Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
Like Tree52Likes

Thread: The FBI remotely taps into private cell phones and computers to spy on us

  1. #1
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    17,107

    Default The FBI remotely taps into private cell phones and computers to spy on us

    This is truly disgusting (mostly because it comes as no surprise at all). The gross overreach of the US federal government is overwhelming.



    FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects - WSJ.com

    Law-enforcement officials in the U.S. are expanding the use of tools routinely used by computer hackers to gather information on suspects, bringing the criminal wiretap into the cyber age.

    Federal agencies have largely kept quiet about these capabilities, but court documents and interviews with people involved in the programs provide new details about the hacking tools, including spyware delivered to computers and phones through email or Web links—techniques more commonly associated with attacks by criminals.

    People familiar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's programs say that the use of hacking tools under court orders has grown as agents seek to keep up with suspects who use new communications technology, including some types of online chat and encryption tools. The use of such communications, which can't be wiretapped like a phone, is called "going dark" among law enforcement.

    Enlarge Image
    image
    A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment.

    The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.'s GOOG +0.26% Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment.

    The bureau typically uses hacking in cases involving organized crime, child pornography or counterterrorism, a former U.S. official said. It is loath to use these tools when investigating hackers, out of fear the suspect will discover and publicize the technique, the person said.

    The FBI has been developing hacking tools for more than a decade, but rarely discloses its techniques publicly in legal cases.

    Related

    Digits: How the FBI Hacks Criminal Suspects
    Earlier this year, a federal warrant application in a Texas identity-theft case sought to use software to extract files and covertly take photos using a computer's camera, according to court documents. The judge denied the application, saying, among other things, that he wanted more information on how data collected from the computer would be minimized to remove information on innocent people.

    Since at least 2005, the FBI has been using "web bugs" that can gather a computer's Internet address, lists of programs running and other data, according to documents disclosed in 2011. The FBI used that type of tool in 2007 to trace a person who was eventually convicted of emailing bomb threats in Washington state, for example.

    The FBI "hires people who have hacking skill, and they purchase tools that are capable of doing these things," said a former official in the agency's cyber division. The tools are used when other surveillance methods won't work: "When you do, it's because you don't have any other choice," the official said.

    Surveillance technologies are coming under increased scrutiny after disclosures about data collection by the National Security Agency. The NSA gathers bulk data on millions of Americans, but former U.S. officials say law-enforcement hacking is targeted at very specific cases and used sparingly.

    Still, civil-liberties advocates say there should be clear legal guidelines to ensure hacking tools aren't misused. "People should understand that local cops are going to be hacking into surveillance targets," said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union. "We should have a debate about that."

    Mr. Soghoian, who is presenting on the topic Friday at the DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas, said information about the practice is slipping out as a small industry has emerged to sell hacking tools to law enforcement. He has found posts and resumes on social networks in which people discuss their work at private companies helping the FBI with surveillance.

    A search warrant would be required to get content such as files from a suspect's computer, said Mark Eckenwiler, a senior counsel at Perkins Coie LLP who until December was the Justice Department's primary authority on federal criminal surveillance law. Continuing surveillance would necessitate an even stricter standard, the kind used to grant wiretaps.

    But if the software gathers only communications-routing "metadata"—like Internet protocol addresses or the "to" and "from" lines in emails—a court order under a lower standard might suffice if the program is delivered remotely, such as through an Internet link, he said. That is because nobody is physically touching the suspect's property, he added.

    An official at the Justice Department said it determines what legal authority to seek for such surveillance "on a case-by-case basis." But the official added that the department's approach is exemplified by the 2007 Washington bomb-threat case, in which the government sought a warrant even though no agents touched the computer and the spyware gathered only metadata.

    In 2001, the FBI faced criticism from civil-liberties advocates for declining to disclose how it installed a program to record the keystrokes on the computer of mobster Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. to capture a password he was using to encrypt a document. He was eventually convicted.

    A group at the FBI called the Remote Operations Unit takes a leading role in the bureau's hacking efforts, according to former officials.

    Officers often install surveillance tools on computers remotely, using a document or link that loads software when the person clicks or views it. In some cases, the government has secretly gained physical access to suspects' machines and installed malicious software using a thumb drive, a former U.S. official said.

    The bureau has controls to ensure only "relevant data" are scooped up, the person said. A screening team goes through all of the data pulled from the hack to determine what is relevant, then hands off that material to the case team and stops working on the case.

    The FBI employs a number of hackers who write custom surveillance software, and also buys software from the private sector, former U.S. officials said.

    Italian company HackingTeam SRL opened a sales office in Annapolis, Md., more than a year ago to target North and South America. HackingTeam provides software that can extract information from phones and computers and send it back to a monitoring system. The company declined to disclose its clients or say whether any are in the U.S.

    U.K.-based Gamma International offers computer exploits, which take advantage of holes in software to deliver spying tools, according to people familiar with the company. Gamma has marketed "0 day exploits"—meaning that the software maker doesn't yet know about the security hole—for software including Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer, those people said. Gamma, which has marketed its products in the U.S., didn't respond to requests for comment, nor did Microsoft.

