How the police copy and keep your phone secrets
2012 11 22

By Jack Serle | TheBureauInvestigates

The police routinely copy and keep the contents of suspects’ mobile phones, according to this week’s Sunday Times.



In under half an hour the police could get from your phone your call history, all your text messages and your whole contacts book and put them into a vast database, the article claimed. And there the information stays, even if you are released without charge after a night in the cells.

The disturbing report claimed that as many as 22 English and Welsh police forces, including the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police, are using off-the-shelf technology to do this. It claimed that the Metropolitan Police alone have 16 extraction terminals across London with 300 officers trained to use them.

In many ways it is a golden age for detective work. The police can access data from all kinds of sources because smartphones are both incredibly versatile and ubiquitous. Besides the emails and candid snaps from a night out, they can trawl your apps like Facebook or LinkedIn.

The Sunday Times report suggests that British police forces are treating the contents of citizens’ phones like they treated peoples’ DNA. For much of the previous decade British police collected DNA from arrested suspects and kept the samples even after the suspect was acquitted. In this way they collected and stored 1 million samples before the law stopped them.

In 2008 the European Court of Human Rights overturned a House of Lords ruling and decided it is illegal for the police to store innocent citizens’ DNA. The Sunday Times’ argues that ’there is a direct parallel’ between keeping DNA records and ‘keeping the mobile phone data of those who have never been convicted of any offence.’

Civil liberties group Big Brother Watch agrees. They are adamant it is outside the law, saying so both to the paper and in a letter sent to Christopher Graham the Information Commissioner in May this year.

[...]


Read the full article at: thebureauinvestigates.com




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »