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Next Up: the Jamming Wars 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the drummers-everywhere-confused-by-pleased dept.
chicksdaddy writes "ITWorld has an interesting opinion piece on the next privacy battleground, which they say will be over citizens' rights to use jamming technology to (forcibly) opt-out of ubiquitous surveillance, as sensors pop up in more and more public spaces and private homes alike. 'Given the rapid pace of technological change, we don't know exactly what the future holds for us. But one thing is certain: personal privacy is going to turn from a "right" to a "fight" in the next decade, as individuals take up arms against government and private sector snooping on their personal lives.' The article mentions some skirmishes that have already occurred: employees using GPS jamming hardware to prevent employers from tracking their every movement, and the crush of new business for encrypted voice, video and texting services like SilentCircle (up 400% in the last two months). 'Absent the protection of the law, citizens should be expected to do what they do elsewhere: take matters into their own hands: latching onto tools and technology to give them the privacy that they aren't afforded by the legal system. However, there may not be an easy technology fix for ubiquitous, unregulated surveillance. Writing in Wired this week, Jathan Sadowski warns that the tendency for individuals to focus on securing their own data and communications and using technology to do may be misleading. 'The problem is that focusing on one or both of these approaches distracts from the much-needed political reform and societal pushback necessary to dig up a surveillance state at its root,' Sadowski writes."
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Next Up: the Jamming Wars

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  • Only outlaws will have paintball guns.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:04PM (#44568359) Homepage

      Worse - you don't bring a paintball gun to a tactical nuclear weapons fight. Sure, us little guys can buy gizmos and change habits but if you have the power of any major government after your ass, you're toast. Even sophisticated people like Laura Poitras [nytimes.com] are hassled to the point of having to leave the country.

      Unless you've got some major new technology that can defeat the status quo, the only answer is to fight them at the ballot box.

      Goodluckwiththat.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by cyber-vandal (148830)

        Exactly. The right to bear arms didn't do Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning a fat lot of good either.

        • by Doug Otto (2821601) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:17PM (#44568453)
          What we really need is the right to arm bears.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Trust me. As a hunter, I know: Bears are very well armed. As a matter of fact, unless a man is well armed in a match up with a bear, the man will lose.

            Just sayin'...

        • Exactly. The right to bear arms didn't do Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning a fat lot of good either.

          Manning gave up that right when he enlisted. He traded it for the responsibility to bear arms.

          But this brings up an interesting point: encryption tech is still (although not as much as it used to be) treated as munitions by the US government. As such, does the right to properly encrypted data fall under the right to bear arms? Or is the US interpreting the constitution these days to say you can bear as many arms as you want, but munitions are off-limits?

          • But this brings up an interesting point: encryption tech is still (although not as much as it used to be) treated as munitions by the US government. As such, does the right to properly encrypted data fall under the right to bear arms?

            Anything that is too dangerous doesn't fall under the 2nd amendment. The obvious example is, you can't own nuclear weapons. I don't understand why this is the case, but it's how the 2nd amendment is interpreted.

            • by bored (40072)

              I don't understand why this is the case, but it's how the 2nd amendment is interpreted.

              And its BS, because being a privateer and privately owning a ship complete with cannon sufficient to damage major naval vessels, forts and cities was common enough in early American history.

              • I do agree with you, it's an incorrect interpretation of the law, but there must be some reasoning behind the current interpretation. I'm not sure what the reasoning is.
        • by Dare nMc (468959)

          Not like either of them tried that I know of. I know that after Dorner was the most wanted person in the USA, full resources out to get a single man on the run, with a gun in the city. While he did get killed, but I think he killed 2 police before becoming the most wanted, and shot like 5 more police (killing 3 of them) before getting burned to the ground in a cabin. So if 1 trained person, after Police only, with gun kills 5:1; guns are certainly capable of increasing the impact of your change. He didn

      • by slick7 (1703596) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @07:47PM (#44570113)

        Unless you've got some major new technology that can defeat the status quo.

