TRUE STORY: I have a very close friend who collects old tractors and fixes them up. He had found two tractors for sale and so he decided to take a trip and look at both of them, hopefully to buy one. One was in the States and one was in Canada. This friend took his flatbed trailer and headed out, first day visiting the one farmer in the States. Not really too thrilled about the tractor he had for sale, he got a hotel room and decided to head to Canada the next day. The following day arrives and he makes the trek across the border, locates the man with the tractor for sale and is thrilled about his find. The transaction takes place and they load the small, old tractor on the flatbead and my friend heads south.
Upon reaching the International Border, there is obviously some paperwork that needs to be filled out so he had to stop and go inside. He tells them of his purchase and provides answers to a few questions. He is asked for his driver’s license by the Department of Homeland Security, manning that console. He provides the license. The woman punches in his driver’s license number and looks up at my friend and states, “Mr. —, this is terrible, but I know everywhere that you have been for the last several days. I know where you stayed the night and where you ate breakfast this morning.”
My friend is stunned and replies, “How in the world do you know that?”
“Sir, you must have an iPhone. When I punched in your driver’s license number it all showed up on my screen.”
“You can’t be serious!”
“I am afraid that I am serious.”
So, ladies and gentleman, as I stated, this is a TRUE STORY told directly to me by my friend. This is not some ‘conspiracy’ or Internet hearsay. It is real, it happened, and it continues to happen. Yet, some would call me crazy, paranoid, or a conspiracy theorist…the first two are absolutely false, but these sorts of things do make me consider the latter.
How about another story? This one is also TRUE. Several years ago I had a business acquaintance, who we were shocked to find out was accused and eventually indicted for some pretty severe misconduct. The man ‘fled’ the state and couldn’t be located. I also knew several individuals who were involved in the Federal Grand Jury hearings. No one knew where the man was (or so we thought), but the prosecutor assured them that they weren’t worried.
“We know where he is.” She smiled with a secret held close to the vest.
A witness asked, “How?”
“Yes, he has kept it off most of the time, but as soon as he turns it on, we have him within thirty seconds or so. He is in Oregon.”
As far as anyone knew, he did not have a smart phone. The man has just been released from the state penitentiary where he served his sentence.
An article by Tech Times on January 24, 2015 –
“Edward Snowden…reportedly thinks that Apple’s iPhone has “special software” that authorities can activate remotely to be able to gather information about the user.
“Edward never uses an iPhone; he’s got a simple phone,” said the lawyer of Snowden, Anatoly Kucherena…”The iPhone has special software that can activate itself without the owner having to press a button and gather information about him; that’s why on security grounds he refused to have this phone,” Kucherena added.
It is not clear if the “special software” being referred to in the interview is made up of standard diagnostic tools, or if the NSA whistleblower thinks intelligence agencies from the United States have found a way to compromise the mobile operating system developed by Apple.
Apple was among the first companies accused of participating in the PRISM data mining project of the NSA…The project reportedly involved extracting video, audio, pictures, documents, emails and connection logs from devices, allowing analysts to track the movement of the device’s user and the communications that they are receiving or sending out.
At the time, the accusations were immediately denied by Apple, stating that the company is not involved in the supposed PRISM project and that it does not grant government agencies direct access to the company’s servers. Succeeding leaks showed that the NSA developed spyware that would target iPhones, allowing intelligence agencies to access messages, live microphone feeds, data contained in the devices and location data. While it was not made clear whether the program was a success, Apple again denied being involved in the development of such a spyware.
Apple said that the company has never been involved with the NSA in the creation of backdoor software for any of the company’s products. In addition, Apple said that it is not aware of any alleged programs by the NSA to target the company’s products such as the iPhone, as the company values the security and privacy of its users.
For the latest iOS 8 used by Apple on its mobile devices, the company said that it was not possible for Apple itself to decrypt the messages that were sent through their devices, adding to the company’s supposed emphasis on the security of its users. [Emphasis added]
Now, iOS 8 is a fairly recent update, so it may very well be true what Apple says about it encryption – I certainly hope so! (I use the iPhone) That being stated, it makes little difference…when you know of other techniques used.
Have you ever heard of a ‘Stingray’? The ACLU has… I am not talking about the aquatic creature either. Local police have access to this device and similar ones by other names that can intercept your data by ‘fooling’ your phone into thinking it is connected to the nearest cell tower, while in reality it is connected to their spying device. There is also another method. They can simply get a warrant and go straight to the carrier who process your data. All cellular data is stored, the time depends on tower usage, in the cell tower’s server. Studies have shown some data stays there for a surprising amount of time. With a warrant in tow they simply access this data and PRESTO! They have everything they want. Folks, the list goes on and on…
Don’t believe me? Research it all for yourself. It’s there. It’s not hearsay by some ‘fringe’ group. It’s not being spread by ‘radical’ news sites. It’s in the mainstream news…all you have to do is look!