5 Tips That Will Help Keep You From Being Hacked
February 28, 2012
Using and Detecting Cell Phone Spy Software
March 28, 2012
Show all

Cell Phone Surveillance 101

There are over 150 million cell phones in the United States, and that number is growing quickly.  In fact several studies have indicated that there are more mobile phones than toilets in the world today!

With the increasing number of mobile devices, the question becomes are they secure, and is there really a viable (or legal) method for conducting cell phone surveillance?  This is especially important since most of these new phones have Internet access and record a host of data, such as GPS location, photographs, videos, emails, and text messages. This means there is unlimited data which can be accessed and analyzed using cell phone surveillance.

How Cell Phone Surveillance Works

All cell phones emit a signal which is bounced back and forth between towers. These towers are located all across the country, and are typically located within a few square miles of the device. This signal can be located, recorded and monitored to interpret a series of events.

There are many instances in which surveillance occurs unnoticed. Emergency services, for example, use tracking to locate emergency calls and send help to the location. A cell tower closest to the hand-held device hones in on the location, and using software, is able to establish the exact coordinates.

Common uses may include:

  • Monitoring a phone-line: This may include all data which is used on the line, possibly over long periods of time. This is commonly used by police or where further evidence is required, such as a confession or information which may help other leads.
  • Compiling data: By following trends, call rates, location and other compatible data, a user’s activity can be specifically detailed and analyzed. This is especially helpful in high-profile cases, such as those that monitor terrorism or drug trafficking and trends may help increase arrests.
  • Cell phone forensics This is often used to recover data to support or refute theories before a criminal court. Sometimes it is used to identify other suspects or crimes, and is especially useful in cases involving cheating spouses or divorce.

With the exception of emergency services and specific granted access, it is not recommended to try hacking mobile devices. If you require information for a reasonable case, such as for evidence in court, it may be possible to contact a professional who will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Is Cell Phone Surveillance Legal?

As cell phones and mobile devices came into the main stream, new laws were created to ensure safe and moral use. In 1994, Congress passed the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA. This act requires companies to share data in real time with police and other emergency services.

Expressed consent must be obtained in order to carry out surveillance. This can cause complications as “expressed consent” has not been clearly defined by the FCC. There are many new opportunities for watching a network. Both the Total Information Awareness (TIA) and the Computer Aided Passenger Profiling System (CAPPS) are widely considered acceptable.

Considering Cell Phone Surveillance? Call Prudential Associates Today

Quite often, data is stored on a secure network for indefinite lengths of time. It may be analyzed to provide useful information that may be used in conjunction with other data. It may also be presented on its own merits. The after-process is totally dependent on the requirements of the data sourced.

If you think your phone lines have been compromised, or you require further information on what options are available, Prudential Associates can help. Call today to discuss your cell phone surveillance requirements and you will receive a free, no obligation consultation.