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[liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM

Frank Corrigan email at franciscorrigan.com
Mon Jan 17 13:33:56 PST 2011


Three basic techniques can be used to determine the location of a cell
phone or other similar device:
    * GPS compares the timing of radio signals from satellites in space.
    * Triangulation collects directional signals from cell phone towers.
    * Wi-Fi local area networks track high-frequency radio signals from
    transmitters.
http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs2b-cellprivacy.htm#5
Via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking

----- Original message -----
From: "Douglas Finley" <dafinley at gmail.com>
To: elhamucla at hotmail.com
Cc: "Frank Corrigan" <email at franciscorrigan.com>,
liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu,
liberationtech at mailman.stanford.edu
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 14:52:08 -0600
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM

Well, I have a Nexus One purchased online running Android 2.2.
And I can connect to Wifi without my SIM card in. I was not able to run
Google Voice from the mobile App to make phone calls. Web works tho.
But what I did do was broadcast my Wifi signal ( I guess rebroadcast a
Wifi
signal).
I connected my laptop to that broadcasted signal from my phone...And I
was
able to use Google Voice from my laptop through the broadcasted
connection from my phone...that is picking up a WiFi connection without
a
SIM Card.

Of course, why not just hook the laptop up directly to the same WiFi
your
phone is picking up, but I just wanted to test the limits.
I guess you have to trust that Wifi connection your phone is using.

I know Frank said that you would still be tracked through base stations.
I
guess I see it being difficult without an actual SIM card.
I'm a programmer...I know nothing about hardware or networking so I
believe
you...but it seems a little difficult to do.
I guess the point is to get rid of the SIM card...and your left with a
mini
laptop that should be a little more secure than having
to keep track of multiple SIMs...that you actually have to connect to a
network immediately giving up your location and sensitive info.

On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 2:32 PM, <elhamucla at hotmail.com> wrote:

