With Encryption Battle on Hold, Burner Phones Now Targeted

LJ Ellis

New member
Mar 3, 2016
41
0
0
With Encryption Battle on Hold, Burner Phones Now Targeted

//cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/1303/1303324.jpg

Although the FBI has apparently paused its battle with Apple over encryption [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/166938-FBI-Might-Not-Need-Apples-Help-Accessing-Terrorists-iPhone-After-All], there's now another branch of the technological world under fire: burner phones. A new house bill, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), would essentially kill the anonymous prepaid phone industry.

The bill calls for retailers of prepaid phones to collect personal information on all buyers, including name, birth date and home address. The retailers would also be told to verify the info with a driver's license number, social security number or other suitable form of ID.

Why are burner phones being targeted?

Explains [http://speier.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1841:speier-introduces-bill-to-require-id-when-purchasing-burner-phones-and-other-pre-paid-mobile-devices&catid=20&Itemid=7] Rep. Speier: "This bill would close one of the most significant gaps in our ability to track and prevent acts of terror, drug trafficking, and modern-day slavery. The 'burner phone' loophole is an egregious gap in our legal framework that allows actors like the 9/11 hijackers and the Times Square bomber to evade law enforcement while they plot to take innocent lives. The Paris attackers also used 'burner phones.'"

This isn't the first time this year that the cell phone industry has been in jeopardy of being turned upside down. Back in January, lawmakers [http://www.wired.com/2016/01/proposed-state-bans-on-phone-encryption-make-zero-sense/] in both New York and California pushed for encyption-enabled smartphones to be banned.


Image: ProhibitOnions [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMotorolaStarTAC.jpg]

Permalink
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

New member
Sep 6, 2009
6,019
0
0
Hang on, why aren't identity checks required under U.S law? This kind of thing just seems like common sense to me. It's been a requirement here in Australia since the beginning, for this very reason.
 

TelosSupreme

New member
Dec 8, 2015
149
0
0
Because this kind of over-controlling nonsense has totally helped stop terrorism on a regular basis already. Good heavens, how dumb does the government think American citizens are? Because at this point they're probably right! We're just giving our freedom away for nothing in return.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

New member
Aug 22, 2010
2,577
0
0
008Zulu said:
Hang on, why aren't identity checks required under U.S law? This kind of thing just seems like common sense to me. It's been a requirement here in Australia since the beginning, for this very reason.
I thought that was for the SIM cards rather than the handsets. Then again I have bought precisely one handset outright and that was close to seven years ago, I may simply not recall.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
15,489
0
0
Hold the phone, so to speak!

...did that man just mention slavery? Like...actual slavery or indentured servitude in sweatshops?
 

pookie101

New member
Jul 5, 2015
1,162
0
0
008Zulu said:
Hang on, why aren't identity checks required under U.S law? This kind of thing just seems like common sense to me. It's been a requirement here in Australia since the beginning, for this very reason.
thats where my head went as well. we need them here and its not an issue
 

mad825

New member
Mar 28, 2010
3,379
0
0
008Zulu said:
Hang on, why aren't identity checks required under U.S law? This kind of thing just seems like common sense to me. It's been a requirement here in Australia since the beginning, for this very reason.
Unless the information is placed onto a unified database then you might as well be selling beer to the customer instead. Even then you can just buy the bloody phones on ebay without the security check.
 

EdwardOrchard

New member
Jan 12, 2011
232
0
0
FalloutJack said:
Hold the phone, so to speak!

...did that man just mention slavery? Like...actual slavery or indentured servitude in sweatshops?
I assumed he was referring to sex trafficking
 

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
Aug 28, 2014
4,661
1,404
118
Country
Philippines
I find this hilarious.

In my country I could walk down the street, buy an unregistered sim, then drive to the mall, buy an Iphone that is probably stolen, put the sim card in, then have a brand new (so to speak) phone.

Never quite understood how cellphones work in the States.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

New member
Sep 6, 2009
6,019
0
0
mad825 said:
a unified database
Here in Australia, you are required to show either a valid drivers license (or state issued i.d), or your passport. Both of those are unified databases.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

New member
Aug 22, 2010
2,577
0
0
008Zulu said:
Gordon_4 said:
I thought that was for the SIM cards rather than the handsets.
The phone is kinda useless without a SIM card.
That depends on the phone, a smartphone can still be connected to wireless networks and use messaging apps and skype-like programs to communicate. Though I agree burner style phones are not much good without the SIM; that's why I assumed that the ID check was rather for the SIM card - as that's what authorises your connection to the mobile network, data network and passage of the phone number.
 

