I’m going to pass this website around.

  33. U r welcome. It’s unfortunate that this is going on & per the u.s. govt’s usual m.o.– I think most of those targeted look like us.

  34. Kushite Prince on said:

    That site has some very scary stuff on it. It’s hard to swallow but truth is truth. We have to be informed about the reality in which we live in. Too many of us run from the truth thinking it will go away. Black people have to be alert in this hostile environment known as Amerikkka.

  35. Yeah it’s scary but putting our head in the sand is not going to help. We need to understand how diabolical these beings are. So that kum-by-ya stuff is out the door in my opinion. And I know it may make people feel helpless b/c it seems that it’s too much to overcome but I believe in a Higher Power, I don’t care how insurmountable it appears on surface…what is going on in the shadows may not be visible to us but HE sees & knows all and these sick, depraved bastards will PAY. Period. Justice has no expiration date nor statute of limitations. And I also wanted to bring this forth b/c a lot of our people may be suffering in silence & think they are crazy or suffering from mental health issues (beyond just dealing with being black in this society)–when they, are in fact, unwitting targets of this secret govt experimentation and don’t realize it. Now I’m not saying that schizophrenia/mental health issues don’t exist b/c they do but there is plenty of anecdotal/factual evidence that totalitarian govts use the stigma of psychiatric issues to discredit political dissenters or those they deem problematic. Russia used it with psychotronics. And the US is no different. It is called punitive psychiatry. Anybody ever wonder why there is so much chatter these days about mental health & psychiatric issues and why psychotropic drugs are so prevalent & pushed so much? Talk therapy in most cases isn’t even discussed for those who may be having mental health issues–whether organic or manufactured. Drugs simply make us easier to control. Period. I would encourage anybody to read Gloria Naylor’s novel 1996 where she relays her experience with this covert targeting. I believe in most cases of covert human rights abuses/involuntary human experimentation going on in the world–WE are being disproportionately targeted. Tuskegee was just the tip of the iceberg.

  36. Oh yeah, you can also listen to an audio interview that Gloria Naylor gave awhile back..she goes into depth about some of the tactics used…it’s interesting to hear in her own words what happened to her..not sure if she’s still being monitored, she sort of fell out of the public view..but I commend this woman for coming out and speaking out on an issue that affects so many who are suffering in silence…

  37. Kushite Prince on said:

    “And I know it may make people feel helpless b/c it seems that it’s too much to overcome but I believe in a Higher Power, I don’t care how insurmountable it appears on surface…what is going on in the shadows may not be visible to us but HE sees & knows all and these sick, depraved bastards will PAY. Period. Justice has no expiration date nor statute of limitations.”

    I totally agree.Truer words have never been spoken.

  38. Ok, for those who haven’t seen this video, this is inspirational and shows that at least some of our people still have that fighting spirit and ingenuity that make us great & powerful..wish they could bottle this…

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