cell-spyIf you think that your phone calls are safe from third parties, you may want to think again. Members from the hacking group called The Chaos Computer Club plan to release a code that will supposedly give hackers complete access to your private phone calls. They claim that it can be done with a simple laptop and an antenna.

They also claim that various government criminal organizations already use this technique to break the encryption that protects your calls. GSM uses algorithms for key generation, authentication, and to encrypt its connections. The Chaos Computer Club has found a way to crack the encryption used on GSM phones that can be used to decode conversations and any data sent to or from your phone.

Mobile carriers are working towards a stronger encyrption algorithm for 3G wireless phones, in the meantime programs like Cellcrypt offers encryption beyond what your cell phone carrier can offer.

(Via CNET)

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finishedserviceMaryland’s acting transportation chief has chosen to scrap an internal proposal to use listening devices on its buses and trains for recording conversations of passengers and employees, citing concerns about privacy as the motivating factor in his decision. After inquiries from the Baltimore Sun Monday about reports of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s top official asking for the opinion of the state’s Attorney General’s office on the legality of this surveillance, acting Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley ordered the request withdrawn and stated,

“It certainly should have been vetted at the department level and it was not.” “We have not weighed the issues we should weigh before making a decision like this.”

Staley said the question of surveillance was raised legally before it could be discussed thoroughly policy-wise and that she will now spend time deciding whether to move forward with the program. By backing off the proposal, Swaim-Staley may avert a confrontation with the General Assembly. Some legislators have already expressed the thought that the plan would have led to opposition legislation almost immediately. (Via the Baltimore Sun)


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5012The Maryland Transit Administration may install audio surveillance equipment on its buses and trains to record conversations of passengers and employees, according to a letter sent by the organization to Maryland’s Attorney General’s Office.

The document searches for legal guidance on whether installing this equipment would fall under the jurisdiction of Maryland’s anti-wiretapping law. MTA Administrator Paul J. Wiedefeld noted in the letter that the MTA has already taken the step of using video cameras for security aboard its vehicles and writes, “As part of MTA’s ongoing efforts to deter criminal activity and mitigate other dangerous situations on board its vehicles, Agency management has considered adding audio recording equipment to the video recording technology now in use throughout its fleet.”

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