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Carrier IQ: Researcher Trevor Eckhart Outs Creepy, Hidden App Installed On Smartphones

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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:49 PM
Original message
Carrier IQ: Researcher Trevor Eckhart Outs Creepy, Hidden App Installed On Smartphones
Source: Huffington Post

A security researcher has posted a video detailing hidden software installed on smart phones that logs numerous details about users' activities.

In a 17-minute video posted Monday on YouTube, Trevor Eckhart shows how the software known as Carrier IQ logs every text message, Google search and phone number typed on a wide variety of smart phones - including HTC, Blackberry, Nokia and others - and reports them to the mobile phone carrier.

The application, which is labeled on Eckharts HTC smartphone as "HTC IQ Agent," also logs the URL of websites searched on the phone, even if the user intends to encrypt that data using a URL that begins with "HTTPS," Eckhart said.

The software always runs when Android operating system is running and users are unable to stop it, Eckhart said in the video. "Why is this not opt-in and why is it so hard to fully remove?" Eckhart wrote at the end of the video.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/carrier-iq-tre...
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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well in a waty, this is good news for me.
I cannot find my phone, I know it is somewhere in the house, and the battery is out so I cannot locate it. Maybe Google can help me find it.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. Makes me glad I have Samsung phones, then. nt
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. Samsung too --->
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I mostly use mine for porn. n/t
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
44. Yeah, we know.
And so do they.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I'm with you. I'm hanging onto a phone that is years old,
works fine for phone calls and that will never go on the net. Got the idea from Egyptian activists who had multiple phones with different tech capabilities.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. This makes me appreciate my simple, pre-paid phone
I use it to make phone calls, and send the occasional text message. I spend more than enough time in front a computer. I don't need one in my pocket.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm gettng onto the internet by
Edited on Wed Nov-30-11 02:17 PM by pnorman
"tethering" my Samsung 'Droid' to my netbook. Would I also be subject to that invasion of privacy?

On edit: The App is called "Easy Tether:". It makes for a reasonably sturdy connection, and with fairly good data throughput.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. They don't mention Samsung phones as being affected. nt
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LiberalArkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. It is any phone running the Android system
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. No, since they mention Blackberry and Nokia as well.
Neither of those has anything to do with Android.
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Apple? Since Carrier IQ is a US Corporation, it should be
relatively easy to find out if Apple is one of its customers.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #28
56. They're not. Apple is not one of them. Samsung, HTC, Nokia and RIM are. nt
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. what carrier do you use? and have they bitched about your data usage?
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #29
54. Sprint, and my data plan while not the unlimited one
still handles my normal load, But I guess that if it goes through the phone, I'm sill at risk!
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. Cui bono? K&R
RECALL WALKER/KLEEFISCH!!!
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greiner3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. I'm of the mind;
That if a technology exists, it will be used.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Yep.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. Is this the party to whom I'm speaking?
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potone Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks!
I needed a laugh!
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Chipper Chat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I used to work one of those switchboards in the 50s.
It was fun. All that plugging and unplugging. And of course if someone called your boss's extension you could flip a lever and listen in. Oh, the shame!
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louis-t Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
15. My office keeps insisting I get a smart phone.
No thanks, I'll keep the stupid one. At least, that's what I call it every time it drops a call.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
17. I hate Apple!
Oh, wait. This wasn't about the iPhone. Never mind.
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LiberalArkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I think it was Sprint that said it was worried the the iPhone would use way too much
of its bandwidth, after the iPhone hit the Sprint network they said that Androids used a tremendous amount more than the iPhone did.

Now we know why.
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jbnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
36. Who knows. Remember ipad was trracking people's location
without them knowing.
Who knows who does what to what
Maybe it just isn't found yet
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. LOL! Happy in my 'walled garden.' nt
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LiberalArkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Yep, me too.. Too many techies look at the IOS for anyone to get something like that in.
And Carrier IQ is a private company... I wonder who the investors of it are?
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Not really.
We're talking about carrier installed software, here. If something like this were on the iPhone, there would be relatively little chance of it being found. Remember, the only way it was found out that iOS was logging your GPS coordinates all the time was because of a bug where the logfile got too big.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. Can you tether from your walled garden?
I thought not.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Yes.
Edited on Wed Nov-30-11 07:33 PM by onehandle
But I don't. Free WiFi is so common these days, I just don't need it.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Looks like that permission was just revoked.
Apple Pulls iTether App From Store

As a hangover follows a night reading Instapaper in bed with a bottle of whisky, so a rude ejection follows the approval and sale of a data tethering app in Apples App Store. This time its iTether, which we advised you to to snap up yesterday for a rather steep $15, despite the fact that it may not work so well.

Unlike last years Handy Light, which sneakily sequestered a tethering function inside an iPhone flashlight app, iTether comes from a companycalled Tetherthat already has some pedigree in mobile applications. Specifically, it makes a tethering app for the Blackberry. The companys blog details the story.

According to Tethers Patrick Hankinson, Apple contacted the Halifax-based company yesterday at around 12PM EST to let it know the app would be pulled. The reason given was that the app burdens the carrier network. This comes despite Hankinsons assertion that his company submitted a video demo of the app, and also made very clear when listing the app what the primary function was.

The real reason is likely that Apple has agreements in place with its carriers not to allow such applications. Hankinson says that Tethers average users consume no more than 200MB per month when using its apps. And given that all but the earliest iPhone and iPad users are on metered data plans, the excess use excuse seems flimsy.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/11/apple-pulls-itet... /
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Because the carriers have their own tethering plans.
I don't jailbreak either. The walled garden is a nice place.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. The walled garden is comfortable, freedom is often uncomfortable
I'm always amazed as to how quickly people cede their freedoms for the sake of comfort. Not just in the digital realm, either.