        Asymmetric warfare, you keep your energy hogging jammers and I'll hide out in my Tora Bora (patent pending) Faraday cage. Try and find me suckers.

      • I'm a bit bothered by the childish kneejerk reaction of "fight" and "buy a jammer" to repair what is in essence a big legal privacy loophole. If being tracked and identified bothers you, outlaw or regulate tracking.

        If you lack the will or the stamina to fight this through the ballot box, then why do you have voting rights? Might as well dispense with them right now, yes?

        It's fundamentally wrong to indiscriminately interfere with or obstruct devices (cellphones, GPS) near you just because you might be tr

        • Because the ballot box, particularly for offices that have any real sway in the debate, is being effectively neutered by the system that controls it.

          The corporate plutarchs and their mass-media entertainment industry shills are doing a masterful job of manipulating public behavior, to the extent that no dissident element has any possibility of making an electoral impact. Money always wins. Always.

          Conclusion?

          Short of a complete societal and economic collapse with a subsequent rethinking of governing structur

  • Easy solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    Modern cameras are easy to detect and destroy without leaving any physical evidence. All you need is something capable of sending out a pulse of near-infrared light and then looking for the highest return signal. Visible light will work too, but since we're being sneaky and all. All digital reflect light in the same direction as it is received; an optical quality not found naturally.

    Just shoot a high power laser on a very short duration wherever this quality is found, and you'll burn out the CCD of any near

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      Be warned however; while this won't happen to humans, animals like cats have eyes which produce similar effect.

      Yeah, people never get red-eye in photos.

      • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Informative)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:48PM (#44568665)

        Yeah, people never get red-eye in photos.

        Sigh. Red eye [wikipedia.org] is caused by the ABSORPTION of light, not the REFLECTION of light. A retroflector [wikipedia.org] is what is in a CCD, and in a cat's eye. example of red eye [wikipedia.org] example of cat eye [wikipedia.org]. Note the difference.

        Today's classroom science explanation brought to you by Jah-Wren Ryei, the idiot moderator who +1'd someone talking out of their ass, and wikipedia. Stay tuned for more exciting science later in this thread, where we'll go in detail to explore the behind the scenes [gatech.edu] technology that makes camera 'jamming' a reality, and why for some strange reason only people who have read books on optics can understand... it doesn't detect and blind human eyes.

        • Completely correct, but retroreflectors are all over the road. I have retroreflective tape on my motorcycle. I have retroreflectors on my running shoes. Most modern road paint is designed to be retroreflective; same thing with street signs. I think something designed to detect and destroy retroreflective objects would be very busy in any environment near a roadway.

          I like your idea and all, it just seems like there would need to be some thought put into an algorithm to weed out retroreflective items that

        • Sigh. Red eye is caused by the ABSORPTION of light, not the REFLECTION of light.

          The article you cite does not support your "sigh" at the start of this statement; the article says that red-eye is caused by BOTH absorption AND reflection. Without reflection, pupils would be black, as in everyday life. Without absorption, the light reflected would be some color other than red. *Sigh* :)

    • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:25PM (#44568511) Homepage

      Modern cameras are easy to detect and destroy without leaving any physical evidence. All you need is something capable of sending out a pulse of near-infrared light and then looking for the highest return signal. Visible light will work too, but since we're being sneaky and all. All digital reflect light in the same direction as it is received; an optical quality not found naturally.

      Um, are you trying to say that digital cameras are retroreflectors [wikipedia.org]? If so, they are not.

      Now, it's possible that the sensor is -- though I've seen no evidence of this -- but don't forget that the sensor is generally behind some lenses and possibly a shutter.

      I do recall a system being deployed in movie theaters designed to prevent filming of the movie with IR signals, but this doesn't require that a digital camera be retroreflective -- instead it just relies on the fact that digital cameras are sensitive to IR and our eyes are not. Using such a device it would be pretty easy to make pictures taken not come out (as long as the IR source was very close to what you're trying to protect) but it won't damage your camera unless it's so incredibly powerful that it's uncomfortable for humans to be near.

      an optical quality not found naturally.

