Home / Privacy / My DumbPhone Does Not Record My Voice 24×7. What About Your SmartPhone?
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My DumbPhone Does Not Record My Voice 24×7. What About Your SmartPhone?

Written by Gary North on October 16, 2012

Pal J. Watson has made a discovery. He has a SmartPhone. I don’t.  My wife does. That’s because in things technical, she is way ahead of me.

Anyway, here’s the deal. Mr. Watson downloaded an Android-based app. (App is short for application. In this case, it is short for appalling.)

Here is what his screen said.

– “Record Audio” – “Allows the app to record audio with the microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.”

– “Take pictures and videos” – “Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.”

This was for his new Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Here is the capper. The apps had nothing to do with voice or photos. One was for social networking. The other was a calendar.

He posted photographic images in his article to prove his point.

Then he summarized what is being asked of users.

App companies are also requiring you to allow them to approximate your location, send SMS messages from your phone that cost you money, read your contacts, read your phone status and identity, get “full network access” to your communications (in other words listen to your phone calls), modify or delete the contents of your USB storage, and disable your screen lock (the 4 digit code that password-protects your phone).

He is correct. People agree to these lawyer-written surrenders on privacy without reading what they are authorizing.

The media ignore this.

Once a private firm has this information, the government can subpoena the firm to get it.

I recommend that you don’t activate an app without reading the agreement. Find out what you are agreeing to.

Continue Reading on www.infowars.com

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3 thoughts on “My DumbPhone Does Not Record My Voice 24×7. What About Your SmartPhone?

  1. You don’t know for sure that your dumb phone isn’t spying on you. Like smart phones dumb phones are driven by software. Software has bugs that can be exploited to gain access. It may even have intentional back doors. I have never seen a security update to a dumb phone so I assume most dumb phones don’t fix their bugs. The third party software (apps) on a smart phone make the problem bigger but many smart phones get updates that fix security issues.

    Android tries to limit what damage an app can do by refusing to let them do potentially dangerous stuff unless the user approved it during installation. Since many other operating systems permit all programs to do potentially dangerous stuff an app that shouldn’t use the microphone asking for permission to listen on it can be caused by a bad (a lazy and/or uninformed) developer as well as someone trying to spy on you.

    A bad developer will get angry when his voice notes app won’t work. When he figures out that the problem was the lack of permissions he will make a habit to always ask for android.permission.RECORD_AUDIO in all his apps to “defeat the stupid permission system” Andriod forces on him. (Since Windows never required him to get user approval to record anything he is convinced that it’s not needed and therefore stupid)

  2. There is a way you can be extremely confident that your phone isn’t spying on you: Get a phone you can verify isn’t spying on you. This can be done by only using Free software (also called Open Source) on it. Free software is software that among other things permit everyone to read its source code. If you want to be really sure you or someone you trust should look at the source code for security issues. To be even more sure you need to only install software you compiled your self so you know the software you have is from the source code you checked. The really paranoid should also counter the trusting trust attack as described here: http://www.acsa-admin.org/2005/abstracts/47.html

    To do this you need a phone where someone has created Free software to do everything the phone needs to do. Android it self is free software but apps and other software that comes installed on the phone when you buy it isn’t. Apps may be removed. Drivers, the software that make a part of the phone work, is worse. If no free software driver exists for a part of the phone that part won’t work without software you can’t check aren’t spying on you. The same is true for firmware, software running on the parts of the phone. Windows for phones and iOS (the iPhone operating system) isn’t free software. My own cell phone, an OpenMoko Neo Freerunner from 2008, has only Free software except the software (called firmware) running on its GSM chip and on its WiFi chip. It’s hard to spy on people from firmware but it’s not impossible. I’m not aware of any cell phone where you can verify more of the software.

    Before trying to find and buy a still working Freerunner remember this: The phone company know where your cell phone is. It needs to know this so it can send calls to it. Most people you talk to don’t have proper encryption software on their phone and they probably don’t use if if they do have it. Your phone company could therefore be listening to your calls.

  3. First of all, the Samsung Galaxy Note II isn't scheduled to go on sale until next month at the earliest. I'd be interested as to how Mr. Watson got his hands on one already. Second, both Google and Apple have done a pretty good job of making third party app developers disclose to the customer which features of the phone their apps need access to. If an ignorant student/parent who allowed themselves to be convinced to take out a pricey student loan isn't worthy of your sympathy, a soccer mom who can't be bothered to read an app's license agreement is being equally reckless.

    As for the monitoring, there are plenty of opportunities for someone to listen in. Hardware manufacturers, software developers (both the apps and the OS), your carrier, the owner of the tower you're using at that particular moment, Uncle Sam…

    One of Verizon's head honchos was just quoted in a Cnet article yesterday bragging about their ability to log every website you visit and app you use. They supposedly strip the personally-identifying details, aggregate the data and sell it to advertisers.
    As for the government's role in this, they didn't build that Utah Data Center to backup the Obama family photo album.