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License, Registration, Insurance, and Phone

Back in 2002 I got my first cell phone which was a sprint up roar. This phone could make and receive calls and also had an mp3 player and I pretty much thought it was the dopest device ever. Fast forward 9 years and what we can do with cell phones aka smart phones is insane compared to back then. These days my phone can of course make and receive calls and texts, surf the internet, download videos & music, preform GPS functions and a host of other tasks. What is even more crazy is the amount of information about us that is logged and saved on smart phones. So why I am crowing on about the progression of cells phones in the last decade?

Well I came across an article (read article here: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3458.asp) last week out of Michigan discussing how the Michigan State Police (MSP) have a device called the Cellbrite UFED that is able to surreptitiously extract data from individuals cell phones during traffic stops and during police investigations. The device works with over 3000 different types of phones and is able to extract all photos and videos from a phone within about two minutes. It can also over ride password protections. If a ‘complete extraction’ is preformed the device can access all text messages including those that were deleted, all contacts in the phone, and all GPS locations even deleted locations.

When I read this I could hardly believe it. First things first this device is almost undoubtedly a violation of the driver and or passengers 4th amendment rights during a traffic stop, especially if the individual(s) do not know that their phone is being extracted. It is also crazy to think of the staggering amount of personal information that could be extracted from a smart phone with one of these devices. Depending on how much a user utilizes the GPS functions of a smart phone the police could easily be able to access everywhere someone went for days, weeks, months? Who knows. Or how about all of someones internet browsing history on phone?

When the Michigan ACLU filed a freedom of information request (FOI) on records for the program the MSP responded that they require over a half of million dollar payment in order to process the request and provide the information. For ole DB this starting to feel a bit like the 1984 society that George Orwell warned of. I can I can breath a small of sigh of relief that I am not in Michigan where this is actually happening to citizens.

For more information on the Cellbrite UFED use in Michigan visit the Michigan ACLU website:

http://www.aclumich.org/

-D.B. COOPER-

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