Phone Records Searched

Phone Records Searched

Liverpool’s Liberal Democrat Council obtained and searched the the phone logs of the Labour Councillor Joe Anderson, the leader of the opposition.

This investigation was, on the face of it, to investigate leak within the council. However this investigation would have given complete access who the councillor called, when, and how often. With tools like I2, this is relatively easily to build profile of his call, and link that into any other data he has. The case is being referred to the ICO office, and this could well be an invasion of privacy. However, it is unclear at this stage if the phone belonged to the council or it was Joe Anderson’s personal phone. If it was the former, access to the logs would have been relatively simple, i.e via the bill which they pay. If it was the latter then access to the information would be highly suspect. A spokesman for the Liberal Democrat, who ran the investigation and control the local council said: “Following the unauthorized leaking of a highly confidential and commercially sensitive report, a number of officers and members were asked to cooperate with an internal investigation into the breach, which involved emails being checked. However, we omitted to notify the individuals concerned that it also included mobile phone records.” A spokeswoman for the ICO said: “We have been contacted by both parties (Councilor Anderson and Liverpool City Council) and we will be looking into the complaint and deciding on the next step.”

Article – BBC

Phone Tapping – Echelon

Echelon, is the oft-talked about, but never confirmed, programe in the UK and US – which picks up tens of millions of calls, faxes and emails from the UK and US every day. These communications can then be searched via keywords etc.

Below is a a BBC article where the Australian intelligence services appear to confirm its existence.

*Update: Two years after the BBC report (below) The EU Published a a highly detailed report proving the existence of a global monitoring network, which is commonly known as Echelon. The BBC did not report on this.**

BBC Report

Two of the chief protagonists – Britain and America – officially deny its existence. But the BBC has confirmation from the Australian Government that such a network really does exist and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for an inquiry.

On the North Yorkshire moors above Harrogate they can be seen for miles, but still they are shrouded in secrecy. Around 30 giant golf balls, known as radomes, rise from the US military base at Menwith Hill, linked to the NSA. Inside is the world’s most sophisticated eavesdropping technology, capable of listening-in to satellites high above the earth.

Menwith Facility is said to be capable of 2million intercepts per hour.

The base is linked directly to the headquarters of the US National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Mead in Maryland, and it is also linked to a series of other listening posts scattered across the world, like Britain’s own GCHQ.

The power of the network, codenamed Echelon, is astounding.

Every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission can be listened to by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. They home in on a long list of key words, or patterns of messages. They are looking for evidence of international crime,

BBC Article

Gunwharf Quays – Tracks Customers

In the continual monitoring and tracking of people, from CCTV and ANPR to DNA Databases and Electronic Number Plates the retail industry are getting in on the act.

Budgens are already using facial recognition systems on their customers, and now shopping centers in the UK are using a new form of mobile phone technology to track customers down to the meter. This technology is used monitor customers as they move around the shopping center, in and out of shops, etc. This allows for a highly detailed market research/spying on customers.

Currently there are three shopping Malls in the UK that use the technology. Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, is one of them.

The technology in GunWharf is currently being provided by Path Intelligence whose website states “Path Intelligence provides FootPath™, the only automated measurement technology that can continuously monitor the path that your shoppers or passengers take”

The technology works by tracking the TMSI of the mobile phone as it broadcasts periodically from the phone

Articles – Times and The Register

Phones used to track shoppers

The company Path Intelligence is now producing technology to allow people to be tracked around building -

Path Intelligence provides FootPath™, the only automated measurement technology that can continuously monitor the path that your shoppers or passengers take”

By installing receivers around a shopping center the company can pick up communication between handsets and base stations, enabling them to track shoppers to within a metre or two – enough to spot the order in which shops are visited. Two UK shopping centers are already using the technology, with three more deploying in the next few months.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/20/tracking_phones/

Mobile Phone Records

Mobile phone network operators, Orange, Vodaphone, etc  are required to store the data about the calls made for upto 12 months.

This information includes:

Date and time of call

Number called

Duration of call

Cell Information – that allows the the location of the phone to be tracked

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