I have lived for a long time with the realization that everything we do online is monitored. I found out when I tried to register my blog All you need is a crazy rich guy with a private army with technorati. I couldn’t because it was tagged. I could register my not so overtly political blog Aotearoa a wider perspective. The one you are now reading.
When I inquired why this was so they said they did not register aggregators (blogs who only link to other sites without adding their own content such as the Drudge report.
Both blogs had exactly the same format: A combination of other peoples work woven into my own writing. In fact at the time I wrote a hell of a lot more of my own stuff on the Crazy rich guy blog but after finding websites belonging to mercenary companies were visiting that blog I realized that the tag meant the blog was tagged by something other than an innocent internet company trying to help other blogs to get more exposure and I dropped the blog.
When I found in my comments on this blog a couple of long comments written by a man called Roger Helbig a known Pentagon troll who attacks people who try to write about Depleted Uranium I realized that everything we do is monitored and that keywords you use will trigger responses.
So when I read in April 2009 that Tony Veitch, the wife beating sports commentator, was found after he tried to commit suicide (one of three attempts if I’m not mistaken) by tracking his cellphone I wasn’t too surprised. Of course the system is in place and used. Now they just want to legalize it so they can start to harass and bully and in the fulness of time arrest and disappear people who dare to speak up to the system.
Here is what the article said:
Police sources last night said that at 1.42pm officers picked up a Vodafone signal from his phone at Brownlee Avenue in Ngaruawahia.
Half a dozen police cars were sent to the area to search for him. A police helicopter was also on standby at Hamilton Race Course to join in the search.
Update: Here is another link with a more specific description of the method used to track Veitch.
Officers detected a signal from Veitch’s mobile phone through the Bramley Rd cell tower, just north of Hamilton. The police Eagle helicopter was summoned from Hamilton, where it had been assigned for the city’s V8 race event.
While the signal gave only a general area to search, officers located Veitch about 3.40pm, drowsy and exhausted inside a car.
The search method is slightly older but just as invasive and can only be done if you have access to all the data collected by the cell tower system. Your cellphone is in constant contact with nearby towers to check if there is a call or a message. That data is collected and if you have access to it (apparently this is not limited to cellphones of criminals through warranted searches as this particular case proves) you can find anyone anytime and while the article states that it was only a general area making the issue more opaque this really is a bit of a lie because by using the data of multiple towers simultaneously you can triangulate the position to within a couple of square meters.
That means that they had access to the radio signal from his phone and where able to read his position fairly precisely.
On July 30th a judge in the US upheld that warrantless phone tracking was not unconstitutional and legal.
By the way drones can track phones too