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Thread: Gun Free Mall now interecepting customer cell signals.

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Gun Free Mall now interecepting customer cell signals.

    Short Pump Town Center - That bastion of the American Way, a place where the tools of self defense are barred but where the cutting edge invasive surveillance that would make any police state jealous is just another business tool.


    They are intercepting customer signals (which I thought was illegal) and tracking them through the mall area. In case you forgot why this is not a place for anyone who cares about personal freedom, not to mention the right to self defense, here is a bit of a reminder. One of only 2 malls in America with this new tech.

    http://www.theverge.com/2011/11/23/2...cellphone-this

    I wonder how long until they listen into the calls or even the cell phone cameras to see if maybe someone is concealed carrying there (since OC is strictly a no-no at Short Pump Town Center)

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    Regular Member CHILINVLN's Avatar
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    Actually, they're tracking the broadcasting signal to see the location of the devices to see where people are going in the mall, to learn popular spots, etc. It's not pulling your personal information. It's no different than your cell phone broadcasting anywhere else you are at, only difference, they're capturing that signal being broadcasted in the air.

    I personally agree with it and see no issue. If I don't want to participate (which I have no reason not to), I can turn my phone off or shop elsewhere.

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    So if someone is outside the mall and their info is pulled how can they opt out? Malls do not need information like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    They are intercepting customer signals...
    No, they're not, at least not the voice signal. They're doing what every cell phone tower does, including those belonging to networks you're not subscribed to: they're receiving the roaming or connection signal that is broadcast continuously by your phone whenever it's on, even if you're not making a call. It doesn't identify you in any way, and can't be connected to you except by the network to which you subscribe.

    ...and tracking them through the mall area.
    This is no different than using cameras or hired observers to do the same thing. Tracking traffic flow through stores is a long-standing practice. It's the basis of every store's design and floor plan.


    I wonder how long until they listen into the calls or even the cell phone cameras to see if maybe someone is concealed carrying there
    Those three things are: impossible; impossible; and, the lowest possible priority.

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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    No, they're not, at least not the voice signal.
    I didn't say they were currently intercepting the voice signal, but they are intercepting signals. They have no business intercepting those signals, IMO.

    Personally just another reason to not go to the place. I am not going to shut my cell phone off any more than I am going to leave my gun home.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    Personally just another reason to not go to the place.

    I am not going to shut my cell phone off any more than I am going to leave my gun home.
    Pearls of wisdom. (wish we had a "thumb's up" icon.)
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    If I even went to malls, I would avoid this one. I'll much rather give my money to a China supporting Walmart before I give my money to a gun-free, person tracking mall.

    my 2 cents

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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post

    Those three things are: impossible; impossible; and, the lowest possible priority.
    Not impossible at all , all they need to do is introduce a virus into your phone probably through bluetooth.
    Last edited by Skeptic; 11-23-2011 at 11:04 PM.

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gm2max View Post
    If I even went to malls, I would avoid this one. I'll much rather give my money to a China supporting Walmart before I give my money to a gun-free, person tracking mall.

    my 2 cents
    +1

    I havn't been in a mall in agies, the stores can all be found locally or online why go to a super building to walk around in a gun free zone. lol
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 11-23-2011 at 11:30 PM.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Angry

    Originally Posted by Skeptic

    Personally just another reason to not go to the place.

    I am not going to shut my cell phone off any more than I am going to leave my gun home.
    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    Pearls of wisdom. (wish we had a "thumb's up" icon.)
    You mean this one?..

    It's right there below - just copy and paste it.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    OMG! Won't Someone Please Think of the Children!!
    Or, in other words... big whoop.

    So the mall knows that 90 percent of the cell phone signals are acquired entering the North Entrance and then circulate clockwise around the mall. Hey, maybe we could take advantage of that and increase ad revenue?

    So the mall finds out that one day a week, the number of cell phones in the Mall doubles for about 6 hours,... something that never happens any other day of the week. Maybe that's a sign to let merchants know that might be a good day to have their best sales.

    So the mall finds out there's a marked increase of cell phones located in the Food Court starting at 11:15 instead of 11:45 like everyone thought.

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    Regular Member CHILINVLN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    I didn't say they were currently intercepting the voice signal, but they are intercepting signals. They have no business intercepting those signals, IMO.

    Personally just another reason to not go to the place. I am not going to shut my cell phone off any more than I am going to leave my gun home.
    So, what about everyone who buys CB radios or scanners from Radio Shack to listen to the Fire Dept or Police Dept dispatch? That's actually a bad example, since you can actually LISTEN to everything they say, where the mall is only tracking the location of patrons inside their facility.

  13. #13
    Regular Member CHILINVLN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    Not impossible at all , all they need to do is introduce a virus into your phone probably through bluetooth.
    You have absolutely zero understanding of what you're trying to talk about technically. Bluetooth has a range of about 30-32 feet or so and you can't connect to any other device via bluetooth unless you ACCEPT it or pair the devices. They don't just automatically connect to random things and then leave the door open to receive a virus (which by the way, is VERY rare on bluetooth).

