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Thread: Protecting your cell phone from being accessed by LEOs

  1. #1
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Protecting your cell phone from being accessed by LEOs

    This is a fairly informative video on protecting your cell phone data from being accessed by LEOs ... especially important if you use your cell phone as a recording device.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVCRO...eature=related

  2. #2
    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    Being well versed in digital forensics, knowing the ways to break many popular methods, I was very skeptical when I saw your link/description. In my experience, there wasn't a good way to protect data on many smartphones (Blackberry aside, but many do that incorrectly anyway). After watching the video, that still holds true - this video merely recommends adding a passcode to your device as it's best advice. This is just a deterrent, since there are a number of ways to bypass such a thing. (Googling will give you plenty of info.) If a LEO wants into your smartphone, and has physical access to it, passcode or not (including advanced, not just a 4-digit pin), your data is theirs for the taking.

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  3. #3
    Regular Member LibertyDeath's Avatar
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    Heck, they might not even need physical access.

  4. #4
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    There are encryption app available for your Apple products....smart phone, IPod touch, IPad, that encrypt your data with 256bit technology and a passowrd is required to access it. A TRUSTED App of this type is the only way to secure data on your device in a way that unwanted persons can not access it.

    Unfortunately, I'm not yet aware of an App (I'm looking) that is capable of encrypting ALL of your data (GPS tags, browser history, communications, audio/video, etc.). It would definitely be a great advance forward for personal data security if someone would develop such an application (or it can be found if already out there and available). I suspect there must be something as I am sure that government and business with sensitive information have addressed these issues but I've yet to find it. Then again, I'm a pretty new user of the technology.

    ALSO, be aware that any pictures or video you take with your device are tagged with time/date/GPS data that anyone with the file, whether sent to them on purpose or accessed against your will, can pull from the file. This can be overridden (supposedly) so if this is a concern, check into that.
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    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

  5. #5
    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    An app for IOS (Apple) doesn't exist, and will never exist (in the AppStore), because it would break Apple's strict use of APIs and system modification. See, you'd have to replace the boot loader for an app of this type to work properly, otherwise you'd need to store the key unencrypted to boot the device, and then have an app run on startup. There may eventually be a jail broken app (I'm aware of one that requires a password to run an app, but nothing when it comes to full disk encryption like would be needed.

    Android shows some promise in this category, but you'll still likely need a rooted device for it to work, as no carrier is going to let an app control the boot loader, again, which is needed for this app to work. (It's how they all work, like TrueCrypt, DriveCrypt, BitLocker, etc - the boot loader looks for the password or token/key, then uses it to unlock the rest.) Since. Phone is also used as an emergency tool, an encryption app would likely need to include a way to dial an emergency number without the password (like the current passcode solution does on IOS), otherwise they could get in hot water. There's always a trade off, as security and ease of use will never go hand in hand.
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  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    I've discovered the most reliable means of preventing any and all LEOs from accessing my cell phone is not to have one.

    Of course I have a cell phone. I simply don't use it except in cases of emergency.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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