      Um, yes it is. You mentioned cat's eyes already, but there are other things that exhibit this property naturally as well.

      Just shoot a high power laser on a very short duration wherever this quality is found, and you'll burn out the CCD of any nearby digital camera. Be warned however; while this won't happen to humans, animals like cats have eyes which produce similar effect.

      Yes, cats have retroreflective eyes.

      But any laser strong enough to damage a camera CCD (especially through a closed shutter, or a camera not even pointed at the laser) will also damage human eyes. And cat eyes, though the retroreflective property isn't why.

      I don't know where you're getting your information, but you seem to have misunderstood much of it.

      • Um, are you trying to say that digital cameras are retroreflectors? If so, they are not.

        Direct quote from the wikipedia article you posted:

        In common (non-SLR) digital cameras, where the sensor system is retroreflective. Researchers have used this property to demonstrate a system to prevent unauthorized photographs by detecting digital cameras and beaming a highly-focused beam of light into the lens.

        But any laser strong enough to damage a camera CCD (especially through a closed shutter, or a camera not even pointed at the laser) will also damage human eyes.

        Well yes, if you point them at someone's eye. I already said this in my earlier post. However, absent a high amount of particulate or humidity in the air, the risk to human beings in the area is quite low, assuming you aim it correctly and don't reflect it off something (a retroflector, as you recall, returns the light on a parallel path, so if you are targetting it correctly, the only real risk is to yourself).

    • Re:Easy solution (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:46PM (#44568643) Homepage

      Lasers strong enough to damage a CCD are not legal to own in many places. Weaker lasers blind cameras, but this can easily be overcome with a colour filter applied digitally to the recording. In short lasers are not very good against cameras.

    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      Sorry girlintraining, I typically like your posts, but this one is woefully misinformed. Perhaps this time it should be girlintrainginbra?
    • by no-body (127863)

      Modern cameras are easy to detect and destroy without leaving any physical evidence....

      Problem is that the camera caught you before the shot and that gets you nailed.

      Better to bug the hell out of people doing this stuff - identify and shame the crap out of them publicly. I mean, how many people are identified putting up surveillance on a large scale, the suppliers, amounts of contracts the individuals approving etc. Since the established news media is failing, other means are needed.

    • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @06:41PM (#44569657)

      Just shoot a high power laser on a very short duration wherever this quality is found, and you'll burn out the CCD of any nearby digital camera

      As someone who has directly shined a 300mw laser directly into a security camera for about 30 seconds from less than 10 feet away, I am going to call bullshit because it didn't damage the camera at all. It did bind it while the laser was on it, but that was it.

      300mw isn't the highest power laser there is by a long shot, but it is already way above the 5mw limit considered safe, but even lasers have beam spread such that shining a multi-watt laser from "miles away" is going to massively reduce the energy density.

      • As someone who has directly shined a 300mw laser directly into a security camera for about 30 seconds from less than 10 feet away, I am going to call bullshit because it didn't damage the camera at all. It did bind it while the laser was on it, but that was it.

        Yeah, and? For one, you need a much more powerful laser. A 300mW laser is shit. The laser in your bluray burner is about 4.5x more powerful. Second, shining a laser pointer isn't going to do anything to the camera because laser pointers don't have a focusing lens on it. At even a foot away, the beam has already diverged to at least double the size from the front of the device. The square root law means that you were only delivering 1/4th that power over a given surface area then... and I'm guessing, it was

        • > Yeah, and? For one, you need a much more powerful laser.

          I did more than what you said and it didn't work the way you said. Your leaving out details is your fault, not mine.

          If you aren't willing to specify how much wattage is necessary then you have no standing to whine that the laser isn't powerful enough.