Leg End

Romans 12:18
Oct 24, 2010
2,934
48
53
Country
United States
I have a very strong feeling that this was a major part of the plan all along. Go after what you can't get, then go after what you want to make it seem like a reasinable alternative.

LJ Ellis said:
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
I lack any kind of surprise.
FalloutJack said:
Hold the phone, so to speak!

...did that man just mention slavery? Like...actual slavery or indentured servitude in sweatshops?
Yup. The former being the intended idea.
 

Bad Jim

New member
Nov 1, 2010
1,763
0
0
EdwardOrchard said:
FalloutJack said:
Hold the phone, so to speak!

...did that man just mention slavery? Like...actual slavery or indentured servitude in sweatshops?
I assumed he was referring to sex trafficking
No, not just sex trafficking. It's a lot easier to get away with forcing people to work on farms or in factories because it doesn't require members of the public to see the slaves. Coupled with the fact that only a minority of people have bodies worth selling, slavery on farms or factories is more common.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
0
0
To government wants to make it more difficult for people to communicate anonymously, not surprising. I hope this fails because while such things might be used by criminals, they are also extremely convenient, and I'm a big protector of what little anonymity people can still get.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

New member
Oct 1, 2009
2,552
0
0
FalloutJack said:
Hold the phone, so to speak!

...did that man just mention slavery? Like...actual slavery or indentured servitude in sweatshops?
Human trafficking is profitable business and it isn't unusual for people who pay to get smuggled into first world nations or answer ads for jobs abroad to end up as slaves. Sex trafficking and slavery is by far the most commonly discussed, but forcing people to work in dangerous or hard jobs to "pay off their debt" is not uncommon. Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (Kara, 2009) relays examples of poor young men from Transnistria who are forced to work on fishing boats in the Balkans and who are routinely killed at the seasons end.

Slavery exists in the modern world and is just another branch of international organized crime.
 

Diablo1099_v1legacy

Doom needs Yoghurt, Badly
Dec 12, 2009
9,732
0
0
008Zulu said:
Hang on, why aren't identity checks required under U.S law? This kind of thing just seems like common sense-
Ah, see, that's your problem.

You are assuming that Common Sense is even a thing is Us Government.
Hell, Ted Cruz spent like 15 straight hours rambling and reading his kids bedtime stories in the middle of a session of the Senate and that's BEFORE we get to the more recent stuff with Trump...
 

Sigmund Av Volsung

Hella noided
Dec 11, 2009
2,999
0
0
Bullshit, Snowden said that the NSA keeps a close eye on phones that are turned on and off frequently and marks them on their surveillance systems. Burners are still not the issue.

The problem is that the surveillance systems in place target everyone for no reason and have shown no real proof of actually being useful for how large they are in actually preventing attacks. What they do is monitor innocent citizens and store that data for god-knows-what purposes.

Places like The Intercept (mind the bias) have already reported that former FBI staff have expressed an interest in collecting Big Data alongside metadata, which again proves either an incredible amount of incomptenece or a worrying potential for totalitarianism.
 

Yopaz

Sarcastic overlord
Jun 3, 2009
6,092
0
0
008Zulu said:
Hang on, why aren't identity checks required under U.S law? This kind of thing just seems like common sense to me. It's been a requirement here in Australia since the beginning, for this very reason.
It's simply a matter of common sense actually. With prepaid phones there is no risk of a person using a fake name and then not paying his bills so the phone services don't have anything to lose by selling people phones without doing identity checks. However when they start requiring identity checks they limit their customers to those who have legal identification. I did not have legal identification until I was almost 16, but I bought my first phone at 13. These days kids buy phones more commonly and they rarely have legal identification. It's also convenient to do away with security checks if you really depend on your phone and and it gets stolen and you need a new one right away. Rather than wait for new ID (in case you lost that) and a new SIM card you can get a burner right away and reduce damages. Here we need to register with our social security, but that's only about a decade old. Before that came in place the phone book started getting names like Donald Duck and Cock Cockson from people who used false names.


mad825 said:
Even then you can just buy the bloody phones on ebay without the security check.
Yes, but as others have said, it's the SIM card that is crucial. My current SIM card has traveled through 3 different phones as of now. I wouldn't need ID to buy either of those phones, but my ID is tied to my SIM card. If this comes in place eBay will have to start cracking down on those selling SIM cards too.
 

The Great JT

New member
Oct 6, 2008
3,721
0
0
This is stupid. Spying on citizens won't stop terrorism, US Government. Besides, if you are so worried about terrorists and burner phones, they're just going to come up with a way of working around whatever surveillance you set up.

I keep hearing about all this whole government surveillance program stuff, and all I can think is, "9/11 may not have affected the citizens outside of a year after, but it certainly did affect the government. They're the only ones calling for surveillance and spying on citizens."