Jan 13

Child-Tracking Wristbands
KMS Wristband phones for young children and older people. The phone can also send an alert if the wearer has left a prescribed area. Photograph: STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS

- Child-tracking wristbands edge us closer to a dystopian future (Guardian, Jan 10, 2014):

Parents will soon be able to track, log and judge the every movement of their offspring. God help those children

For those who think the NSA the worst invader of privacy, I invite you to share an afternoon with Aiden and Foster, two 11-year-old boys, as they wrap up a Friday at school. Aiden invites his friend home to hang out and they text their parents, who agree to the plan.

As they ride on the bus Foster’s phone and a sensor on a wristband alert the school and his parents of a deviation from his normal route. The school has been notified that he is heading to Aiden’s house so the police are not called.

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Jan 03

From the article:

 “Privacy is the real challenge,” Wise said. He said the V2V will likely rely on GPS-type data that could track a person’s movements.


- Feds May Require Cars to Talk to Each Other to Avoid Crashes (ABC News, Jan 1, 2014):

Federal officials will decided in the “coming weeks” whether to require new cars to include smart technology that would alert drivers of a coming crash, even in vehicles that are two or three cars away.

The vehicle-to-vehicle — or V2V — technology has undergone testing in recent years and has already been installed in some cars that are on the road.

A recent study by the Government Accountability Office determined that if the gizmos were widely deployed, “V2V technologies could provide warnings to drivers in as much as 76 percent of potential multi-vehicle collisions.”

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Nov 20

Image via Multnomah County, OR Community Detention Monitoring Program

- Caution: Your GPS Ankle Bracelet Is Listening (The Crime Report, Oct 25, 2013):

When defense lawyer Fermín L. Arraiza-Navas sat down with a prospective client in San Juan, Puerto Rico last April, he casually asked the man about the Global Positioning System (GPS) ankle bracelet that he was wearing as a condition for his bail.

The reply was just as casual.

“They speak to me through that thing,” the man said.

It wasn’t the first time the lawyer encountered GPS bracelets with apparently extraordinary powers. He told the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Reporting (CPIPR) that a previous defendant’s GPS ankle bracelet started to vibrate during a meeting with him.

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Jan 20

- Justice Department ‘Complies’ With FOIA Request For GPS Tracking Memos; Hands ACLU 111 Fully Redacted Pages (TechDirt, Jan 17,2013)

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Jan 16

- NYPD to try GPS in ‘bait bottles’ to track drug thieves (Los Angeles Times, Jan 15, 2013):

New York police plan to distribute “bait bottles” of fake pain-killers equipped with invisible GPS devices in a drive to combat the scourge of pharmacy robberies by addicts and sellers looking for oxycodone tablets, which can fetch more than $80 per pill on the street.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced the novel approach at the 2013 Clinton Health Matters Conference in La Quinta on Tuesday, saying his city’s cases of  oxycodone-related crime have included a retired police officer who resorted to robbing pharmacies to satisfy his craving for the highly addictive narcotic.

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Jan 14

- Hackers say coming air traffic control system lets them hijack planes (Network World, Jan 13, 2013):

FAA says it can spot hacking attempts, but won’t allow independent ‘stress tests’

CSO – An ongoing multibillion-dollar overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system is designed to make commercial aviation more efficient, more environmentally friendly and safer by 2025.

But some white-hat hackers are questioning the safety part. The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) will rely on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) instead of radar. And so far, several hackers have said they were able to demonstrate the capability to hijack aircraft by spoofing their GPS components.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared that it already has multiple measures to detect fake signals. But it has so far not allowed any independent testing of the system.

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Jan 03

- 11 Secret Documents Americans Deserve to See (AllGov, Dec 10, 2012):

Many documents produced by the U.S. government are confidential and not released to the public for legitimate reasons of national security.  Others, however, are kept secret for more questionable reasons.  The fact that presidents and other government officials have the power to deem materials classified provides them with an opportunity to use national security as an excuse to suppress documents and reports that would reveal embarrassing or illegal activities.

I’ve been collecting the stories of unreleased documents for several years. Now I have chosen 11 examples that were created—and buried—by both Democratic and Republican administrations and which cover assassinations, spying, torture, 50-year-old historical events, presidential directives with classified titles and…trade negotiations.

1. Obama Memo Allowing the Assassination of U.S. Citizens

When the administration of George W. Bush was confronted with cases of Americans fighting against their own country, it responded in a variety of ways. John Walker Lindh, captured while fighting with the Taliban in December 2001, was indicted by a federal grand jury and sentenced to 20 years in prison. José Padilla was arrested in Chicago in May 2002 and held as an “enemy combatant” until 2006 when he was transferred to civilian authority and, in August 2007, sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to support terrorism. Adam Gadahn, who has made propaganda videos for al-Qaeda, was indicted for treason in 2006 and remains at large.

