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(Guardian)   "Phone call metadata can betray detailed information about your life. Researchers have identified a cannabis grower an MS sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls"   (theguardian.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, metadatas, Phone call metadata, abortion clinic, market timing, phone calls, researchers, multiple sclerosis, harm reduction  
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2694 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Mar 2014 at 8:38 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-13 08:39:36 AM  
I thought this was well enough known that it didn't deserve to be news.(*) Allegedly one part of the CIA/NSA interview process was to look at a pattern of communications and figure out who the boss was. They weren't given message contents, just the pattern of who talked to whom.

(*) Yeah, I know I saw it by a link from a not news web site.
 
2014-03-13 08:41:14 AM  
That's why I like to call gun shops, U-Haul places, fertilizer dealers, mosques, and airline reservation services just to chat. Let the NSA earn their money.
 
2014-03-13 08:41:40 AM  
Well, I'm guessing those destinations were:  a medical marijuana shop, a doctor, and an abortion clinic.
 
2014-03-13 08:42:41 AM  

BunkoSquad: That's why I like to call gun shops, U-Haul places, fertilizer dealers, mosques, and airline reservation services just to chat. Let the NSA earn their money.


Did you also paint "Free Candy" on the windowless van that started parking down the street? ;b
 
2014-03-13 08:44:38 AM  
Electronic Discovery: It is the future.
 
2014-03-13 08:45:36 AM  

wxboy: Well, I'm guessing those destinations were:  a medical marijuana shop, a doctor, and an abortion clinic.


Are you a wizard?
 
2014-03-13 08:45:52 AM  

BunkoSquad: That's why I like to call gun shops, U-Haul places, fertilizer dealers, mosques, and airline reservation services just to chat. Let the NSA earn their money.


I'd like to play a game, that I'd call "which three calls would get me the attention of the NSA". I'd say :
- wholesale KY distributor
- orphenage
- pig farm
 
2014-03-13 08:45:57 AM  
Just use pay phones, you'll be fine.
 
2014-03-13 08:46:21 AM  
And there isn't a damn thing the general public can do about any of it.
 
2014-03-13 08:46:28 AM  
What, nobody prank calls any more?

i58.tinypic.com
 
2014-03-13 08:47:44 AM  

ZAZ: I thought this was well enough known that it didn't deserve to be news.(*) Allegedly one part of the CIA/NSA interview process was to look at a pattern of communications and figure out who the boss was. They weren't given message contents, just the pattern of who talked to whom.

(*) Yeah, I know I saw it by a link from a not news web site.


Yeah, I thought the reporter for this story was going to be this guy.

i144.photobucket.com

/but it's the guardian, so they're really the only people working on this, everyone else is "Ermahgerd, Justin Beiber did something bad!"
 
2014-03-13 08:49:18 AM  
So what phone records have been able to do since the beginning of phone records?
 
2014-03-13 08:49:20 AM  
People use phones to talk?

/What's an MS surfer?
 
2014-03-13 08:50:05 AM  
NSA: Taa-daaa biatches.
 
2014-03-13 08:53:41 AM  
Is it really that hard to find a MicroSoft sufferer?
 
2014-03-13 08:56:51 AM  

wxboy: Well, I'm guessing those destinations were:  a medical marijuana shop, a doctor, and an abortion clinic.


FTA: One participant "communicated with multiple local neurology groups, a specialty pharmacy, a rare condition management service, and a hotline for a pharmaceutical used solely to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis." Another "had a long, early morning call with her sister. Two days later, she placed a series of calls to the local Planned Parenthood location. She placed brief additional calls two weeks later, and made a final call a month after."
A third, over the span of three weeks, "contacted a home improvement store, locksmiths, a hydroponics dealer, and a head shop."


Show the man what he won!
It's going to take a lot more than "looking at call history" for people to get rallied up over this.
 
2014-03-13 08:57:01 AM  
so if I'm someone that is being tracked by security forces overseas, why not make just random calls to phones over in the US and see who gets droned?
 
