And in both cases, we don't know who is running these fake cell phone towers. We get to choose a world where everyone can spy, or a world where no one can spy.
We can be secure from everyone, or vulnerable to anyone.
• September 19, 2014 AM In a pre-Snowden-era presentation, Life as a Target—Welcome to the Club, the retired NSA cryptographer Dickie George repeatedly stated that he wanted everybody's computers and networks to be secure--even the Chinese!Earlier this month, there were a bunch of stories about fake cell phone towers discovered around the US.These seem to be IMSI catchers, like Harris Corporation's Stingray, and are used to capture location information and potentially phone calls, text messages, and smart-phone Internet traffic. This is the problem with building an infrastructure of surveillance: you can't regulate who gets to use it.• September 19, 2014 AM I had understood that towers required building permits in most localities.Who got the permits for the fake cell phone towers? And if they require permits and don't have them, why aren't they being torn down?A couple of days ago, the Washington Post ran a story about fake cell phone towers in politically interesting places around Washington DC. The FBI has been protecting Stingray like it's an enormous secret, but it's not a secret anymore.In both cases, researchers used security software that's part of Crypto Phone from the German company GSMK. We are all vulnerable to everyone because the NSA wanted us to be vulnerable to them. We can't choose a world where the US gets to spy and the Chinese don't.• September 19, 2014 AM @Jay Woods: A cell "tower" need not be on an actual tower.Many are on roof tops, water tanks, in church steeples, etc.• September 19, 2014 AM From reading the Post article it's clear that the proper conclusion is that most of the "hits" may be fake towers.Several of the hits described are the phone switching from 3g to 2g. That said, I'd be amazed if there weren't at least 3 domestic agencies tracking things in DC (we've got choppers and fighters constantly circling overhead, too) and, let's see, at least 5 foreign governments "keeping an eye on things" (but not spying! Probably have that going on in Mc Lean VA and Columbia MD too. • September 19, 2014 AM If you're worried about domestic surveillance, then you indefinably should check out this article on The Reg.