After he took over the presidency, Barack Obama did away with such traditional legal niceties and decided to just kill some Americans who would previously have been accused of treason or terrorism. His victims have included three American citizens killed in Yemen in 2011 by missiles fired from drones: U.S.-born anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, an al-Qaeda propagandist from North Carolina, and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.

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Jul 08

- Drone Hijacking? That’s Just the Start of GPS Troubles (Wired, July, 6, 2012):

On the evening of June 19, a group of researchers from the University of Texas successfully hijacked a civilian drone at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico during a test organized by the Department of Homeland Security.

The drone, an Adaptive Flight Hornet Mini, was hovering at around 60 feet, locked into a predetermined position guided by GPS. Then, with a device that cost around $1,000 and the help of sophisticated software that took four years to develop, the researchers sent a radio signal from a hilltop one kilometer away. In security lingo, they carried out a spoofing attack.

“We fooled the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) into thinking that it was rising straight up,” says Todd Humphreys, assistant professor at the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas.

Deceiving the drone’s GPS receiver, they changed its perceived coordinates. To compensate, the small copter dove straight down, thinking it was returning to its programmed position. If not for a safety pilot intervening before the drone hit the ground, it would have crashed.

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Apr 01

- With GPS Data Out, Feds Eye Warrantless Cell Phone Surveillance (Wired, March 31, 2012):

Prosectors are shifting their focus to warrantless cell-tower locational tracking of suspects in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement should acquire probable-cause warrants from judges to affix GPS devices to vehicles and monitor their every move, according to court records.

The change of strategy comes in the case the justices decided in January, when it reversed the life sentence of a District of Columbia area drug dealer, Antoine Jones, who was the subject of 28 days of warrantless GPS surveillance via a device the FBI secretly attached to his vehicle without a warrant. In the wake of Jones’ decision, the FBI has pulled the plug on 3,000 GPS tracking devices.

In a Friday filing in pre-trial proceedings of Jones retrial, Jones attorney’ said the government has five months worth of a different kind of locational tracking information on his client: So-called cell-site information, obtained without a warrant, chronicling where Jones was when he made and received mobile phone calls in 2005. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

- FBI Turns Off Thousands of GPS Devices After Supreme Court Ruling (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 25, 2012):

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices has caused a “sea change” inside the U.S. Justice Department, according to FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann.

Mr. Weissmann, speaking at a University of San Francisco conference called “Big Brother in the 21st Century” on Friday, said that the court ruling prompted the FBI to turn off about 3,000 GPS tracking devices that were in use.

These devices were often stuck underneath cars to track the movements of the car owners. In U.S. v. Jones, the Supreme Court ruled that using a device to track a car owner without a search warrant violated the law.

After the ruling, the FBI had a problem collecting the devices that it had turned off, Mr. Weissmann said. In some cases, he said, the FBI sought court orders to obtain permission to turn the devices on briefly – only in order to locate and retrieve them.

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Sep 28


YouTube Added: 22.09.2011

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Nov 01

Brazil‘s government, behind the facade of open democracy, continues to advance its way as one of the most autoritarian police states in the world.

Brazilian population will be forced very soon to have in their cars identification chips (RFID), as well as GPS locators and blockers.

According to several news , the brazilian government hurries to show until november of 2010 the GPS tracker that will be legally required to be in all new cars from February of 2011.

It is unclear how this will work but in this article of the Folha de Sao Paulo says the Denatran (Transit National Department) will oversee the center, and that it will be operated by Serpro (organ of government for data processing). This means that the brazilian government can access the location of any car registered in the country!

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Oct 21

Forgetful grandparents in Shanghai are being tracked by satellite to help their children keep an eye on them.


Shanghai has 3.2 million residents aged 60 or above and by 2020 one-third of its population will be over 60 Photo: EPA

A pilot scheme in China’s most advanced city will give GPS devices to 35 families to track their elderly relatives.

If the seniors move a certain distance away from their home, a text message with their exact position is sent to their families.

The device can also inform relatives if its wearer has been motionless for longer than ten hours.

“Protecting elderly people, especially those with mental health problems, by keeping them from wandering off, is a major challenge. We often get reports that old people are lost, or that they have wandered off,” said Gong Linglin, the deputy head of the office in charge of ageing-related issues, who said the scheme particularly targeted people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

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Aug 26

By ADAM COHEN

Adam Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board.

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre – and scary – rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants – with no need for a search warrant. (See a TIME photoessay on Cannabis Culture.)

It is a dangerous decision – one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

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Oct 09

gps-guided-bunker-buster-bomb
The 30,000-pound MOP is designed to knock out fortified sites buried deep underground

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said a giant “bunker buster” bomb will be ready within months, adding a powerful weapon to the US arsenal amid tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.

The 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) is designed to knock out fortified sites buried deep underground, like those used by Iran and North Korea to protect its nuclear work.

“It is under development right now and should be deployable in the coming months,” press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters.