2014-03-13 08:57:18 AM  

BunkoSquad: That's why I like to call gun shops, U-Haul places, fertilizer dealers, mosques, and airline reservation services just to chat. Let the NSA earn their money.


Dude, that post right there has about a dozen squirrels up and running on the generator wheels.

Your days are numbered.
 
2014-03-13 08:58:37 AM  

ZAZ: I thought this was well enough known that it didn't deserve to be news.(*) Allegedly one part of the CIA/NSA interview process was to look at a pattern of communications and figure out who the boss was. They weren't given message contents, just the pattern of who talked to whom.

(*) Yeah, I know I saw it by a link from a not news web site.


The Guardian has pigeon-holed itself into the "Everyone is spying on you!" people thanks to their direct association with Snowden, Assange, and Greenwald. However, now that the trio's backer is invading countries, sending men to mark the house of Muslims, and rigging elections it's not good PR to keep bringing them up in stories. So instead they are Ric Romeroing stories like this.
 
2014-03-13 08:59:39 AM  

ZAZ: I thought this was well enough known that it didn't deserve to be news.(*) Allegedly one part of the CIA/NSA interview process was to look at a pattern of communications and figure out who the boss was. They weren't given message contents, just the pattern of who talked to whom.

(*) Yeah, I know I saw it by a link from a not news web site.


When I took the test to be an signals intelligence analyst, they gave you a problem where there were several islands and you had to figure out which island was in charge of the other based upon the canoe traffic between the islands.

Basically, it's traffic analysis.

Now, when everyone had a corded, rotary dial phone permanently mounted on a wall, traffic analysis of your phone call metadata would have been relatively limited in scope.

Today, when the metadata includes not just who you called, when, and how long, but also from where, combined with the fact that, for example, an URL is also metadata and can tell a lot about what you are doing, well, you've got the capability to pretty much track anyone who is using a smart phone (or even a dumb cell phone) to a degree that would have made the KGB and Gestapo cream their jeans.

And that's without ever looking at or listening to the contents of the communications, just using the metadata.
 
2014-03-13 09:04:00 AM  

padraig: BunkoSquad: That's why I like to call gun shops, U-Haul places, fertilizer dealers, mosques, and airline reservation services just to chat. Let the NSA earn their money.

I'd like to play a game, that I'd call "which three calls would get me the attention of the NSA". I'd say :
- wholesale KY distributor
- orphenage
- pig farm


Is that a variant of bringing a box of hefty garbage bags, a pack of wire coat-hangers and a home pregnancy test to the checkout at a supermarket?
 
2014-03-13 09:08:39 AM  
OK SO I HAD AN ABORTION, ALL RIGHT? JESUS CHRIST!
 
2014-03-13 09:16:45 AM  

Cerebral Ballsy: OK SO I HAD AN ABORTION, ALL RIGHT? JESUS CHRIST!


Just one?
 
2014-03-13 09:39:52 AM  
I guess the guardian was losing attention.
 
2014-03-13 09:45:56 AM  
Now if only someone would give a fark who or where I am at any time EVER.
 
2014-03-13 10:24:27 AM  

Eidola: Is that a variant of bringing a box of hefty garbage bags, a pack of wire coat-hangers and a home pregnancy test to the checkout at a supermarket?


You wanna see a cashier twitch? On October 30, go to the grocery and buy a bag of apples, a bag of Pixie Stix, a box of razor blades, a container of D-Con, and a bottle of champagne. Pay cash.
 
2014-03-13 10:29:52 AM  

WTF Indeed: The Guardian has pigeon-holed itself into the "Everyone is spying on you!" people thanks to their direct association with Snowden, Assange, and Greenwald. However, now that the trio's backer is invading countries, sending men to mark the house of Muslims, and rigging elections it's not good PR to keep bringing them up in stories. So instead they are Ric Romeroing stories like this.


