Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Brother is watching you

After 9/11, the US FCC mandated that by 2005 all cellular mobile phones need to be able to locate someone in the event of an emergency, by use of a GPS chip which can pinpoint the position of your cellular phone to within 30 feet. The data is classified and encrypted but accessible via military satellite.

GPS chips are standard in all models of laptops in the US since 2005.

 In South Africa, RICA [Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act] provides for the ability to monitor, record, store, and use in court where applicable, ALL forms of electronic communications. Cellphone service providers are required to warehouse all user data regarding cellphone usage and to record the positions of cellular phones triangulated via cellphone towers, as well as sms messages - and soon, conversations - for a period of up to 10 years. Email providers and Internet service providers will be required to begin archiving similar data, and any and all such recorded data is admissible in a court of law. Telephone conversations via land-line may soon also be recorded and similarly admissible.

In theory, access to all such records requires a court order. In practice, anything you say or do electronically, or any place you are with your cellphone switched on, could be used against you in court for up to 10 years after the fact.

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