Wireless tapping next on agenda?

With the latest scandals of telcos allowing the NSA to tap millions of American phones, there is much grumblings from citizens about privacy invasion. Interestingly enough, these probes have not furthered themselves into the cellular industry even though the switching is very much the same type of system.
Today, in a discussion with Sean Coon on the NSA taps, I made the comment that Cingular could very well have the same management type behavior as its telco brethren being that they came from the same AT&T seed, and while it was all hypothetical, it’s a very true reality. Cingular is a GSM carrier, but that doesn’t mean that CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless or Sprint-Nextel couldn’t just as likely do the same.


Behold, only hours later, Bruce Schneier posts that Greece is going over a wiretapping scandal by the carrier Vodafone, using Ericsson equipment !While the wiretaps have not implicated Greek government intelligence, and no one knows for sure since it wasn’t authorized by Vodafone, it’s definitely an interesting to wonder about. The rogue wiretapping meant that the tappers had knowledge of the Ericsson equipment and features and were thoroughly entrenched in cellular knowledge to know how to write rogue software to interact with it. It just happens that the engineers at Ericsson and Vodafone detected something was amiss when it started to interfere with SMS calls.
Everyone in the telecommunications industry knows that Ericsson is the leader in the EU in GSM infrastructure. Coincidence that I mentioned Cingular that is also a GSM carrier? Definitely. But it’s not to say that all cellular carriers have the government tapping feature implemented because it is required by law.
They say information is power, but with the cellular industry, I’d be more afraid that the government is watching your every move and know your exact location due to mobile culture being leashed by technology. Information all the time. Well, now we’ll know that the information can go both ways.