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Cellphones Government Your Rights Online

Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse 233

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the remember-when-you-did-that-in-the-80s dept.
schneidafunk writes " Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.' was the message sent to thousands of protesters as a new law prohibiting public demonstrations went into effect." From NYTimes: "... Protesters were concerned that the government seemed to be using cutting-edge technology from the advertising industry to pinpoint people for political profiling. Three cellphone companies in Ukraine ... denied that they had provided the location data to the government or had sent the text messages, the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda reported. Kyivstar suggested that it was instead the work of a 'pirate' cellphone tower set up in the area."
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Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse

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  • by sinij (911942) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:21PM (#46036835) Journal
    Every time advertising industry develops a new way to track you, every time you unquestionably surrender your data in exchange for some trendy app you invite and enable this kind of abuse. The only defense is strong privacy laws and consumer push-back against tracking.

    Why this technology exists? Because people accepted invasion of privacy from pioneers like Foursquare, so it was feasible to commercially develop this technology to the point where any totalitarian government can purchase 'turnkey solution' for a couple millions. Now every Banana Republic dictator can deploy it against unwilling citizens.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:25PM (#46036873) Homepage

    Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over

    My guess: modernization and freedoms vs the government wishing to remain the same as in the old Soviet days.

    The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

    That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays, it's a tough call.

  • by weilawei (897823) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:51PM (#46037215) Homepage
    No enforcement arm? Like DHS, FBI, DEA, *insert TLA here* that have institutional procedures to falsify the origin of the evidence?
  • by ZouPrime (460611) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:55PM (#46037251)

    None of these organisations are enforcement arms of the NSA. They are separate organisations with separate mandates, and in practice, who aren't even especially friendly or helpful among each others.

    The NSA cannot arrests anyone the way the Stasi could without having to tell anybody.

  • by weilawei (897823) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:57PM (#46037273) Homepage
    Aren't especially friendly? What do you call all their fusion centers and data sharing agreements? The NSA is the intelligence arm. Those other agencies are tasked with enforcement.
  • by ewibble (1655195) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @02:11PM (#46037451)

    And that they don't systematically create files on their citizens, you know, what the Stasi job was by design.

    Isn't that what gathering "meta data" is all about.

    Nor to they hire informant among the public.

    I would be very surprised if the didn't, the basically force companies like google to hand over information. They hire people to put back doors int encryption algorithms. Why do you think they are are above doing the same with the general public. The only reason I can see, is it maybe less efficient, than monitoring all electronic communication.

    And they don't seem to be politically active (or if they are, they are crazy bad at it)

    or crazy good at it, so good at it that you don't even know they are doing it, the USA is a democracy, well compared to East Germany, so they have to be a little more subtle about it.

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @02:55PM (#46038025) Journal

    Isn't that what gathering "meta data" is all about.

    Hum... no?

    So millions of my tax dollars goes into paying AT&T to tell the NSA everyone I talk to, when I talk to them, and how long I'm on the phone, and the NSA just throws it away? They don't put that information in a file somewhere?

    Well, now I guess I'm outraged for a different reason.

  • by ewibble (1655195) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @03:21PM (#46038345)

    Just because you don't look at the file, doesn't mean it its not there (If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound). The file is stored systematically, just no human looks at it is only a technical detail and probably more to do with efficiency than anything else. The will probably run algorithms run over it to determine which they consider interesting, it would not be feasible for people to examine that much data.

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