          Same thing with the focusing lens - you want to add specifications after the fact, it may be true but you were completely disingenuous by leaving out the requirements.- after all you literally said "

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Try capturing an image from the camera and then filtering out the colour of the laser (i.e. if you have a red laser simply drop the red channel). You will find you still have a reasonable image.

    • Just shoot a high power laser on a very short duration wherever this quality is found, and you'll burn out the CCD of any nearby digital camera.

      It's claimed LED's will obscure your face; LED's can be placed in a base ball cap

      The Anonymous Guide to Hiding From Facial Recognition, or the Long Arm of the Law (shows the use of a laser pointer)
      http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2012/08/the-anonymous-guide-to-hiding-from-facial-recognition-or-the-long-arm-of-the-law/ [gizmodo.co.uk]

      So I bought a LED cap at a gun shop of all places for $12.
      http://www.walmart.com/ip/Huntworth-Men-s-Lighted-Baseball-Cap-Oak-Tree/15111206 [walmart.com]

      I've had it for a month now and haven't tested it to see if it

    • by tinkerton (199273)

      A variation on the old rule 'if it moves, salute it, if it doesn't move paint it white' ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:08PM (#44568385)

    Raspberry. There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry: Lone Star!

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:09PM (#44568389)

    This one is only good for those cameras that use a flash:

    http://www.nophoto.com/ [nophoto.com]

    I'm thinking it might be possible to build a "clear" overlay with a bunch of infra-red LEDs built in in a pattern that is invisible to the naked eye but fuzzes the numbers for any camera that sees in the infra-red (most of them). Put that over your plate and run it all the time, even when the car is parked anywhere except in your garage.

    • by Kaenneth (82978)

      I cannot imagine how people think deliberately obscuring your license plate could ever possibly be legal

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:39PM (#44568593)

        I cannot imagine how people think deliberately obscuring your license plate could ever possibly be legal.

        Because it isn't obscured - to humans. The law doesn't say it needs to be readable by machines.

        • by johanw (1001493)

          That still doesn't make it legal (that may depend on your jurisdiction), but it will of course seriously reduce the chance of getting caught.

          • it IS legal unless it is expressly legislated to be illegal.
          • by jittles (1613415)

            That still doesn't make it legal (that may depend on your jurisdiction), but it will of course seriously reduce the chance of getting caught.

            It's also perfectly legal to jam LIDAR in most states. THe only reason jamming radar is illegal is due to FCC Regs. The FDA governs the use of lasers and they have not made it illegal to jam LIDAR. Of course this is obviously a US-centric comment.

        • by Kaenneth (82978)

          I'm sure a judge would just love that line of logic, and not give you the maximum penalty after you basically admit you did it deliberately in an attempt to avoid the law.

          And I'm sure an officer wouldn't see that you are trying to evade the law, and so spend extra time searching you vehicle in great detail to find every possible other equipment violation.

          And I'm sure your defense attorney wouldn't call you a fool, because you're the type who would represent himself, and get all angry at the system for faili

          • I'm sure a judge would just love that line of logic, and not give you the maximum penalty after you basically admit you did it deliberately in an attempt to avoid the law.

            That logic can only go so far, at some point it becomes the equivalent of if you don't help the police then you are trying to avoid the law. Where is that line? In the cases of speed and red-light cameras the states have circumvented the people's 6th amendment right to confront their accuser by making them civil violations. Seems to me that cuts both ways, if it isn't a crime then there was no intent to avoid the law.

          • Hey, it's not my fault if the police chose to use a machine that was inferior to the human eye.
        • by drkim (1559875)

          The law doesn't say it needs to be readable by machines.

          Yeah, except for, like, this part:

          V C Section 52017 6(c) A casing, shield, frame, border, product, or other device that obstructs or impairs the reading or recognition of a license plate by an electronic device operated by state or local law enforcement, an electronic device operated in connection with a toll road, high-occupancy toll lane, toll bridge, or other toll facility, or a remote emission sensing device, as specified in Sections 44081 and 44081.6 of the Health and Safety Code, shall not be installe

    • by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:36PM (#44568573)

      It'd be easier if citizens, fed up with them, just spraypainted over their apertures.