The problem with the Snowden/Greenwald stuff is that there's really nothing there. Greenwald keeps saying "Snowden says this" and it's like "right, show me the documents".

Even the powerpoint stuff he produced looked like the sort of police software used all over the western world with telcos- instead of manual processes of people faxing court orders and faxing back results, it's a managed system with web services. If anyone looked at the slides properly, they'd spot the bit about FISA, in other words, oversight by independent judiciary.

I think Snowden's a massive tool with paranoia issues and I have no idea what he's playing at.
 
2014-03-13 10:36:41 AM  
...also known as regular police work.
 
2014-03-13 10:39:24 AM  
The cool thing is that the NSA doesn't even need to install an app or other software. Most of the apps today (and apple and google) track this stuff and the NSA can just buy the data. It's for advertising!
 
2014-03-13 10:53:24 AM  
Three correct assumptions.  How many wrong ones?
 
2014-03-13 11:03:17 AM  

generallyso: Cerebral Ballsy: OK SO I HAD AN ABORTION, ALL RIGHT? JESUS CHRIST!

Just one?


Don't make me pull this car over and have another.
 
2014-03-13 11:06:42 AM  

Gonz: Eidola: Is that a variant of bringing a box of hefty garbage bags, a pack of wire coat-hangers and a home pregnancy test to the checkout at a supermarket?

You wanna see a cashier twitch? On October 30, go to the grocery and buy a bag of apples, a bag of Pixie Stix, a box of razor blades, a container of D-Con, and a bottle of champagne. Pay cash.


You're gonna have a hard time hiding the razor blades in those apples without caramel coating. Aisle five, confectionary supplies. I'll wait.

/that's what I'd say if I were your cashier
 
2014-03-13 12:20:18 PM  
blogs-images.forbes.com
 
2014-03-13 01:17:54 PM  
Nothing new here.

A non registered Tracfone is one way around the problem.

Even better is radio silence.
 
2014-03-13 03:18:14 PM  

Another Government Employee: Nothing new here.

A non registered Tracfone is one way around the problem.

Even better is radio silence.


Well, radio silence can be indicative also, if you've had some level of communication and then you all of a sudden stop.
 
2014-03-13 05:11:06 PM  
I really, really, really loathe people who call planned parenthood and abortion clinic:

herewomentalk.com
 
2014-03-13 08:43:36 PM  

wxboy: Well, I'm guessing those destinations were:  a medical marijuana shop, a doctor, and an abortion clinic.


That would be a definite clue,  yeah.
 
2014-03-13 08:49:00 PM  
Given some clues, they were able to guess a likely narrative that fits them.

Utterly unprecedented.

i.imgur.com
 
2014-03-14 02:16:11 AM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: Given some clues, they were able to guess a likely narrative that fits them.

Utterly unprecedented.

[i.imgur.com image 560x415]


The point is, the claim is that metadata is not sensitive information because it doesn't reveal anything.  That's patently a lie, you can tell quite a lot about a person by who they call and when, sometimes as much as you could from something like credit card records.

You could certainly get enough to blackmail a person.
 
2014-03-14 01:53:02 PM  

if_i_really_have_to: The point is, the claim is that metadata is not sensitive information because it doesn't reveal anything. That's patently a lie, you can tell quite a lot about a person by who they call and when, sometimes as much as you could from something like credit card records.


To take the devils side for the sake of argument.

Is that really the claim, or is the claim that it's not really data that one has taken steps to keep confidential (such as keeping it in your personal possession) , and therefore does not fall under 4th amendment protections.  That the data is really the property of the common carrier (billing data), and not the citizen.

Certainly there are much precedents regarding mail and pen registers and such.
 
2014-03-14 03:13:35 PM  

McGrits: The cool thing is that the NSA doesn't even need to install an app or other software. Most of the apps today (and apple and google) track this stuff and the NSA can just buy the data. It's for advertising!


Everybody just settle down. Maybe take another "personality test" online to see which Game of Thrones character or Disney Princess you are. I hear it's relaxing.
 
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