Erich M on Wed, 1 May 2002 14:31:01 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Officials spy on calls

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On 30 Apr 2002 at 15:03, ben moretti wrote:

> [ha! as dave/ross said in their email earlier today, we in oz are indeed being
> spied upon - check out the story below. a friend of mine has had his phone bugged
> (for drug related issues but bugging none the less) and this makes one feel
> particularly paranoid. i feel that my phone is being bugged at the moment -
> i can distinctly hear a connection being made sometimes when i use it. or is
> it? ben]

If the cops really decided to wiretap and listen to your phone calls, 
you can excpect them to turn up sooner or later. Real eavesdropping 
and listening is one of the last means they use. Why?  Wiretapping 
one  fone number around the clock needs three cops.

Much more likely is them grabbing your call related data [SS7 
Protocol and related] either directly from the switch [telephone 
exchange] you are connected to, or from the databases of your 
[wireless] fone company. This process is handled by machines and more 
or less automated

If your fone company already practises "customer profiling" or "call 
fingerprinting" the cops do not need to do data mining  themselves. 
This means they analyze your communication habits by merging data 
from billing, fraud management and "quality of service" databases 
that contain all of your location data.

Most likely all your SMS are being stored there in clear as well, as 
those messages travel over the signalling channel [SS7]

- From that they build your profile complete with a tree of dependant 
numbers, compare it to certain patterns they have and decide then 
whether they should come even closer.

Ahem yes, that is surveillance state of the art 2002 - ears no longer 
Erich M

> Officials spy on calls
> 29Apr02 
> THOUSANDS of Australians' phone call records are being secretly examined by
> police and government investigators. 
> Phone companies released an average of 2000 records a day last year, revealing
> who their customers called, for how long and from where.
> The information is given to police and other authorised investigators who request
> it, often by e-mail.
> No warrants are needed, and those who suspect their records may have been probed
> have no way of confirming it.
> Evidence suggests the number of disclosures could be rising, with 750,000 records
> released last year.
> Phone records can be obtained by a range of government agencies, including all
> state and federal police forces and the tax office. State revenue authorities,
> Customs, ASIO and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission also
> have access.
> Widespread access to phone records has angered civil liberties groups and prompted
> public complaints, but the Federal Government has defended it as a proper investigatory
> method.
> Under the Telecommunications Act, investigators get access to call records if
> the carrier agrees the data is reasonably necessary for investigating a crime
> or offence carrying a fine, or to prevent the loss of public money. Urgent requests
> are granted within two hours.
> Sophisticated computer analysis allows investigators to gather details about
> a suspect's circle of contacts and friends.
> Mobile phone records reveal a suspect's whereabouts as the locationof the transmission
> tower carrying the call is recorded.
> This year's total of 750,000 disclosures comes despite a warning to investigators
> to stop using the facility to find addresses from phone numbers -- which can
> be done via existing databases. 
> These reverse phone-book requests were thought to have made up as much as 80
> per cent of the previous year's total of about one million disclosures. 
> Prominent Labor backbencher Laurie Brereton, who obtained the figures through
> a question in Parliament, said he was concerned about the number of disclosures.
> "The potential for abuse of this extensive disclosure of personal information
> for political, commercial or private purposes should not be underestimated,"
> he said. 
> Mr Brereton believes his phone records may have been obtained by police during
> an investigation into the release of government intelligence on East Timor in
> 1999. 
> The probe has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. 
> Liberty Victoria president Chris Maxwell, QC, said a warrant should be required
> for access to phone records. 
> "The Federal Government should find out how this wholesale invasion of privacy
> occurred and change the rules so that access is limited to cases of serious
> crime," he said. 
> But Attorney-General Daryl Williams said police and other agencies must be allowed
> to conduct legitimate investigations. 
> "Privacy is not an unlimited right. It must be balanced against the needs of
> other interests, including the public interest in protecting the public revenue
> and enforcement of the law," he said. 
> This report appears on 
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