      There is spray paint covering half of Baltimore. Why not just add a little more?

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:41PM (#44568603) Homepage

      This one is only good for those cameras that use a flash:

      The ones that take your photo when you break the speed limit? If only there was some other way to avoid getting your photo taken by those...

      • by bobbied (2522392)
        There are many... 1. Don't speed.... 2. Don't go near them when you do.... Etc..
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Going the speed limit is dangerous, because you are going slower than everybody around you.
      • by SJ (13711)

        The only problem there is that it won't be long before those cameras start taking photos of everyone, regardless of speed. That data, along with everything else, can then be used to track you.

        It's just a side-effect that they can make some extra coin from those people that are speeding.

        • They're already doing that. Those average speed cameras being set up do automatic number plate recognition to track your time between the two points. This dataset is retained by the police instead of being dumped automatically after use. Ideally, if you are not exceeding the speed limit, your number plate details and times should be erased from the data, but they're NOT doing this as it's too convenient for them to gather number data and times for later use.

          This is why you continue to hear stories on the ne

  • Quite timely: http://xkcd.com/1251/ [xkcd.com]
  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:16PM (#44568441)
    It's not a zero-sum game. One can do what one can *now* to protect one's self AND work to create the proper safeguards.
    • Were a long ways off from needing to jam... But seriously there are much better solutions to being spied on. Jamming is a bad one, and last resort. I would reserve only for a war zone. It's far to disruptive to legitimate communication and does more harm than simply switching modes of communication. (Wireless to wired, mail to in person).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:21PM (#44568473)

    Ooh, yeah! All right!
    We're jammin':
    I wanna jam it wid you.
    We're jammin', jammin',
    And I hope you like jammin', too.

    Ain't no rules, ain't no vow, we can do it anyhow:
    I'n'I will see you through,
    'Cos everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice,
    Jammin' till the jam is through.

    We don't need the NSA
    To record the things we say
    Or the things we dooooo

    No matter how we try
    we're surounded by Wi-Fi
    transmissions tooooooo

    Now dey watch us wid their drones
    and their trackin our cell phones
    I guess we scroooooooed

    No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won't bow;
    Info can be bought nor sold.
    We all defend the right; Jah - Jah children must unite:
    Your life is worth much more than gold.

     

  • If you don't want to be tracked by an employer who tracks then find and employer who does not track. I have no problem with an employer knowing where I am during working hours. I am on their time. If they track me on my time then there is an issue.

    • Yeah I have a friend who has a company supplied phone and they are expressly forbidden from turning off the GPS on the device - termination offense. Fully disclosed mind you but I would so be putting that thing down at 5pm and leaving it at the office. My friend enjoys the free cell service in exchange.
  • by Misch (158807) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:34PM (#44568553) Homepage

    Interestingly enough, there was a guy who was recently busted for putting a GPS jammer on his truck. It was discovered when he drove near an airport and impacted the testing of GPS-enhanced plane landing equipment.

    Source [computerworld.com].

    The person was fined $32,000 and was fired by the company he was working for.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      And rightly so. Running around jamming GPS signals is a *serious* problem for a lot of things these days. Fines from the FCC *should* be quickly metered out for such foolishness. Glad to see that they are.

      Trying to hide one's location from your employer when on duty is possibly a bad idea too. One would assume that the employer had a valid interest in knowing where their equipment was and had installed the GPS based equipment for that purpose. The driver's attempts to mask his location was inexcusable

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:39PM (#44568595)

    The whole "personal jammer" thing is a non-starter. Jammers are indescriminate, and the usual rhetoric used to make them illegal will apply.

