Cell Phone Data Suckers-They’re Heeeere

Kaye Beach

April 20, 2011

Hat tip to Howard Houchen who has worked hard on getting the completely  unnecessary texting ban bill killed and spotted this story the minute it came up.

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

“The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations.”

This is exactly what we were warning about with the recent texting ban legislation proposed by Rep. Danny Morgan;

From ‘Oklahoma Legislative Lu Lu’s or “Lets Play Cell Phone Follies!”‘  Current law that protects our few remaining rights will have to be retooled to accommodate more intrusive means to enforce bans on texting or cell phone usage.  There are a number of ways they could go about it but the  short answer is that in order for officers to be able to effectively enforce a texting ban there must be a way to either

A.  Control when and where you use your cell phone.

B.   Be able to gain access to your cell phone data or phone records in a way that is fast and efficient

Read more

According to law enforcement:

  • The only way to prove that a person was texting while driving is by accessing the data on the cell phone.

Read more

The Newspaper report on the cell phone brain suckers goes on to say that;

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

“Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags,” a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device’s capabilities. “The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps.”

I knew that these devices existed and were being marketed but I could find no reference to them being used when I researched the issue.  Apparently the ACLU in MI requested information on how they were being utilized back in 2008 only to be told by the police department that they would provide the information to the ACLU for a 544, ooo fee!

Here is the ACLU’s most recent request letter

More and more it becomes apparent that for all the talk of transparency, it is a concept that applies most to us and not our public servants.

2 responses to “Cell Phone Data Suckers-They’re Heeeere

  1. Boy are we in for an uphill battle…

  2. Most definitely

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