04 March 2008
Can You Hear Me Now?
Can You Hear Me Now?
The sticky and annoying wireless company catch phrase. But effective in boiling down our primary goal of using the telephone, yes?
Once upon a time, we were doing some work for a wireless carrier back in the days when phones were analog, the phones were as big as a hoagie and the usage time was .35 cents per minute or more. Remember that? Nobody that paid for their own cell bill loitered on the phone the way people do now. And boy, do they now.
Back then, statistically, empirically and historically people chatting on the phone ad nauseum were likely using a cloned phone - which was illegal. So we had some nifty gadgets to legally listen in on the cellular airwaves, browsing if you will, for conversations that took on a lolly gagging type-feel. We could verify our hunch with some other nifty gadgets and then effect a, uh, service interruption of the people in possession of the cloned phone. We knew what we were doing, people with cloned phones were in danger of arrest, search and seizure; and people without cloned phones were not. There was no time, no interest and no motive to voyeuristically listen to and investigative calls that did not meet our criteria and end-of-game objective.
Oh and by the way, some very, very bad people used cloned phones to coordinate some very, very bad crimes. Stopping them required creativity, resolve and yes, an occasional invasion of privacy. The result (people still do like results don't they??) was Us=1, Bad Guys=0.
A lot has changed since then...or has it?
Let us remember folks, that there is a difference between information and intelligence. People talking is information. Suspects talking about certain things could be usable intelligence. Since most of us I presume are in the first category of conversation, we don't merit a glance, a file or a flag. But if you are in the second category of conversation, then yes, you should be pissed about the allegedly widespread privacy invasion because you will likely get snared. So go ahead and complain, it will make the search for you even easier. :)
We enjoy our Freedoms and we enjoy our Liberty. Heck, we have been singing about those since kindergarten. But evil is knocking at the door.
Are we willing to allow our intelligence gatherers to do their work to keep evil at bay? Or do we maintain a death grip on our privacy and demand our right to talk privately about our grocery list while the crooks are planning their next caper under the same absolute protections?
RRRRiiiinnnngg......anybody gonna answer that?