    Take for instance, with personal cellphone jammers. They are illegal in the united states, specifically cited by the FCC. The reason, is that they disrupt vital comminications infrastructure, and can therefor prevent expedient deployment of emergency services, an other vital services that rely on the availability of that communication medium.

    In the case of the surveylance industry, the argument can be made that cameras make the community safer, by helping law enforcement to identify and rapidly locate dangerous criminals, and that disrupting this system places the community at greater risk.

    Those are totally specious arguments in most of the applied settings they would be used in, but that doesn't matter. Think of it as a horrible cousin to the "think of the children!" Rhetoric. Or, maybe the "interstate commerce" doctrine.

    Personal jamming tech is a nonstarter for legal defense against ubiquitous tracking and surveylence.

    About the only thing left, then, is relentless use of it anyway, as a dedicated civil disobedience movement. Yes, that means pleading guilty to the charge in court when arrested, as per the proper use of civil disobedience as a tactic. You want to swamp the justice system with burdensome numbers of people to incarcerate, with a near 100% recidivism rate.

    It has to cost them far more money than their corporate puppeteers make from the mandatory protection and employment of the surveylence. It has to do this consistently, and without fail.

    Otherwise, there will always be the profit motive, and the corruption that money has on government, and the surveylence state will persist.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858)

      FWIW, I really, really want to take your post seriously, but it's nigh impossible to do so when you consistently mis-spell the word, "surveillance"

      • by wierd_w (1375923)

        I realize that there is a disproportionate number of person on slashdot that give exceptional levels of percieved value to the "correct" employment of language, structure, and punctuation; however, the purpose of language is to convey information and ideas. The purpose of spelling, grammatical, and syntax rules is to fascilitate that objective. Obcessive fixation over the use or lack of use of minutia relating to those aspects of communication, to the point where it causes a deficit in effective communicati

        • by wierd_w (1375923)

          (And this stupid IME on this phone copes with changes in process focus by simply discarding keypresses-- for whole words at a time. Please ignore the clear obviousness of missing words in the above. They do not reflect on my ability to construct proper sentences. Samsung simply decided that making sure the alert bar getting focus to tell me that the local file scanner completed successfully was substantially more important than proper fidelity from the IME.)

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Jamming RF communications is simply illegal and needs to be. The FCC takes a pretty dim view of the average citizen just deciding to disrupt licensed radio services for *any* reason they choose and this is how it SHOULD be. The FCC has authority over anything that puts off RF energy, either on purpose or incidentally and can (and will) require you to turn off equipment that is interfering with RF communications. If you don't obey, or they figure you are jamming on purpose, they can fine you, confiscate yo

      • by wierd_w (1375923)

        Not entirely true.

        It is possible to effectively jam a single communicating device, with a very small near field transmitter stuck directly on top of the device's antenna.

        Say, a small 1/4 wavelength coil, stuck to the antenna. When calculated over any appreciable distance, the output of the jammer will be at or below normal noise floor, since it attenuates quickly, and is fairly low power to start with. The detection system simply won't find it unless it is right on top of it.

        However, because it is right on

        • by bobbied (2522392)

          RF knows no boundaries, except physics. Sure, if you have direct access and can dial down the power enough to blend in with the background noise, you might be hard to find.. But you are not going to jam much either. Still, on the GPS band, you are going to have to dial back the power a LOT or risk standing out like a lighter in a hayfield on a moonless night.

          • by wierd_w (1375923)

            The idea is to alter the resonant properties of the sending antenna. By directly coupling with sending antenna using the near feild, we can make the signal fidelity of the broadcast signal drop to abysmally low levels.

            For a realworld example, look at what happens when a small cellphone booster used for cars gets parked underneath a big cellphone tower. The broadcast power of the repeater is considerably less than the tower, but also considerably greater than a normal cellphone. The tower has to turn the rec

      • by drkim (1559875)

        Sitting in a movie theater jamming cell phone service to keep folks from getting calls during your movie may sound like a good idea, but the problem is you just cannot know how far your jamming signal is going.