I'm sure you've studied democracy and know that freedom requires responsibility. Our personal freedoms are very much tied to freedom of information, among many things. If you want to maintain freedom over your information, you also need to take responsibility for it, rather than cede that responsibility to one of the largest corporations in the world.

They call it 'jailbreak' for a reason, you know.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #46
58.  I imagine that reason is simply
"They call it 'jailbreak' for a reason, you know..."

I imagine that reason is simply a trendy and melodramatic cynicism.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. You thought not. But you thought wrong.
Yes, I can tether my iPhone account. Hater.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. How much does that cost?
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Indydem Donating Member (866 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. The same as it costs Android users
No carrier allows free tethering of phones to other devices any longer. Even those using the feature on Androids must add the tethering option to their data plans - usually $20.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. It's still free on T-Mobile
It was also free on Sprint... that is, until they offered the iPhone.

Hmmmmm.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
22.  and reports them to the mobile phone carrier.
oh, yes, and to News Corp as well. :evilgrin:
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. and then relayed to the NSA?
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
30. I'm in a minority. I prefer dumb phones. Dumber than I am, preferably.

Think about it, why should you carry something in your pants or in your purse that could outsmart you? Especially when the government or corporations can take command of it at any time.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
32. Just install a clean version of Android - problem solved.
Here's a good one : http://www.cyanogenmod.com /

No spyware, no walled gardens, and the phone is all yours.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. ++
I've got Cyanogenmod running on my HTC G2 - I've got no complaints.

And no rootkit!

It did take a little technical know-how to figure out how to root my phone so I could install CyanogenMod...
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carlos3k Donating Member (26 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #41
53. also rooted
Cyanogenmod running on my 2 year old Aria :)

If you want to get rid of the bloatware and secret spy stuff wipe the OS on your phone by rooting it!
Check out XDA-Developers, a community of phone gurus that do this for fun.
If you like their work donate to the EFF and keep the open source open.

thanks for your time.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #32
45. Best answer by far. n/t
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peacebird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
37. Is there anything like that on my ipad2?
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Very likely - Carrier IQ has software for Androids, Blackberrys and iPhones/iPads.
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Indydem Donating Member (866 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. WRONG
The Carrier IQ software is NOT included in iOS.

This is an Android / Blackberry / Nokia problem.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #42
61. Nope. It's on iPhone as well.
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Indydem Donating Member (866 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #61
65. Read the article you linked to.
"However, Chpwn seems to believe that Carrier IQ works much differently on the iPhone. In fact, disabling its tracking in iOS is as simple as tapping over to the "Diagnostics and Usage" menu in the settings pane and toggling it off. Upon doing so, Chpwn says, no information is shared with Carrier IQ.
For those who don't turn the feature off, Chpwn claims Apple's Carrier IQ installation shares much less information than Android devices. He found that iOS shares "your phone number, your carrier, your country, active phone calls, and your location." However, unlike Android, Apple's installation doesn't share the phone number a user has dialed and only includes location information when "location services are enabled."
"I am reasonably sure it has no access to typed text, web history, passwords, browsing history, or text messages, and as such is not sending any of this data remotely," Chpwn wrote."

Ability to disable, no logging, etc. This isn't even the same kind of software.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #37
55. No. This is a Samsung, HTC, Nokia and RIM problem. Apple is clear.
If this was Apple, it would be major headlines everywhere.
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MellonCollie Donating Member (65 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #55
59. Apple iPhone linked to Carrier IQ 'spyware'
Edited on Thu Dec-01-11 07:16 AM by MellonCollie
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8928053/App...

It looks like it might be in iOS, but crippled/disabled.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #55
60. Nope, Carrier IQ is running on iPhone too.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. Not on mine. There is no 'Diagnostics and Usage' menu. Maybe they mean in Europe.
European carriers are more likely to put 'crapware' on your phone than American companies for some reason.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. It's certainly running on some iPhones.
Definitely a concern.
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
48. And then they threatened to sue to shut him up
And then the EFF stepped in.

They have since apologized.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
49. Technical Failures Abound.
1. Thinking a GUI controls running processes.... FAIL.
2. Thinking that "displayed applications" is the sum of all binaries.... FAIL.
3. Thinking that computer devices don't log the shit out of everything in various debug modes.... FAIL.
4. Thinking that apps don't log and cache https URLs..... FAIL.

Seeing as how his desktop/laptop is running Ubuntu, he's going to blow a fuse when he finds /var/log, or looks at top.

That being said, at least all the breathless (if mis-informed) reporting is raising awareness about how computing works.
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SoapBox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
50. I solve a bunch of this...I have a dumb phone...I don't text...I don't do Facebook...
there is a lot of shit that I just don't do...I don't have time.

But all this crap with phones...no problem. I hate phone calls and
I don't waste my time with texting. Email has become a total pain
in the ass and I've always got hundreds of mails piled up in multiple
accounts...it is simply now an overwhelming bother.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
51. FYI, your ISP for your desktop computer also gets that info.
every website you access gets routed through your ISP and they record it.

this phone thing is a little more creepier but essentially the same thing is already happening on our desktops.
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #51
57. With a VPN it's harder.
All your ISP will see is a connection between you, the VPN (virtual private network) and a stream of scrambled data if you so chose to encrypt the connection.

Still, it is traceable... but it can make things interesting for those trying to...
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AllyCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
52. Every day, another reason surfaces that makes me glad I have a dumb phone
Like someone else has said...I spend enough time on the computer. I don't need one in my back pocket. I don't need to be connected every minute of every day.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
63. Every breath you take...
I'm surprised that anyone is surprised at this.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
66. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
67. Don't Worry.
Big Brother LOVES you,
and only wants to keep you safe.
If you have nothing to hide,
you have nothing to worry about.







Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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