Showing 24 posts tagged sms

Cops: U.S. law should require logs of your text messages

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to capture and store Americans’ confidential text messages, according to a proposal that will be presented to a congressional panel today.

The law enforcement proposal would require wireless providers to record and store customers’ SMS messages — a controversial idea akin to requiring them to surreptitiously record audio of their customers’ phone calls — in case police decide to obtain them at some point in the future.

"Billions of texts are sent every day, and some surely contain key evidence about criminal activity," Richard Littlehale from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will tell Congress, according to a copy (PDF) of his prepared remarks. "In some cases, this means that critical evidence is lost. Text messaging often plays a big role in investigations related to domestic violence, stalking, menacing, drug trafficking, and weapons trafficking."

» via CNET

Why Congress's Digital Archive For Text Messages Is Such A Bad Idea

Text me. Wait, don’t. Not anything too private anyway.

That’s because if a new proposal is approved by the Senate, each and every SMS message you send will be stored in a digital archive by your phone provider. Why, you ask? It’s all in the name of law enforcement being able to using your messages as evidence to catch bad guys and solve cases. And it’s also a government-sponsored privacy nightmare come to reality.

If passed, the proposal would be the first major update to the 27-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and the latest in a string of blatant challenges to the Fourth Amendment, which (up until recently… we’re looking at you, FISA) served to protect citizens’ rights and information, unless law enforcement was granted a court-issued warrant.

But if this SMS-retention requirement makes it into law, the nearly 2.3 trillion text messages America’s 321.7 million wireless subscribers send in a year would all become the property of the Federal government, stored in a repository for 2 years. 

» via ReadWrite

As the popularity of text messages has exploded in recent years, so has their use in criminal investigations and civil lawsuits. They have been introduced as evidence in armed robbery, cocaine distribution, and wire fraud prosecutions. In one 2009 case in Michigan, wireless provider SkyTel turned over the contents of 626,638 SMS messages, a figure described by a federal judge as “staggering.”

Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans’ text messages | Politics and Law - CNET News

Police seizure of text messages violated 4th Amendment, judge rules

The cell phone searches were “illegal as warrantless or in excess of the warrants obtained,” and “As such, all of these searches and seizures, therefore, were unreasonable in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” the judge wrote.

Savage reasoned that cell phone contents are deserving of Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures because people generally keep them on their person at all times. “Text messages are often raw, unvarnished, and immediate; revealing the most intimate of thoughts and emotions to those who are expected to guard them from publication,” she wrote, further stating that “the remote possibility that an unintended party will receive a text message due to his or her possession of another person‘s cell phone is sufficient to destroy an objective expectation of privacy in such a message.”

» via ars technica

Teenage Sexting Is Becoming The Norm

“Under most existing laws, if our findings were extrapolated nationally, several million teens could be prosecuted for child pornography,” explains a new study on teen sexting, which finds that a whopping 28% of teenagers text fully-nude pictures of themselves. We took a deep dive into the much reported Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine article, and found some weird insights into a 21st century trend that is quickly becoming the norm among teenagers.

» via TechCrunch

Text Message Spam, Difficult to Stop, Is a Growing Menace

Text message spam has started waking Bob Dunnell in the middle of the night, promising cheap mortgages, credit cards and drugs. Some messages offer gift cards to, say, Walmart, if he clicks on a Web site and enters his Social Security number.

Once the scourge of e-mail providers and the Postal Service, spammers have infiltrated the last refuge of spam-free communication: cellphones. In the United States, consumers received roughly 4.5 billion spam texts last year, more than double the 2.2 billion received in 2009, according to Ferris Research, a market research firm that tracks spam.

Spread over 250 million text message-enabled phones, the problem is not as commonplace as e-mail spam. But it is a growing menace, with the potential for significant damage.

» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)

Hacked in 60 Seconds: Thieves Could Steal Cars via Text Messages

iSEC researchers Don Bailey and Mat Solnik claim to be able to hack their way into a securely locked car because its alarm relies on a cell phone or satellite network that can receive commands via text messaging. Devices connecting via a cellular or satellite network are assigned the equivalent of a phone number or Web address. If hackers can figure out the number or address for a particular car, they could use a PC to send commands via text messages that instruct the car to disarm, unlock and start.

One of the reasons this text-messaging approach is disconcerting is that text messages aren’t so easy to block, unless you don’t want to receive any texts (either to your car or phone). Google Voice, iBlacklist and a few others (including wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon) do offer some tools for filtering unwanted text messages.

» via Scientific American

Plan laid out for texting 9-1-1 messages

Consumers will be able to text and send multimedia messages to 9-1-1 emergency call centers under a new plan from the top communications regulator.

The Federal Communications Commission said next-generation 9-1-1 services will allow first responders to better assess emergencies with the ability to see photos and videos of an accident while still enroute. The IP-based infrastructure will also bring more reliability to the 9-1-1 network compared with the current circuit-switched system.

» via Yahoo! News

By 2008, the Philippines was providing SMS-based services from 54 national government agencies. And it seems to be working. According to one survey, 87 percent of Filipinos prefer communicating with the government via SMS, compared to 11 percent with an Internet-preference.

This isn’t only a Filipino story. Governments in Kenya, South Africa, and Indonesia have launched similar services, some of which are remarkably creative. In Malaysia, flood warnings are sent by text via automatic water-level sensors. In India, citizens can check their application status for various certificates by SMS, shouldering out bribe-seeking middlemen

Why Texting Is the Most Important Information Service in the World - Jamie Holmes - Technology - The Atlantic (via interestingsnippets)

(via interestingsnippets)

Survey: Most college kids sext, some then forward

Anthony Weiner, your parents may have gotten your name right, but man, you were born a generation too soon.

Because while the pundits and researchers expound on the many reasons sexting is bad for us as individuals and a society, and while state legislators draft bills to expel students who sext from school, or to define sexting between minors as child pornography, it seems that these days, the student who sexts is far more common than the student who doesn’t.

» via CNET