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Leave Your Cellphone At Home, Says Jacob Appelbaum 306

An anonymous reader writes "N+1 has an interview with Jacob Appelbaum (who is part of the Tor project) titled 'Leave Your Cellphone at Home.'" Jacob has a lot to say about privacy, data security, and surveillance. He ought to know. Among other things, he's had his email seized, been relieved of his phone, been the subject of a National Security Letter (video) and generally had his travel disrupted.
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Leave Your Cellphone At Home, Says Jacob Appelbaum

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  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @01:46PM (#41225129)

    > Law enforcement can track you and indict you simply because of a number on the backside of your car! You should probably just leave your car at home.

    Yea, that is becoming a major nightmare. Until pervasive cameras it didn't matter much. The could put an APB on a plate number and still not have a very high success rate on the cops finding it. Now with cameras in every intersection that changes. They can get a big chunk of the same info collection that way that cell phone tracking gives them but it isn't quite as good. All tracking cars does is show where the car went, the camers may or may not give a good enough image to prove who was in it. And more than one person can be in a car at the same time. If you have phone data the cars don't add a lot.

    Of course they require a lot less legal issues to make use of images already sitting on traffic and homeland security machines so they are starting there. Later they can supplement it with the cell tracks and the merged dataset will be very complete in the picture of where a person goes and what they are doing.

  • Re:Leave it at home? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @01:49PM (#41225161)

    Not unless someone is doing something they shouldn't. Each device is assigned a unique 48bit MAC address at time of manufacture. Each one.

    You buy a 24 bit prefix from IEEE (I think) and are then supposed to do your own accounting on the lower 24 bits to be sure you don't duplicate one. If you have ever looked up a MAC to see who made the device, that is how it works. The owner of the prefix is a published record.

  • by cream wobbly ( 1102689 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @01:55PM (#41225231)

    Meanwhile I have good karma with a default score of 2 for being a complete tool.

  • by Soulskill ( 1459 ) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @05:11PM (#41227659)

    Your submissions weren't 'removed' at all, you just apparently don't know where to look for them. You can see see them on your user page [].

  • by Soulskill ( 1459 ) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @05:24PM (#41227821)

    There's nothing abnormal about your account. Your posting bonus is easy to kill because your karma is hovering right around zero, and because you seem to generate a lot of moderations. The comment to which I'm replying has, at this moment, 20 mods to it (and none from the editors; we don't really care what you say, as long as it's not spam or links to shock sites). The parent comment has even more.

  • Re:Leave it at home? (Score:4, Informative)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @12:56AM (#41231503) Homepage

    You're assuming perfect distribution of MAC-48 AKA EUI-48 addresses among manufacturers and their products, which is far away from true. 1/2 of the 48 bits here are assigned to a manufacturer. 24 bits there make about 16M unique addresses available to each manufactured device. The flip side to that is that every manufactured device gobbles up 16M addresses, whether they use them all or not. Every time someone releases a new device assigned its own NIC address, another 16M addresses die, even if they only sell 1 of them.

    That means the important part then is that there are only ~16M Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI) blocks, the other 24 bits here. Those are getting consumed at some rate, bigger manufacturers will need more than one of them, and therefore want to ask for a larger block of them. The IEEE is already aiming to reclaim them after 100 years [] and otherwise tightening standards for keeping companies from getting more OUI "space" than they need. As they state there, "The total number of EUI-48 identifiers available, while large, is NOT inexhaustible.". It's similar to the situation with IPv4 addresses, where the capacity looked practically infinite at first, but waste forced the size of the average block allocations down hard over time to keep from running out. Now you have to use 95% of the addresses you've already got before you can get more OUIs.

    MAC addresses have started to move from 48 bits to 64 in order to make this problem go away, because then you're at a "atoms in the universe" scale. I believe that's going about as well as the IPv6 migration. We're a long time from the 48 bits running out, but it's not as impossible as you might think just from computing against 2^48.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two. -- Seneca