In a fairly stunning win for mobile phone privacy, the Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before they can demand and receive from mobile carriers and mobile providers access to the cell phone location data (known as ‘cell site location information’, or CSLI for short) of a given cellular phone. In the case of Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court held that tracking a cell phone is barely different than putting an ankle bracelet on an individual and monitoring their movements, and so overturned related case law that has been around for (up to) decades.
A law that was passed in California last year, and that went into effect on January 1, 2017, makes it illegal for anyone operating a motor vehicle to hold a cellphone in their hand while driving. Assembly Bill 1785 (“AB 1785”) criminalizes “driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communication device.”
Turn your cell phone into a wifi router with WM WIfi Router! No more trying to figure out how to tether your laptop with your mobile phone; now your phone can be a wireless access point for any wifi-enabled device, be it laptop, another phone, or even a desktop computer! With WM Wifi Router you can turn your cell phone into a wifi hotspot effortlessly, and it works on dozens of different mobile phones!
A new law introduced in New York would allow police to take your cell phone on the spot, and analyze it to determine whether you were on the phone, or texting, or reading email, in the moments leading up to the accident. Dubbed the Textalyzer – or Textalizer – the bill’s proponents say that the concept is not much different than a Breathalyzer, which police use on the spot to see whether someone is over the legal blood alcohol limit while behind the wheel.
Stringray device phone technology tricks your cellphone into connecting to the Stingray ‘phone tower’ (your phone doesn’t realize it’s connecting to a cell phone simulator interceptor rather than your provider’s tower – it’s the ultimate in cell phishing), and then sucks down all of your International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) information, including not only your call details, but even your text messages, email, and other private information. (This is also known as an IMSI catcher.) Now being deployed by local police and sheriff departments, these cell phone interception and eavesdropping devices are not only legal, but they require no warrant, and their use is jealously protected by the Feds.
With the recent outbreak of Middle Eastern Respitory Syndrom (MERS) in South Korea, officials are taking to tracking people who are quarantined by tracking their smartphones. If someone who is quarantined leaves their quarantine area – and takes their phone with them – public health officials will know.
We got such a great response to our article on the iPhone holder for cars that uses the cassette deck, that we thought we’d write an article about a similar device that holds your phone using your CD slot in your car. We especially figured we should do that because we got a couple of questions asking whether there was a smartphone holder that uses your car’s CD player. There is.
This week at CES, Tonino Lamborghini debuted the Lamborghini cell phone. The $6k price tag for the Lambo 88 Tauri smartphone from Tonino, the son of the famed auto maker Ferrucio Lamborghini, basically gets you a tarted-up Android phone, and the Lamborghini emblem on your phone.
The “One Ring” and “Missed Call” cell phone scam is becoming more common. According to both the FTC and the FCC, the way this works is that you will get a call from a number that you don’t recognize, starting with what seems to be a U.S.-based area code, such as 809, 876, 649, 268, 473, or 284. The scam is that when you call back to see who it is trying to reach you, you are actually connected to an international “pay per minute” or “pay per call” line, that will run up your phone charges.
Today the Supreme Court unanimously held that a warrant is required to search a cell phone, in the case of Riley v. California. Warrentless searches of a cell phone are not ok.
The newest reveal about the NSA’s surveillance activities is the existance of the NSA Co-Traveler program, through which the NSA is tracking the location and movements of the majority of cell phones on the planet, relationship-mapping every cell phone with every other cell phone.
Back in February we told you that it had just become illegal, on a Federal (i.e national) level, to unlock a cell phone – yours or anyone else’s. This was owing to the Library of Congress’ inaction, specifically their failing to renew an exemption to the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). The exemption is what made it legal to unlock a cell phone despite that otherwise the DMCA would prohibit it. Not only that, but starting next year, you could go to prison for five years for unlocking a cell phone without the carrier’s permission. Now President Obama is leaning on the FCC to make unlocking your cell phone legal.
Believe it or not, as of Saturday, 2/2/13, it became illegal to unlock your cell phone. Or to unlock anybody else’s cell phone. The failure by the LIbrary of Congress to renew an unlocking exemption to the DMCA means that you must seek permission from the carrier or phone manufacturer before you can unlock your cell phone. If you don’t? You can face prison time. Just ask Sina Khanifar, who in fact was threatened with up to 5 years in prison. His crime? Unlocking his Motorola Razr.
Yesterday we featured an article on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) contest challenging anyone from the public to come up with a way to beat spam phone calls. The reason for expanding their efforts, says the FTC, is because complaints about spam phone calls, or, “robocalls,” more than doubled in April of 2012, from their last high in October 2010 . So what should we do to avoid these nuisance calls until our unknown hero steps forward with the answer?
If you’ve ever felt that your iPhone experience would be enhanced if you could only smell scents that go along with your browsing experience, then the Chef Perf iPhone app may be right up your alley. The app, developed by Japanese company Chaku Perfume, smells via an attached scent delivery device that contains an atomizer, also being referred to as a “smell tank.”