The Defense Department had said in August it wanted to speed up production plans for the super bomb, asking Congress to shift funds to the project.

Congress approved the request and the Pentagon announced Friday it awarded McDonnell Douglas Corporation a 51.9-million-dollar contract to enable B-2 aircraft to carry the enormous MOP.

The bomb, which holds 5,300 pounds of explosives, is designed “to defeat hardened facilities used by hostile states to protect weapons of mass destruction,” Morrell said.

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Apr 24

Children will be tracked by satellite on public transport and encouraged to spy on their friends and report bad behaviour, under a pilot scheme by the Welsh Assembly.


Pupils will use a picture swipe card to clock on and off the bus allowing parents to keep a closer check on their child via a website

The project is being trialled across the six North Wales counties to tackle anti-social behaviour on school buses.

Pupils will use a picture swipe card to clock on and off the bus allowing parents to keep a closer check on their child via a website.

It will help deal with a number of issues including truancy, drivers reporting and identifying ill-behaved children and monitoring a child’s whereabouts in the event of them going missing or a bus breakdown.

The scheme include ‘Bus Angels’ aged 14 and above, who covertly report incidents of bad behaviour,

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Feb 04

New, Free Software Enables You To Keep Tabs On Others’ Whereabouts, And Vice Versa, Using Cell Phones, Says Natali Del Conte

(CBS) Google is releasing free software Wednesday that enables people to keep track of each other using their cell phones.

CNET got a sneak peek at it, and CNET-TV Senior Editor and Early Show contributor Natali Del Conte explained how it works on the show Tuesday.

She says “Latitude” uses GPS systems and what’s called cell tower triangulation to do the job. The software seeks the closest three cell towers and, with GPS, combines the data to show where someone is.

It is designed to work on any phone with Internet capabilities, except the iPhone.

“Latitude” is being marketed as a tool that could help parents keep tabs on their children’s locations, but it can be used for anyone to find anyone else, assuming permission is given.

“What Google Latitude does is allow you to share that location with friends and family members, and likewise be able to see friends and family members’ locations,” Steve Lee, product manager for Google Latitude, told CNET. “For example, a girlfriend could use it to see if her boyfriend has arrived at a restaurant and, if not, how far away he is.”

CNET points out that, “To protect privacy, Google specifically requires people to sign up for the service. People can share their precise location, the city they’re in, or nothing at all.”

“What we found in testing,” Lee added to CNET, “is that the most common scenario is a symmetrical arrangement, where both people are sharing with each other.”

For complete details from CNET on “Latitude,” click here.

But how accurate is “Latitude”?

Del Conte found a family willing to give it a try. The results? Mixed:

The family lives in an area with spotty cell phone reception, Del Conte points out. They found that, if they went to more urbanized areas, the accuracy of the program increased.

Feb. 4, 2009

Source: CBS News

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Jan 08

A satellite tracking device that will allow parents to plot their child’s location to within 10ft will go on sale in the UK in March, its manufacturer said.


The GPS watch can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist and will trigger an alert if forcibly removed. Photo: PA

Concerned parents will be able to receive text or email updates of their child’s location.

Nu.M8, thought to be the world’s first GPS locator device specifically designed to be worn by children, is concealed within a digital watch.

It can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist and will trigger an alert if forcibly removed.

Parents who text “wru”, or click “where r you” on the secure website, will be able to see the child’s location on Google maps and the street address and postcode will also be displayed.

So-called “safe zones” can also be set up in which children can play safely and an alert will be sent to the parent’s mobile phone and computer if the child strays out of that area.

The watch, which will go on sale in March, is expected to cost £149.99, with a standard monthly subscription fee of £9.99.

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Dec 09


Aerial photographs of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre on Google Earth

An Indian Court has been called to ban Google Earth amid suggestions the online satellite imaging was used to help plan the terror attacks that killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month.

A petition entered at the Bombay High Court alleges that the Google Earth service, “aids terrorists in plotting attacks”. Advocate Amit Karkhanis has urged the court to direct Google to blur images of sensitive areas in the country until the case is decided.

There are indications that the gunmen who stormed Mumbai on November 26, and the people trained them, were technically literate. The group appears to have used complex GPS systems to navigate their way to Mumbai by sea. They communicated by satellite phone, used mobile phones with several different SIM cards, and may have monitored events as the siege unfolded via handheld Blackberry web browsers.

Police in Mumbai have said the terrorists familiarised themselves with the streets of Mumbai’s financial capital using satellite images, according to the sole gunman to be captured alive. The commandos who stormed the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai said the militants had made a beeline for the building’s CCTV control room.

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Sep 14

Despite reservations in Washington regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran, the American administration will supply Israel with sophisticated weapons for heavily fortified targets, the U.S. administration announced.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced it would sell the Israel Air Force 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF’s military capabilities. The deal was approved amid public and secret messages from Washington, with the Americans expressing their reservations about a possible Israeli strike against the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear sites.

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