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Big Brother Really Is Watching You !


hilldweller
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Browsing another forum yesterday, (other forums and providers are available) I came across a link to a rather disturbing website.

It seems that not only did the Google Maps Streetcar collect MAC addresses for every wireless router it passed, but also Andriod based cellphones are programed to do the same.

The link to the website is http://samy.pl/androidmap/

If you put in the MAC address of your wireless router it will show your location to within a few feet on a Google Map. It must be the MAC address of your router, not the computer network adaptor address.

At first I thought it was funny that it had the address of my brand new router because the Street Car came by a long time ago but when I read a bit further I realised that every time someone walks past with an Android phone it sends that information to Google.

I quote from the website :-

When the phone detects any wireless network, encrypted or otherwise, it sends the BSSID (MAC address) of the router along with signal strength, and most importantly, GPS coordinates up to the mothership.

This page allows you to ping that database and find exactly where any wi-fi router in the world is located. Note that iPhones also send this BSSID and Cell Tower Information up to Apple, as well.

Stop the world I want to get off !

HD

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I hope you are not becoming paranoid HD.

My MAC addy did not show anything.

I asked my pal who lives in the United Arab Emirates to check his, he lives in a penthouse atop an apartment block but it still found his location. Perhaps your Wi-Fi signal doesn't radiate very well into the road.

HD

P.S I'm not becoming paranoid and I'll prove it as soon as those men in Ray-Bans stop looking in my windows B) B) B)

Seriously though I think it's time that we all became a bit more paranoid. Why does a huge multi-national organisation want to harvest information like that. Every network adaptor card / network enabled motherboard and router has an exclusive alpha numeric MAC address. Why should it interest Google what this is ?

Why build into the Android OS the ability to harvest this information and return it to them ?

Methinks the men in smart suits and working in Langley are behind this somewhere.

HD

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I hope you are not becoming paranoid HD.

My MAC addy did not show anything.

Neither did mine Steve.

So at present we are untracable by Google using our wireless routers.

If I was paranoid about it I could always go back to using a wired home network with no radio signals. Advantage is that it would be a lot faster than wireless, disacvantage is it would tie your laptops down like they were a desktop.

It would also stop the wireless network "snoops"

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I asked my pal who lives in the United Arab Emirates to check his, he lives in a penthouse atop an apartment block but it still found his location. Perhaps your Wi-Fi signal doesn't radiate very well into the road.

HD

P.S I'm not becoming paranoid and I'll prove it as soon as those men in Ray-Bans stop looking in my windows B) B) B)

Seriously though I think it's time that we all became a bit more paranoid. Why does a huge multi-national organisation want to harvest information like that. Every network adaptor card / network enabled motherboard and router has an exclusive alpha numeric MAC address. Why should it interest Google what this is ?

Why build into the Android OS the ability to harvest this information and return it to them ?

Methinks the men in smart suits and working in Langley are behind this somewhere.

HD

Isn't this a bit like the TV detector vans that used to prowl the streets, and probably still do. They could detect, directionally, the 20.25kHz (for 405 line) and 31.25kHz VLF stray emissions of sawtooth waves from a TV sets line timebase oscillator, which showed that there was a TV set in opereation, and could also detect the superhetrodyne I.F. oscillator which worked typically at 470 kHz above our below the broadcast frequency for radio and 10.7 MHz above or below broadcast frequency for TV, so they could also tell from this frequency what you were tuned in to.

It was done to check that every household that didn't pay a TV licence fee didn't actually have a TV, and to provided evidence to prosecute those that did have a TV and no licence.

Now although that was "big brother is watching you" type of snooping it was also law enforcement, so it was seen as "acceptable" and "a fair cop" if you got caught.

I actually prefer that to the current system which has been reported to me by some of my friends.

Certain of my friends do not own, have no wish to own and do not watch TV at all. They think the programmes on offer are of poor quality and not worth watching. They are the sort of people who would write to the "Points of View" programme with a message like "Dear Mr. Snoddy, We thank the BBC is a load of crap". That is their choice not to watch TV, and also their right. There is no law which forces them to watch TV and endure stuff they consider to be an innane load of rubbish.

As such, they do not have TV licences as they do not own or use TV equipment.

However they suffer endless "harassment" by the licence authorities because they live at an unlicenced address, they regulaly see detector vans and used to get "visits" to check if they had a TV. The attitude of the licence authority was that they were some sort of wierdos for not having a TV and that everyone should have one and every household in the land should therefore pay a licence fee. They felt harassed, intimidated and pressurised because of this.

I would find this type of "Big Brother Culture" (you could abbreviate that to BBC ;-) ) less acceptable that someone snooping about outside with a van full of electronic detection equipment.

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Neither did mine Steve.

So at present we are untracable by Google using our wireless routers.

If I was paranoid about it I could always go back to using a wired home network with no radio signals. Advantage is that it would be a lot faster than wireless, disacvantage is it would tie your laptops down like they were a desktop.

It would also stop the wireless network "snoops"

Not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but the MAC code in question is that of the wireless router, found by accessing the router using a browser. A number of people on the other forum thought they were in the clear but they had been using their computer MAC code.

HD

STOP PRESS

Just tried it again and the Google mapping has stopped working, perhaps somebody, somewhere has cottoned on.

HD

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Not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but the MAC code in question is that of the wireless router, found by accessing the router using a browser. A number of people on the other forum thought they were in the clear but they had been using their computer MAC code.

HD

STOP PRESS

Just tried it again and the Google mapping has stopped working, perhaps somebody, somewhere has cottoned on.

HD

No, I'm OK and with it hilldweller,

I got my router MAC address from going into its settings (which you do with a browser) and used what was clearly labelled as the Router MAC address. The search didn't find it.