> From what I understand activists frequently change their sim card while
> keeping the same phone. But they worry that the phones might be intercepted
> anyway.
> Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Frank Corrigan" <email at franciscorrigan.com>
> Sender: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu
> Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 18:40:42
> To: <liberationtech at mailman.stanford.edu>
> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM
>
> Had a quick look at mobileactive.org, the issue of WiFi use is not
> covered (inc no SIM).
>
> I have done a quick web search on WiFi no SIM and can't find any sources
> I can quote, there in some discussion about hacks, but I have always
> found a phone will not access WiFi unless an activated SIM is inserted.
> If such a 'no SIM' hack did work then this still does not mean the
> phone's location could not be pinpointed, as the phone must be exchange
> unique identifiers for Wifi to function? But of course the phone would
> not have a registered/activated SIM.
>
> There is now a number of battery powered routers available, that can use
> SIM cards and or G3 Dongles and can be used to set up ad-hoc Open Wifi
> networks.
>
> Of course an adversary could still set up a cloned or Open Wifi network
> for "man in the middle attacks" and no doubt to locate specific users?
>
> Frank
>
> PS: These resources might be helpful, but are more orientated to
> combining computer use and internet access via WiFi / G3 Mobile
> broadband.
>
> Preconfigured privacy (circumvention) bundles for USB or LiveCD.
>    * Erinn synchronized the Windows, OS X, and Linux tor browser
>    bundles to use the same configurations and included software.
>    * The TAILS team continues to improve and update their LiveCD
>    available at https://amnesia.boum.org.
>    * Jacob began an audit of the TAILS LiveCD to help assess the safety
>    and security of the software for users in highly-volatile
>    situations.
> https://blog.torproject.org/blog/september-2010-progress-report
>
> The useful thing about using Tor on a LiveCD as a Bundle or with the
> integrated TAILS LiveCD, is that no trace of use is left on the host PC.
> (save for volatile RAM)
>
> There are broader possibilities with computers, such as using
> Truecrypt.org software. Though carrying round a mobile phone is far more
> ubiquitous.
>
>
> ----- Original message -----
> From: "Prabhas Pokharel" <prabhas.pokharel at gmail.com>
> To: "Douglas Finley" <dafinley at gmail.com>
> Cc: "Frank Corrigan" <email at franciscorrigan.com>,
> Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:21:04 +0100
> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM
>
> Douglas et al., this primer on mobile surveillance:
> http://mobileactive.org/howtos/mobile-surveillance-primer and other
> articles
> related to security on the site:
> http://www.mobileactive.org/tagging/mobile-security should be helpful,
> and
> answer some of these questions.
>
> The Guardian Project has a set of Android apps here:
> https://guardianproject.info/apps/ including instructions to set up a
> private encrypted VoIP network.
>
> Prabhas Pokharel
> http://twitter.com/prabhasp
> +1 347 948 7654 / +377 4567 3810 / skype: prabhasp
>
>
> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 6:12 PM, Douglas Finley <dafinley at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Well I didn't know they already had mobile Tor's,
> > but would you still be able to be tracked through a phone number if your
> > not using
> > your phone's SIM Card at all. Just WiFi, Tor, and Google Voice or Skype
> >  but some VOIP service?
> > It seems like for Tor to work with any kind of mobile VOIP app it would
> > have to be configured to
> > send its data through Tor.
> >
> > Tor only protects Internet applications that are configured to send their
> > traffic through Tor — it doesn't magically anonymize all your traffic
> just
> > because you install it.
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 11:01 AM, Frank Corrigan <
> > email at franciscorrigan.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Tor for Smartphones
> >> Android-based phones, tablets, computers Android Bundle Android
> >> Instructions
> >> iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad        Test packages by Marco
> >> Nokia Maemo/N900                Experimental instructions
> >> https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en
> >>
> >> Though use of Tor on a mobile phone/dongle will not stop tracing
> >> location via Cell Phone  IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)
> >> number/ SIM/Phone number Tower triangulation and ad-hoc mobile phone
> >> relay/interception towers being deployed by adversaries.
> >>
> >> Olympics bosses probe mobile tracking tech
> >> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/06/olympics_mobile_tracking/
> >>
> >> Frank
> >>
> >> ----- Original message -----
> >> From: "Douglas Finley" <dafinley at gmail.com>
> >> To: "elham gheytanchi" <elhamucla at hotmail.com>
> >> Cc: liberationtech at mailman.stanford.edu
> >> Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 10:41:26 -0600
> >> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM
> >>
> >> Conceptually,
> >>
> >> Does anyone know how effective a mobile version of Tor would be?
> >> Same server/client relationship strictly related to WiFi.
> >> I know using the service over 3G would be futile, but if your phone had
> >> a
> >> mobile Tor app..you would be able to talk/text/web on your mobile more
> >> securely right?
> >> Does anyone know if Mobile languages (iOS, Android, etc) give you API
> >> access
> >> to what you need to make something like that work?
> >>
> >> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 10:10 AM, elham gheytanchi
> >> <elhamucla at hotmail.com>wrote:
> >>
> >> >  when I was in Iran two years ago, I met up with three activists
> >> (women's
> >> > rights activists) and none of them brought their cell phones to our
> >> meeting
> >> > place. when I asked them why: they said they have learned- by trial
> and
> >> > error- that it is best to turn off their cell phones, take the sim
> card
> >> > out and leave it at home because otherwise they are traced by the
> >> security
> >> > forces.
> >> >
> >> > Best,
> >> > elham
> >> >
> >> > > From: cfarivar at cfarivar.org
> >> > > Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 15:54:22 +0100
> >> > > To: AllnuttL at rferl.org
> >> > > CC: liberationtech at mailman.stanford.edu
> >> > > Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM
> >> >
> >> > >
> >> > > For what it's worth, Nokia Siemens Networks basically said the same
> >> > > thing about the kit they sold to Iran pre 2009 election.
> >> > >
> >> > > -C
> >> > >
> >> > > On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM, Luke Allnutt <AllnuttL at rferl.org>
> >> > wrote:
> >> > > >
> >> > > > Dear All,
> >> > > >
> >> > > > I'm a journalist from RFE/RL working on a story about the recent
> >> > crackdown
> >> > > > in Belarus. Our Belarus Service is reporting that hundreds of cell
> >> > phone
> >> > > > owners are being summoned for interrogation by police and the KGB
> >> > because,
> >> > > > on December 19, they were using their phones at the site of the
> >> > > > antigovernment protest.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > We are trying to ascertain whether the phone operators were asked
> to
> >> > supply
> >> > > > the information about their customers' phone calls or whether the
> >> KGB
> >> > was
> >> > > > able to track these calls on their own. Both scenarios seem
> >> plausible.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > If anyone has any insight into what might have happened here and
> how
> >> > easy it
> >> > > > would be for the KGB to get that location data on their own, it
> >> would
> >> > be
> >> > > > much appreciated.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > My second question, if I may, would be about Ericsson, who have
> >> > supplied
> >> > > > Belarus operators with GSM equipment. I spoke via email to
> Ericsson,
> >> > and
> >> > > > from what I can make out, the GSM equipment they've supplied
> Belarus
> >> > with is
> >> > > > pretty standard and contains capabilities for "lawful intercept,"
> >> which
> >> > they
> >> > > > say is entirely in keeping with worldwide standards and norms.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > I've spoken to a few experts to try to ascertain whether Ericsson
> is
> >> > doing
> >> > > > anything inappropriate here. Should they, for instance, sell
> >> different
> >> > > > equipment to countries with less-than-democratic records? How
> >> difficult
> >> > > > would it be for Ericsson to reengineer their systems so lawful
> >> > intercept
> >> > > > capabilities were taken out? And how difficult would it be to put
> >> those
> >> > > > things back in?
> >> > > >
> >> > > > I apologize if these questions seem overly simplistic or
> >> off-the-mark.
> >> > I
> >> > > > have only a fairly limited understanding of the engineering
> >> questions;
> >> > thus
> >> > > > why I'm turning to you people.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > If anyone would have the time to answer my questions on list or
> off
> >> > list, I
> >> > > > would be hugely grateful. Many thanks for your time.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > Best Wishes,
> >> > > >
> >> > > > Luke
> >> > > >
> >> > > > _______________________________________________
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> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > > --
> >> > > ----------------------------------------
> >> > > Cyrus Farivar
> >> > > "suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var"
> >> > >
> >> > >  Freelance Technology Journalist
> >> > > cfarivar at cfarivar.org
> >> > >
> >> > > DE: +49 163 763 3108 (m)
> >> > > US: +1 510 394 5485 (m)
> >> > >
> >> > > AIM: FarivarCJ
> >> > > Twitter/Skype/Yahoo/gChat: cfarivar
> >> > >
> >> > > http://www.cyrusfarivar.com
> >> > >
> >> > > "Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the
> >> > Internet."
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