The EFF’s BFF? – Government

DHS Confirms Presence of Cell-site Simulators in U.S. Capital by Cooper Quintin.

The present situation:

The Department of Homeland Security has finally confirmed what many security specialists have suspected for years: cell-phone tracking technology known as cell-site simulators (CSS) are being operated by potentially malicious actors in our nation’s capital.

Anyone with the skill level of a hobbyist can now build their own passive IMSI catcher for as little as $7 or an active cell-site simulator for around $1000. Moreover, mobile surveillance vendors have displayed a willingness to sell their goods to countries who can afford their technology, regardless of their human rights records.

The EFF’s solution:


Law enforcement and the intelligence community would surely agree that these technologies are dangerous in the wrong hands, but there is no way to stop criminals and terrorists from using these technologies without also closing the same security flaws that law enforcement uses. Unlike criminals however, law enforcement can still obtain search warrants and work directly with the phone companies to get subscribers’ location, so they would not lose any capabilities if the vulnerabilities CSSs rely on were fixed.

Why the EFF trusts a government that has spied on the American people for decades is a question you need to put to the EFF. I can’t think of any sensible explanation for their position.

I’ve been meaning to ask: How does it feel to be lumped in with “…criminals and terrorists…?”

You may be an average citizen who is curious about who your member of Congress or state/local government is sleeping with, being paid off by, or other normal and customary functions of government.

A CSS device can contribute towards meaningful government transparency. Perhaps that’s why the EFF resists CSS devices being in the hands of citizens.

We’ll lose our dependence on the EFF for what minimal transparency does exist.

I can live with that.

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