Mobile Phone: Self-inflicted Surveillance?

surveillanceOur mobile phones constantly poll the network, to check for missed calls, voicemail, text messages, and to harvest our location. We have privacy options to restrict friends and others from knowing where we are, but the mobile operators always know, especially when a phone is on a 3G network. If a phone user doesn’t want to be tracked, he or she has two options: switch the phone off or leave it at home.

David Mery wrote a great article for The Register, entitled, “The mobile phone as self-inflicted surveillance… And if you don’t have one, what have you got to hide?” In his article, he brings up the scary point of how:

On 31st July 2007, in Brandenburg and Berlin, Germany, the flats and workplaces of Dr. Andrej Holm and Dr. Matthias B., as well as of two other persons, were searched by the police. All four were charged with “membership of a terrorist association” and are alleged to be members of a so-called ‘militante gruppe’ (mg) … The fact that he – allegedly intentionally – did not take his mobile phone with him to a meeting is considered as “conspiratorial behavior”.

Scary. Not bringing his mobile phone was considered proof that this man was a criminal. We have gone too far.


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