Quote of the day—J.D. Tuccille

Anybody who wants to participate in a protest unmonitored, engage in clandestine meetings, or travel untracked has to, at a minimum, leave behind all cell phones and other modern electronic devices connected to their names and identities. A burner phone purchased with cash and free of social media accounts is probably fine, but that’s as far as it goes. The conveniences of the connected modern world come with a steep price: our anonymity.

J.D. Tuccille
February 26, 2021
So Long as You Carry a Cellphone, the Government Can Track You
[No! It is not fine!

In addition that phone or other networked device should never be turned on near your home or any other place you don’t want snoopy people to find out about. Just having your “burner phone” associated with the location of your place of work and your child’s school is going to make the Venn Diagram dramatically smaller.

And don’t forget there are a ton of license plate scanners out there. All the traffic cameras and many police cars automatically scan the license plates and put the data in a database that is kept for long, long time.

Of course, you could also deliberately create deceptive data on the phone if you were extremely careful. As in have a friend turn it on in another state while you were known to be at meeting at work. Of course your friend needs to keep his license plate from being scanned while in the vicinity of where the phone drops its breadcrumbs. Bicycles may be useful.

My first order advice is that the less information you provide the better. The burner phone only gets turned on if you really need it while at the event. Then as soon as the event is over you destroy and dispose of it.

Think of it this way… How much would you pay to get out of bad legal situation? It’s more than the cost of a burner phone, right? So pay that price up front to the phone retailers rather than on the back end to the lawyers.

Also you should leave your normal phone turned on at home or another place far away from the protest you are attending.—Joe]


25 thoughts on “Quote of the day—J.D. Tuccille

  1. “Also you should leave your normal phone turned on at home or another place far away from the protest you are attending.—Joe]”

    My choice. Cell tower data doesn’t lie does it?

    • Unless they turn on all the other 5G devices in your home and find your not there?
      Society needs to stand at 3G/3GW. That’s the last point at which the people stand in control. Theirs no reason for the government, or anyone for that matter. To have that much information.
      And anyone wanting that much control is a psycho. And needs to be treated as such.

        • Neither do I.
          So far as I know.
          Sharyl Atkisson told of how her computer would turn on by itself. I deliberately did not get a “Smart TV”. I do not know if that will be possible to avoid five or ten years from now.

      • What does 5G have to do with it?
        Any cellphone from 1G onward tells the base stations where it is. Any made since 2005 or so will do so by GPS; very old ones will still allow for triangulation.
        As for other devices, what other devices? Tablets? I suppose. Smart thermostats and webcams? Those aren’t cellular as far as I know. Unless you mean that webcams can tell the bad guys whether you’re at home or not. A good reason not to use Internet-connected webcams and similar surveillance devices.

  2. The algorithms at this point are likely predicting your purchase of a burner phone before you’ve made the decision yourself.

    In other words, the little bit information about you that is still unknown can be readily filled in using the information about you that is known.

    And your thinking about this is very 20 Century. You’re assuming that standards of evidence, as you’ve come to understand them with regard to courts of law and such, will remain significant or that they could even protect you.

    At some point, all those things: public opinion, and evidence beyond reasonable doubt, simply stop mattering. We are well into the transition phase right now.

    In many of the communist insurgencies around the world, prior intelligence had the enemies lists all ready to go in advance of a final takeover. In those cases, all that was necessary to be on the hit list was that you had a particular world view. No detailed evidence or standards of proof had any significance whatsoever. There were no court cases, and no due process beyond, “There he is. Get him!” and you’d simply be taken out in the middle of the night and shot, or buried alive.

    And for you lefties who think you’re protected due to your loyalty; most of those people are routinely shot also. After a final takeover, the ideological Marxists, the true believers, begin to realize that the whole ideology was nothing but a trick used to manipulate them. Those “true believers” (useful idiots) either become disillusioned and start speaking out, or they expect to share in the new power structure. At that phase in the game they become a serious problem for the ones in power, and so they’re simply done away with preemptively. And again; there’s no specific evidence required, and no hearings. They already know who you are and what you believe, and that’s all the evidence that’s needed.

    Another aspect to this is that a burner phone simply being purchased is evidence in itself. Turning it on is more evidence– It’s a dot on the map, in time, of someone of interest for the simple fact of their wish to remain anonymous. And you’d better get someone else to go in and buy it for you, because the store will have that individual phone associated with the sale record, and the store cameras will have you at the scene.

    Oh, this gets much worse too. The Soviet era stuff was just a precursor, a trial run.

    • and you have to pay cash for it…otherwise they track you back to it from your credit card…there are criminal cases/convictions, where they proved it was the suspected person because they couldn’t track their phone…we take them everywhere…church, store, work, shopping, then all of a sudden the guy you had a spat with winds up with his ass kicked or dead…and magically they can’t track your phone or it was turned off…believe me, they know where everyone is all the time…turning it off or leaving it at home probably won’t save you…they will get the info from black box in your car…

      • Tell me more about this black box in cars. As an auto tech I’m going to suggest there isn’t one yet. .
        Car ECUs don’t store nav details, they do have bunches of data relating to current conditions like speed, brake pedal position, steering angle, gear ratio and such but that only get stored if required for system diagnostics. To date that’s only for engine issues that cause tailpipe emissions to exceed 1.5 times the federal standards, nothing else gets freeze framed. So if I have a P0740 code stored, I can look at freeze frame data that shows engine and transmission input and output rpms, engine temp, trans temp, gear shift position, MAF sensor readings, O2 sensor readings and maybe variable valve timing data. With that data I can get an idea where to look for the failure. There won’t be any data about location or ABS/TCS/VSC or SRS system conditions. I haven’t even seen any data stored in SRS systems keeping crash moment data in cars, I will get codes for airbags and seatbelt tensioners and such but no data from when they went off.
        If you own something new enough to have a navigation system or OnStar you might be able to pull that data but that will happen by looking at nav routes accessed through the Driver Interface Center or calling up OnStar with a warrant or those toll broadcasters stuck on the windshield.