    Write to Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at Jennifer.Valentino-DeVries@wsj.com and Danny Yadron at danny.yadron@wsj.com

    A version of this article appeared August 2, 2013, on page A5 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Somewhere been 'General Confusion' and 'Total WTF?'
    Posts
    21,040

    Default

    Meh. If the British government wants to see all the pictures of the cats on my phone or listen to the OH complain about traffic jams while I scream after being ambushed by the cat then more fool them.
    louiswinthorpe111 likes this.
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

    How big would a T-Rex wang be?! - Karistiona


  3. #3
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    42,521

    Default

    they must be bored silly.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Somewhere been 'General Confusion' and 'Total WTF?'
    Posts
    21,040

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    they must be bored silly.
    They would be if they tapped my phone.
    louiswinthorpe111 likes this.
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

    How big would a T-Rex wang be?! - Karistiona


  5. #5
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    31,675

    Default

    I'm on Team Meh too. I have nothing to hide so spy away spooks. On the other hand if they manage to snag some bad guys by listening in to phone calls then go for it.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

  6. #6
    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Trolltopia
    Posts
    29,138

    Default

    They spy on everyone, yet they fail to catch two kids planning to bomb the Boston marathon.
    Hello mother fucker! when you ask a question read also the answer instead of asking another question on an answer who already contain the answer of your next question!
    -Bugdoll-



  7. #7
    Hit By Ban Bus!
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    And people laugh at me, for my tinfoil hat ways.....
    Kathie_Moffett and Brookie like this.

  8. #8
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    34,662

    Default

    I've always found “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” to be an extremely dangerous and foolish mindset.

    It’s not you who determines if you have something to fear.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  9. #9
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sleepy night night land
    Posts
    23,703

    Default

    I have nothing to hide, but I certainly don't want my privacy violated. You never know what information they're gathering and how it could be used against you in the future, for anything.

    Considering my SO is of Middle Eastern decent, I'm quite certain we've been snooped.
    Clubber Lang likes this.

  10. #10
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    31,675

    Default

    But I truly DON'T have anything to hide now or in the past. Im a very boring person (fuck off).
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

  11. #11
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    34,662

    Default

    c'mon. everyone has one secret



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  12. #12
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    17,107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I've always found “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” to be an extremely dangerous and foolish mindset.

    It’s not you who determines if you have something to fear.
    This x 100,000!
    KrisNine and Clubber Lang like this.

  13. #13
    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    just another freak in the freak kingdom
    Posts
    6,977

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    But I truly DON'T have anything to hide now or in the past. Im a very boring person (fuck off).
    This. I really am, too.

    Thing is, "the authorities" have been fucking with and framing whatever targets they please for decades. Centuries. Look at the witch-hunts (either the 1950s ones OR the old-timey Puritan ones, doesn't really matter). If some asshole in government has it in for me, I may be screwed anyway. Them having recordings of me yelling at my cats to get the fuck off the table is not going to impress anybody. What scares me is trumped-up aka fake evidence. And that also is nothing new.

    On a personal level, I've learned that people are going to judge you anyway, and as far as I'm concerned, almost nobody is ever friendly and accepting. I've had people take a vicious dislike to me because of some random attitude they attributed to me without even KNOWING me, and of course they never questioned the rightness of their judgment for one moment despite all the horrible behavior they carried out based on it. When they finally became acquainted with the truth, their embarrassment and shock was epic; but that made them hate me more. Fuck it!

    Not that I'm not a fan of privacy, but I think it's always been something of an illusion. Probably every single person on this board would feel sick if they could somehow magically be shown all the shit various people know and have said about them, including everything we've deluded ourselves nobody noticed or figured out or whatever. In 100 years, we've gone from the small town/back-fence gossip world where your nosy neighbor heard everything you do with his/her EARS and told everyone, to modern high-tech living where some dipshit MAY be listening in on your cellphone mike IF you took your laptop to be fixed by the Libyan guy down the block who happens to belong to some activist Muslim group. And a serial killer with a parabolic mike could be lurking in the yard next door, listening to every word I say. He has probably installed a keylogger on my laptop and is reading this post remotely right now.

    Oh well. (*Hi asshole. I've got the 357 revolver right here, come visit. This goes for the FBI and the CIA and the NSA too. Unless you're cute. Wait, I'm married. Strike that.*)

    This is my crazy post-(ONE, listeners)cocktail privacy manifesto, and I should probably put it in the manifesto thread. Hmmm.
    Did you know that every time a parent gives in to their kid's whines and buys them candy at the checkout lane, a kitten gets diabetes?-Dlisted
    I dislike groups of people, but I love individuals. Every person you look at, you can see the universe in their eyes, if you're really looking.
    -George Carlin

  14. #14
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In the "D"
    Posts
    24,488

    Default

    The most anyone would get from my phone is some work texts and photos of my yard and the cats. Hack away.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

    - Mark Twain

  15. #15
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,780

    Default

    While this is creepy, they could stumble upon other things, like prostitution or baaad things like pedophilia rings. It would change my opinion greatly if I know that they'd overlook those things

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Cell Phones Can Mess Up DNA Now?
    By NVash in forum Computers and Technology
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: December 7th, 2010, 03:38 PM
  2. Cell phones
    By AquariusMoon in forum Computers and Technology
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: December 16th, 2008, 12:36 PM
  3. Unlocked cell phones!
    By AliceInWonderland in forum Computers and Technology
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: April 12th, 2008, 09:46 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •