Month: February 2014

American’s License Plates Are Being Photographed and Tracked

Did you know that if you drive in the United States (something which many Americans take for granted) there’s a good chance your vehicle license plate and car have been photographed and put in a database? Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) and cameras are in many major cities across the U.S. already and have been gathering data on millions of unsuspecting American drivers. What’s even more disturbing than the “eye in the sky” watching your every move is a report that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is currently looking for contractors to build and maintain a national database of license plate information collected.  Read more about it here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/02/national-license-plate-recognition-database-what-it-and-why-its-bad-idea

lic plate

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Code Talking: The Art of Communicating Using Codes

 In World War II Navajo Indians were utilized by the military for secret communications.  It has been said that had it not been for the Navajo code talkers the war would have ended differently.  The language of the Navajo is not a written language and has several dialects.  At the time of WWII it was estimated that no more than 30 non-Navajo’s could even understand the language, making it perfect for relaying coded messages behind enemy lines.  During the entire war the enemy never figured out the coded messages sent back and forth by Navajo code talkers.
Why am I bringing this up now and what relevance does it hold?  Well, unfortunately we have all found ourselves behind enemy lines at this point and as usual, the enemy within is more formidable than the enemy at the gate.  Our own people are watching, listening and attempting to program us.  Don’t worry.  You have nothing to worry about as long as you aren’t doing anything wrong!!!  Right?……. I have to laugh every time I hear that.  Here’s the way I look at it.  When an animal finds itself caught in a snare, what did the animal do wrong?
 Ebay Aug (141 of 372)
Every time you communicate you are being listened to.  Every time you flip on a light switch or use an electric appliance it is recorded.  A website you log onto is monitored and the email you send is, at the very least, stored away to later be used as evidence.  This could drive a sane person crazy.
Today I am going to give you some advice besides the usual (don’t do, say or write anything you wouldn’t want to see on the 6 o’clock news).  You have to develop your own code of communication.  I can’t tell you what it will be because if I did it would be known.  You and your friends/family will have to come up with your own, but here goes a few suggestions.
Make up one code word.  This will be what I call the affirmative word.  If you are in doubt about something being communicated in person or electronically then as a team you will resolve to do nothing until everybody involved is able to tell you this code word.  For instance, let’s say your code word is “district of Columbia”.   If someone is sent to pick you up and you don’t know them, then you would not go with them unless they know the code word “district of Columbia”, so then you would know it is a friend who sent them.
Second, create a code question and answer.  Email or blind communication could be difficult unless you are able to confirm who you are talking to.  Let’s say you receive a phone call from a friend asking you something sensitive.  The two of you should already have a coded question and answer to make sure he doesn’t have bad guys standing next to him.  The question you may ask is “how’s the weather in Little Rock today?”  The correct answer may be “a little cloudy”  but if he has bad guys listening in then he may say “I’m not in Little Rock, I’m in Dallas”.  Then you would know not to divulge anything meaningful.
My third idea is sort of like a football or basketball play.  This would have to be a prearranged scenario you and your friends work out.  This way you may call the play by a name.  For example “tiger 72” may mean lets all run in separate directions or “Eagle 44” may mean lets jump this guy when I drop my keys.  You can work this out, but it all has to be pre-planned and everybody needs to understand clearly.
My last idea for now is to have yourself a set of numbered locations to meet up in case all communications go down.  In recent years, when riots or public disapproval of a government breaks out, all internet and phones have been cut off by said government.  You may not even be a part of the event but you and your family need to regroup.  All you have to do is set up a few destinations around the area and one far away destination, in case things go really wrong, where you and your people can meet.
There are tons of variations and I welcome your ideas on this subject.  I also want to apologize to those who don’t believe all of this is going on.  I’m sorry, but it is real and it is here in your neighborhood.  Denial won’t solve the problem.

The Phone Game: Your Communications Over The Phone Are Not Safe!

The U.S. Supreme Court may be deciding on the legality of police officers obtaining cell phone data without a warrant, but for now it is surely happening.  I will also go as far as to suggest that even if the Supreme Court rules that this practice of obtaining private data without a warrant is absolutely despicable (and illegal) it will still continue in some fashion.

 

With that said, my advice is simple.  Don’t say, text, or email anything on your phone that you wouldn’t want to see on the news alongside a photo yourself.  In other words, secrets are not secrets if they are on your phone.  Never underestimate technology.  Many police officers have at their disposal, a device that can download all of your phone data in seconds.  Keep in mind that if local street cops are able to have this technology, you have no idea what kinds of crazy monitoring devices are being used at the headquarters of all the alphabet agencies.

 

What I want to focus on here is the lower level contacts in which you may be pulled over or involved in a traffic accident and the local police seize your phone.  I want to make it clear that if you have committed a crime then you deserve to be punished for it but at the same time you could have unrelated sensitive information on your phone.  No one can be sure about the trustworthiness of any other human being when valuable information is revealed to them and once your phone data is loaded onto a secondary device it could easily fall into the wrong hands.

 

Some officials would have you believe that the cell phone data would only be taken without a warrant in the most serious cases.  In fact, the two cases being reviewed by the Supreme Court right now, Riley v California and US v Wurie, are about serious incidents (gangs shootings and drugs to keep it short).  However, it must be kept in mind that once these cases make it past the Supreme Court there will be a feeding frenzy and the everyday average citizen will be the victim.  Once police have the green light to seize and search cell phones they will do it to everybody.  It won’t just be related to “big time” offenses.  You will have your phone seized every time as a matter of routine.  The routine traffic stop will become the routine traffic stop and phone search.

 

At this point I can only add this piece of advice: Get rid of your smart phone.  If you don’t want to do that then take the battery out of it every time you get into your vehicle.

 

Another option is to use a portable faraday enclosure to protect your cell phone. This sounds complicated, but is actually pretty simple and easy to use. There are several companies that offer this sort of privacy protection for phones – one of which is in the link below.

Block-it Pocket 

Note: author has no affiliation with companies who sell these devices – we’re simply trying to share helpful information with those who want to protect their privacy.