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SAF’s Aerostat System can gather data from mobile phones?

In Uncategorized on 28/11/2014 at 4:23 am

There was a lot of noise from the usual rabid anti-PAP cyber-warriors that the SAF’s aerostat system* was a waste of $ and that it would used to spy on us (Well how can it be a waste of money, if it’s used for internal surveillance? I wish these cybernuts would think before they type.), without telling us how this will happen. But because the PAP IB were rubbishing their opposing cybernuts, this made me suspect the anti-PAP paper warriors had a valid point, even if they had no idea what it was. .

Well this is how the blimp could be used to spy on us: it could carry devices that gather data from mobile phones.

Devices that gather data from millions of mobile phones are being flown over the US by the government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The “dirtbox” devices mimic mobile phone tower transmissions, and handsets transmit back their location and unique identity data, the report claims.

While they are used to track specific suspects, all mobile devices in the area will respond to the signal.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30054137

This being S’pore there is nothing to prevent the PAP administration from using these devices to gather info indiscriminately. I know, I know: M Ravi will say that such gathering of data is against the constitution. but since when has he won any constitutional challenge? Zero is the answer. But maybe in a galaxy in another universe, his grandfather drafted S’pore’s constitution, assisted by one JBJ, Ravi the Jedi is slaying the PAP dragon, constitution and all.

What such info can be used for:

“destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt enemies by discrediting them”

Nadia Kayyali, writing for the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s blog, Deeplinks, says the King letter could be a page out of the handbook of the British online intelligence unit dubbed the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group – a group whose mission is to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt enemies by discrediting them”.

Today, she writes, that translates into rummaging through Facebook chats, embarrassing internet browsing history and emails in order to discredit any leader who threatens the status quo or to blackmail someone into becoming an informant.

Salon’s Marcy Wheeler writes that there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the intelligence community – including who today’s targets are, if they are at the same level of importance as King or how exactly the National Security Agency or the FBI is getting information about them.

“These are not far-fetched ideas,” she says. “They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices, illustrate that reality richly.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-30108043

— ———

*What CNA reported on the Aerostat System in Octber 2014

The Republic will soon have an extra pair of eyes in the sky to look out for aerial and maritime threats. The Aerostat System – a tethered balloon that uses low-level radar to detect threats as far as 200km away – will be deployed early next year.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced this on Tuesday (Oct 28)…

… with the Aerostat System, the Singapore Armed Forces will save nearly S$30 million in operating costs a year.

The system will complement the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s current suite of airborne and ground-based radars. “Our ground-based radar systems can only operate above high-rise buildings,” Dr Ng said, adding that the urban landscape in Singapore is changing, and more tall buildings are coming up.

“For a small island-state like Singapore, surveillance and early warning to give us sufficient reaction time to respond will always be a challenge but the Aerostat will improve our surveillance capabilities significantly,” he said.

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