OK, so they have turned the mapping off, - but someone, somewhere, still holds all that collected data :unsure: <_<

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STOP PRESS

Just tried it again and the Google mapping has stopped working, perhaps somebody, somewhere has cottoned on.

HD

Curiouser and Curiouser, now the website shows previously revealed routers as not revealed any more. Someones been busy !

HD

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Curiouser and Curiouser, now the website shows previously revealed routers as not revealed any more. Someones been busy !

HD

Sounds like a big cover up job now that they have been rumbled.

Remember Watergate!

This is the Googlegate scandal B)

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Sounds like a big cover up job now that they have been rumbled.

Remember Watergate!

This is the Googlegate scandal B)

I've just clicked on the link again, it seems that Google have taken steps to prevent the app working as we suspected. Google wants to know all about us but doesn't want us to see what they know. If Google maps wasn't so embedded in everything we browse then I'd remove any trace of their tentacles off my computer. No point though if every time somebody walks past with a smart-phone Google get a fresh update. I might consider going wired even for my laptop and switching my wireless off.

HD

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I've just clicked on the link again, it seems that Google have taken steps to prevent the app working as we suspected. Google wants to know all about us but doesn't want us to see what they know. If Google maps wasn't so embedded in everything we browse then I'd remove any trace of their tentacles off my computer. No point though if every time somebody walks past with a smart-phone Google get a fresh update. I might consider going wired even for my laptop and switching my wireless off.

HD

Well,

You can have your adenoids taken out, but you can't have your paranoids taken out.

..so I am going to try and not get too paranoid about it.

If it's not Google snooping on me electronically via my wireless modem then it's the News of the World hacking into my phone! :angry:

I would have thought that this type of "spying" on people, by anyone other than police detectives with good reason to suspect criminal activity, is illegal.

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Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me

I am begining to realise the sort of mental pressure that top celebrities are faced with when everyone wants to pry into their lives.

It perhaps explains why so many suffer from nervous breakdowns, alcoholism and drug abuse.

If you think about it too much, and let conjecture of what "could happen" take precidence over reality of what is happenening it could get quite frightening.

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Well,

You can have your adenoids taken out, but you can't have your paranoids taken out.

..so I am going to try and not get too paranoid about it.

If it's not Google snooping on me electronically via my wireless modem then it's the News of the World hacking into my phone! :angry:

I would have thought that this type of "spying" on people, by anyone other than police detectives with good reason to suspect criminal activity, is illegal.

Many years ago (at least 30), when I lived at Mona Avenue, Crookes, a pal of mine loaned me a small communications receiver. I rigged up a temporary long-wire aerial from the side of our house to the top of the garden.

A few weeks later the old lady that lived next door came around the front to tell me that there were two men in her back garden.

I sneaked around to see them taking photographs of, and discussing the aerial. I made myself known and asked them what they were doing. They told me they were police investigating a burglary and left quickly.

I wasn't satisfied and went straight down to Hammerton Road police station.

After waiting for a while I was told that the men were "officials" and not to worry.

I went home again and took down the aerial.

Some of us perhaps have reason to be slightly paranoid.

HD

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Many years ago (at least 30), when I lived at Mona Avenue, Crookes, a pal of mine loaned me a small communications receiver. I rigged up a temporary long-wire aerial from the side of our house to the top of the garden.

A few weeks later the old lady that lived next door came around the front to tell me that there were two men in her back garden.

I sneaked around to see them taking photographs of, and discussing the aerial. I made myself known and asked them what they were doing. They told me they were police investigating a burglary and left quickly.

I wasn't satisfied and went straight down to Hammerton Road police station.

After waiting for a while I was told that the men were "officials" and not to worry.

I went home again and took down the aerial.

Some of us perhaps have reason to be slightly paranoid.

HD

Yes, and perhaps someone knew what your line of work was 'hilldweller' and thought you could have been passing certain

information on. The authorities may have been suspicious of the fact that everytime you moved it was to higher ground, after all we were still living in the cold war era. W/E.

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Yes, and perhaps someone knew what your line of work was 'hilldweller' and thought you could have been passing certain

information on. The authorities may have been suspicious of the fact that everytime you moved it was to higher ground, after all we were still living in the cold war era. W/E.

Well at one time my salary was being paid (indirectly) by the MOD (Navy Dept) so you may well be right.

My love of high places stems from my childhood and is nothing to do with increased radio propagation benefits.

And before you ask I've never taken holidays in Eastern Europe. In fact I've never had any inclination to leave these shores at all.

HD

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Well at one time my salary was being paid (indirectly) by the MOD (Navy Dept) so you may well be right.

My love of high places stems from my childhood and is nothing to do with increased radio propagation benefits.

And before you ask I've never taken holidays in Eastern Europe. In fact I've never had any inclination to leave these shores at all.

HD

I had a long wire aeriel running down the garden at my parents house for many years as a teenager for receiving shortwave radio.

I never got investigated by the authorities for spying or passing secrets back to the USSR.

..and the irony of it is, on SW in those days (the 1960's at the height of the cold war) the one station, broadcasting a load of propaganda in English which was easiest to pick up (in fact you couldn't avoid it!) was RADIO MOSCOW.

However, I once built a super-regenerative shortwave receiver and joined it to the aformentioned aeriel. Unfortunately if you turned the very sensitive regenerative control a little too far in an attempt to get higher sensitivity it went into oscillation and started pushing radio frequency into the aeriel, turning itself into a very primitive noise transmitter.

As the aeriel was passed over the Redifusion cable under the sofit boards to support it it tended to interfer with everyone TV reception in the area when this happened so I suppose I was lucky not to be investigated by the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications for causing radio interference.

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