    Imagine your phone as a blinking infrared beacon on your head. No one walking around sees the light blinking unless you look at it with an infrared camera. That's all they're doing, LOOKING at what you already have. It's not an invasion of privacy, they are not screening phone calls, or activating camera phones, etc.

    Do you also freak out when stores ask for your zipcode when you check out too??? LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHILINVLN View Post
    So, what about everyone who buys CB radios or scanners from Radio Shack to listen to the Fire Dept or Police Dept dispatch? That's actually a bad example, since you can actually LISTEN to everything they say, where the mall is only tracking the location of patrons inside their facility.

    Actually, that may be going away soon.

    Some police departments are switching to digitally scrambled radio, so they cannot be eavesdropped on by criminals using scanners. Some drug dealers have gotten very sophisticated as of late.
    Last edited by BillHoo; 11-24-2011 at 12:36 AM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHILINVLN View Post
    You have absolutely zero understanding of what you're trying to talk about technically. Bluetooth has a range of about 30-32 feet or so and you can't connect to any other device via bluetooth unless you ACCEPT it or pair the devices. They don't just automatically connect to random things and then leave the door open to receive a virus (which by the way, is VERY rare on bluetooth).

    Imagine your phone as a blinking infrared beacon on your head. No one walking around sees the light blinking unless you look at it with an infrared camera. That's all they're doing, LOOKING at what you already have. It's not an invasion of privacy, they are not screening phone calls, or activating camera phones, etc.

    Do you also freak out when stores ask for your zipcode when you check out too??? LOL!
    He may not understand it but I do and for the most part you're right.

    There is a concern if the customer leaves his phone set as a WiFi hotspot. I do that way too often when I want to work on my Ipad instead of that little phone screen.

    It is fairly innocent but I can't imagine why anyone would be in favor of it. It's just one more thing that'll be abused eventually.

    Yes I refuse to give my zip code or anything else and I wear a hat just so the cameras can't easily identify me.
    Last edited by peter nap; 11-24-2011 at 05:14 AM.

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    They are breaking the law. The ECPA, from 1986, made it illegal to listen to cell phones. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro...ns_Privacy_Act

    While scanners could hear cell phones, high ranking politicians were being recorded and so on. This was the first time in American History that a block of radio frequencies were made illegal to listen to in the US.

    Scanners were still made that could hear them if you "clipped" a diode or bought a "frequency converter". They outlawed the scanners that could have the diode "clipped" and the converters a few years later.

    The real reason, if you research it, for this law was that at the time, cell phone companies were promoting "secure" phone conversations, without actually using any encryption at all. The cell companies did not want to invest in the expensive technology to encrypt their signals, so they spent less money lobbying congress. And alas, ECPA was born.

    What is really funny, 25 years later, is that you can till hear phone conversations on "non cell" frequencies (because not all the companies are in the "Blocked" portion anymore) that are in the clear.

    So, back on topic, not only are they infringing on our right to keep and bear arms, they are breaking the law by monitoring cell phone freqs that have been deemed "blocked" by the US Government.

    Carl

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    No, they're not listening to the conversations Carl. They're just tracking the signal from place to place. That signal does not carry audio BTW.

    That said, it's still a bad thing, just not illegal, and I wouldn't think of going there.

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    I will buy that, but when we (Ham Radio Ops and Scanner Listeners) were told that we needed to stop listening (monitoring) and disconnect any devices we had that "listened" or "decoded" because it is against the law, we did.

    I guess my question is: How did they purchase the equipment to monitor the signals, if that equipment is only able to be purchased legally by LE and the phone companies?

    Because remember, the US Government "Blocked" any and all devices that could "tune" those freqs.

    Carl
    Last edited by t11spanner; 11-24-2011 at 06:50 AM.

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    Regular Member doug23838's Avatar
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    This is the same technology and approach that is used to observe traffic flow.

    You know when you watch the TV news and they show the map of the area and say "Traffic flowing nicely on highway 99, but a little slower over on highway 200"

    They way they know that, is by observiing the speed at which your cell phone grabs onto a tower, and then releases and grabs onto the next tower. If we know the towers are X miles apart, then we can determine it took you Y time to get there therefore your speed must be Z.

    Yawn.


    Some FastFood places are using readers on the drive through lanes that read toll tags, record the toll tag, record your order, then when you visit the next time, (cause the reader observed your car in the drive up lane), suggest things to you based on past orders. they don't know WHO you are, just the tag number and that you got a burger no pickle.
    Intrusive or smart business?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t11spanner View Post
    I will buy that, but when we (Ham Radio Ops and Scanner Listeners) were told that we needed to stop listening (monitoring) and disconnect any devices we had that "listened" or "decoded" because it is against the law, we did.

    I guess my question is: How did they purchase the equipment to monitor the signals, if that equipment is only able to be purchased legally by LE and the phone companies?