        Great point - but forget about range. How do you know that 'annoying' guy talking into his cell phone right behind you in the theater isn't saying, "Hello? 911? I think I'm having a heart attack!"

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        You are assuming that the jammer is on constantly and thus easy to locate. There is no need to have it on all the time though, just for a few seconds when some asshole decides to take a call during the movie. Good luck tracking down a relatively low power 5 second burst of RF with no warning of if or when it will happen.

        I agree it's a stupid thing to do, but I know lots of people who use phone jammers regularly this way and never attract any attention.

    • Take for instance, with personal cellphone jammers. They are illegal in the united states, specifically cited by the FCC. The reason, is that they disrupt vital comminications infrastructure,

      That is untrue. They are illegal because they are not licensed to broadcast on those frequencies. The FCC doesn't allow ANY unlicensed broadcasters on restricted frequencies, no matter what the reason. Every cell phone has to get FCC licensing before it can be legally used in the US.

  • Our fault (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:48PM (#44568667)

    We have been blithely feeding bits of our privacy to corporations for years. Neilsen, survey companies, members discount store cards, google, facebook, mobile phone providers. The list goes on and on. The data is there and we GIVE it away for things we ostensibly want.

    Is it any surprise now that the government wants the same and more? Google is an advertising company. They have show how much can be made in this way, and the data that can be gathered. They give us the tools that we need in order to be able to better serve their customers. Government is supposed to protect the people, and as is often the case, has taken it to far. The individual NSA analyst may think he is doing a greater good sifting through your 'metadata' and believe it whole-heartedly. However he is really just feeding the military-data complex, which is simply an offshoot of the military-industrial complex. It is tied up with money galore, corporate greed and self interest, and kickbacks and graft, um I mean campaign donations, to grease up the politicians who feed it to us if they don't buy it for free

    This thing has inertia, it is armed, and comes with more power than even a large group of 'regular' joes can easily fight. Especially since most of the country is apathetic and/or splintered of bullshit issues like gay marriage. This has been a long time coming, and people have fought, but they get swept up and under by the machine. People like Manning, Snowden, Assange, they are doing the things that Patrick Henry and Ben Franklin would likely be proud of. They have stood up against a government that enables people to steal away little by little the wealth that this country and its people generate. They have stood up to say, no, this is not what america is supposed to be. And whether you agree with their methods or motivations, have you stood up? Have I? Or have we both sat down to watch the Cowboys game again?

    Unfortunately it will end one of two ways that I see. The continuing downhill slide until finally comes to a bloody crash, or a bloody crash now. And by bloody, I mean bloody. And after? Brave words will be said, changes may be made, some deep some superficial, but sooner or later those near the top will realize...

    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @04:49PM (#44568669) Homepage

    An app that randomly broadcast packets with new mac addresses constantly would be quite effective at flooding databases with crap and hiding the individual.

    • by wbr1 (2538558)

      An app that randomly broadcast packets with new mac addresses constantly would be quite effective at flooding databases with crap and hiding the individual.

      Only if the snooping was on your lan and at layer 2. MAC addresses do not make it past your first router.

  • How has no one quoted Spaceballs yet? Slashdot, you're upsetting me.
  • by reboot246 (623534) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @05:26PM (#44568991) Homepage
    I'm going to be using the Cone of Silence.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_of_Silence/ [wikipedia.org]
  • Its people committing a crime. Its not legal to interfere with communications. FCC takes a dim view on it.

  • ... the next privacy battleground...

    I didn't know there had been a previous "privacy battleground".

    Personally, I don't feel there is an issue. Sure, it is slightly uncomfortable to know that there are unsavoury character out there collecting information about who you are and what you do with the intent to use it against you - advertisers spring to mind - but that is the way it has always been, and we have always found ways to live with it, one way or another.

    I am sure I will be modded way down for expression this as my view, ironically (free

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

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