    • “and no due process beyond, ‘“There he is. Get him!’”
      That reminds me of the use of the mechanical “Dog” in Fahrenheit 451.

  3. I think a short S/F story about data mining is in order.
    Let us say that you have ALL the location data from a phone a guy has carried for a month in typical fashion. Just the location data. Nothing else from the phone. What do you know about him?

    You know his home, and possibly what room he sleeps in. His route to work. His place of work. His work schedule. Where and when he goes to lunch. When and where he does his shopping. How fast he drives. What his workout schedule is. Where he meets his friends for activities. Does he have a dog or other pet that needs walking. How active he is. What sort of breaks he takes at work. Does he do most of the cooking. What sort and how much outside activity he has.

    Can anyone else add some things to the list if they think about it?

    Now, those are just the obvious things from a month (maybe much less) with nothing but good location data. Not his contact list, app interactions, camera images or mic pickups, or correlation with any other database of purchases, transactions, or other data exchanges.

    Yeah, don’t own a cell phone. The emergency flip-phone of my wife’s I do occasionally carry I leave off until I need to call someone.

    • It will also yield who are your friends with whom you have physical contact. If you can get location data you can find out if your least favorite politician has an extra-marital lover.

      Oh, and if you want to participate in an event and not be tracked, yet have communication, use a modern walkie- talkie. No cellphones at all. Set the frequency and bandwidth to be something weird, use the lowest power which works for your application, communicate only when necessary, and speak cryptically.

    • Rolf, enlighten me.

      Let’s say a person has a non-cordless landline phone at “home”. If the landline is affiliated with another person’s name or private LLC or other biz, how much personal info could be gleaned from a landline?

      How much info could be gleaned from a cordless phone connected to landline?

      Thanks. I appreciate your insights.

  4. Forgetteth not that places which sell burner phones have video surveillance systems.

    Hire a street bum to buy the phone for you while you wait around the corner with a bottle of booze for him, as Lyle points out. Preferably in another city. Better yet, a different state. And, as Joe points out, there’s value in having the phone activated in a different state, preferably far, far away (know anyone equally concerned who travels a lot? A trucker or salesman, maybe? Work a deal to send phones to each other to activate in different states. Extra points for buying lots of burners in lots of different places, because at somepoint they’re going to be “single use.”).

    Embrace the power of high quality mylar, and never, ever, EVER take it out of the mylar anywhere near your usual locations. Do it right and you might get a couple uses out of it before it has to go swimming, but it will become fish food in damn short order.

  5. Don’t take your car or truck if it has onstar, those conect to verizon’s network.

    I’m sure the Ford/microsoft version does something similar as well.

  6. It might be easier to suborn one or more of those who manage the data.

    Not that I’d encourage that sort of thing…

    • So the way to get through that is to become Yevgraf in Dr. Zhivago.

      • Perhaps.

        But y’know, computers are funny things, and it’d be a shame if critical data just… went missing.

  7. And to add to the difficulties of being anonymous, I see that there is talk of moving to a digital currency. That would just about eliminate anonymity. Even prepaid cash cards would not help – in fact, they would just be waving a red flag.

  8. The only thing that works against these people is this. Carry $500.00 dollars cash in one pocket. And a well tested pistol in the other. And a friendly, F–k off commie,(FOC), attitude toward anyone that doesn’t like it. If you can’t buy it from a local store. You don’t need it.
    Were going to have to learn to stand up for freedom, and ourselves.
    The devices we carry actually isolate us mentally, from the world around us. And that in turn allows centralization of power. And everything else that matters.
    We have to learn to be strong individuals again.
    And the sooner they find out all their tracking is trouble. The sooner they will leave us be.
    Remember, Tracking you can be used as a trap against them. They have a lot of mouth pieces. But not so many enforcers. Who really wants to piss-off a 100 million gun-toting morons? Answer. No one with two brain cells left.

  9. Is it possible to “go gray” and move about without leaving a trail? Yes.
    But it’s a HELLUVA LOT harder to do than most people understand. And
    as has been pointed out the ABSENCE of data about you, where you are etc.
    is almost as telling as the actual data showing your movements.

    • Hence why it might be salutatory to start developing chaff and clutter to clog up the system.

  10. Joe, This is an excellent post. You have a valuable and trustworthy perspective on cell phone privacy and other forms of privacy.

    Would love to see more posts from your point of view on this topic — from the pro-freedom guy who works in cell phone security. I envision a sort of “how to” on privacy related topics, especially phone security.

    I know there are scores of videos, websites, etc. about cell privacy but it’s challenging to determine who is trustworthy. Plus the technology changes so rapidly it’s hard to know who is up-to-date. Plus Plus you have an ability to explain these things in non-robot language, easy for readers to digest tech concepts.

    And to the commenters on this post, I appreciate your insights.

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