    Because remember, the US Government "Blocked" any and all devices that could "tune" those freqs.

    Carl
    You have your frequencies, actually, sub frequencies, mixed up Carl.
    This is just a dead carrier signal probably with the ESN encoded. You are allowed to listen to it although I can't think of anything more boring except maybe listening to water drip.

    Lots of stuff being emitted by that phone other than audio.

    Now the equipment itself does have to be licensed but that's just a matter of getting the permit from the FCC.

    Most people don't understand the law pertaining to monitoring Cell phones. As long as the equipment is properly licensed you are allowed to monitor all aspects of the call, including the audio. The illegal part is repeating or recording any part of the call.

    HAM's and especially scanner people aren't allowed access to everything from DC to daylight. There is a lot of restricted airspace. That's what makes it so much fun getting it.

    If you want to have a lot of fun, get the daily encryption key from a tame police radio shop employee and monitor the text. Expensive and illegal equipment but loads of fun. Watch the surplus sales.
    Last edited by peter nap; 11-24-2011 at 08:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    You have your frequencies, actually, sub frequencies, mixed up Carl.
    This is just a dead carrier signal probably with the ESN encoded. You are allowed to listen to it although I can't think of anything more boring except maybe listening to water drip.

    Lots of stuff being emitted by that phone other than audio.

    Now the equipment itself does have to be licensed but that's just a matter of getting the permit from the FCC.

    Most people don't understand the law pertaining to monitoring Cell phones. As long as the equipment is properly licensed you are allowed to monitor all aspects of the call, including the audio. The illegal part is repeating or recording any part of the call.

    HAM's and especially scanner people aren't allowed access to everything from DC to daylight. There is a lot of restricted airspace. That's what makes it so much fun getting it.

    If you want to have a lot of fun, get the daily encryption key from a tame police radio shop employee and monitor the text. Expensive and illegal equipment but loads of fun. Watch the surplus sales.
    Yep! That is the fun of one of my many hobbies!

    Thanks for keeping me straight, cause you can see, I have a little attitude about the "blocking" of frequencies.

    Carl

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    Regular Member streetdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gm2max View Post
    If I even went to malls, I would avoid this one. I'll much rather give my money to a China supporting Walmart before I give my money to a gun-free, person tracking mall.

    my 2 cents
    I agree!
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    It's Semper Fidelis, MARINE!

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You mean this one?..

    It's right there below - just copy and paste it.
    D'oh!

    Thank you, sir.
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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHILINVLN View Post
    You have absolutely zero understanding of what you're trying to talk about technically. Bluetooth has a range of about 30-32 feet or so and you can't connect to any other device via bluetooth unless you ACCEPT it or pair the devices. They don't just automatically connect to random things and then leave the door open to receive a virus (which by the way, is VERY rare on bluetooth).

    Imagine your phone as a blinking infrared beacon on your head. No one walking around sees the light blinking unless you look at it with an infrared camera. That's all they're doing, LOOKING at what you already have. It's not an invasion of privacy, they are not screening phone calls, or activating camera phones, etc.

    Do you also freak out when stores ask for your zipcode when you check out too??? LOL!
    All you have to do is break the bluetooth connection between two trusted devices, for example a headset and a phone. Then you either then spoof one device and connect to the device you want, or you sniff the PIN that is sent during the reconnect between the devices and decode the PIN. Obviously requires different infrastructure than what they are doing now, but not that tough, really not that different than sniffing wi fi packets, just shorter range.

    Of course many people with smart phones keep their wi-fi on all the time too, and connect to any public network; which would be even easier to access customer phones.

    The point is not the particular method, just that it could be done, and should not be done. The phone is there for the customer, it is paid for by the customer, it is not meant for the use of the mall. I just don't think it is any of their business to look for my phone any more than it is their business to look for my gun using a metal detector or even x-ray scanning technology. Not that they are doing those things yet.

    Heck, why not use RFID scanners to try and pick up what credit cards shoppers have , I mean knowing which credit cards people use versus what they leave in their wallets could be handy too. I mean those rfid chips are just there on people's credit cards, why not scan those too? I mean so long as they dont use the data to charge items what's the harm, right?

    No I am sorry, we don't need another surveillance method whether in the name of marketing or government. You like it, fine, go to that mall. I just happen to think we dont need to be more like Europe.

    As far as the zip code, I give them a fake one. None of their business.

  25. #25
    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post

    Most people don't understand the law pertaining to monitoring Cell phones. As long as the equipment is properly licensed you are allowed to monitor all aspects of the call, including the audio. The illegal part is repeating or recording any part of the call.
    So speaking legally they could listen to customer phone conversations and then just categorizing the data into broad categories and keep information on length of call, etc and correlate that information on what the person goes before or after that call?

    I mean technically, the categorization based on certain keywords would not be that difficult, speech recognition technology is getting better by leaps and bounds. Actually been working with a lot of different voice services lately...

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