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Don’t Take Your Cell Phone to a Gun Range

Written by Gary North on June 21, 2013

Your cell phone tells the government where you are. The government’s computers collect all of these data. The computer programs can identify patterns of your action.

They can’t do this to me. First, I use a dumb phone. It does not record my GPS data. It’s old. Second, I rarely carry it.

But it will get old eventually, and die. That’s when I will start carrying a cheap toss-away phone.

How much can the government do to trace your habits? There are almost no technical limits, and the few that exist will steadily be overcome. Prices will fall on tracing you.

A former senior official of the National Security Agency said the government’s massive collection of metadata allowed the agency to construct “maps” of an individual’s daily movements, social connections, travel habits and other personal information.

“This is blanket. There is no constraint. No probable cause. No reasonable suspicion,” said Thomas Drake, who worked unsuccessfully for years to report privacy violations and massive waste at the agency to his superiors and Congress.

Metadata “is more useful than (the) content” of a telephone call, email or Internet search, Drake said in an interview. “It gets you a map over time. I get to map movements, connections, communities of interest. It’s also a tracking mechanism.”

The NSA “can easily associate” a phone number with an identity, he added. “All location information comes from a (cellular) tower. There are tower records. They are doing this every single day. It’s basically a data tap on metadata, and I can build a profile (of an individual) instantly.”

The agency has programs that also can mine the metadata of emails and other electronic information, Drake said.

With advances in data storage, he continued, the NSA is able to maintain massive amounts of metadata for as long as it wants. “This stuff is trivial to store,” he said.

The limit is not technological. The limit is not what little remains of the Constitution under the Patriot Act. The limit is manpower. The spy agencies do not have enough manpower to take action on anything more than a tiny fraction of all this.

The government is ultimately close to blind. Information must be interpreted and acted upon. People operating in a free market can do this. Knowledge is decentralized. But information collected by governments is close to useless. The government cannot assess what is important and what isn’t.

The government can create havoc for victims. Their rights are gone. But the government is highly limited in this ability. Imposing tyranny is not a cost-free endeavor.

If individuals take small steps to use their technology to resist, by jamming state agencies with paperwork, we can thwart this. The public is not helpless. Still, if you go to a gun show, go to a gun range, or go anywhere you think you would like to conceal, don’t take your regular cell phone.

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34 thoughts on “Don’t Take Your Cell Phone to a Gun Range

  1. Your phone doesn't need to support GPS for them to track you. Notice the quote: "All location information comes from a (cellular) tower." The towers the phone connects to can determine your location. Not as good as GPS, but less than a city block most of the time, even with no help from the phone. In addition, cell phones sold since 2002 in the US are required to have some level of location capability that is supposed to be accurate to 150 meters 95% of the time. Yes, even dumb phones, and yes, even without GPS or with GPS turned off. This is tower based triangulation with handset assistance. Even if you buy a prepaid phone with cash, your call activity will probably be able to reveal who you are, or at least who you associate with.

  2. Simon Jester says:

    You can also create a small Faraday Cage to put your phone in. An ammo can will do the job. Instructions on how to construct it are all over the interwebs…


  3. DaveWeaver says:


    Maybe it is a good thing to have the government know that you are going to the gun range – thereby maintaining your proficiency with your chosen firearm(s).

    Just a thought…

    Molon Labe

  4. I don't know a lot about it, but isn't protecting from an EMP different from protecting from an RF signal used to find global positioning? I don't understand how a Styrofoam or cardboard lined ammo can would block the GPS. Could you please explain? Am I getting electromagnetic and radio frequency signals mixed up?

  5. I believe a radio signal IS an electromagnetic signal. In fact, just about all transmissions of radio, tv, cellular, cb, ham, etc. are all forms of electromagnetic waves. If I'm not mistaken, even microwave, satellite, and even LIGHT itself is a form of electromagnetic waves…I may be wrong on that.

  6. Centurian says:

    Radio shops set up specific rooms by creating a "cage" of copper or other metal screen on the ceiling, floor and walls and grounding it. This prevents radio signals from either entering or leaving the room so it won't interfere with equipment testing. If it works for relatively high wattage radio signals, it seems likely that it would screen out the very low power GPS signals that your phone uses to determine your position. I would not be surprised if a simple, grounded metal box would achieve similar results.

  7. You know, though, you really don't have to have an electronic leash.

  8. Benjamin says:

    A partial solution to this is to turn the phone completely off whenever you don't want to be tracked. It's inconvenient, I admit, especially if you really need to stay contactable for family or other emergency purposes, but there always tradeoffs.

  9. The faraday cage is a dumb idea unless you turn off the phone before you put it in. This is because the phone will run out of batteries searching for cell service it can’t find because it is shielded from receiving the base station signal.

  10. Again, it's doesn't matter, if you are driving a 2013 vehicle as 96% of all 2013 vehicles are equipted with a black box that tells all secrets regarding location and driving habits. They got us coming and going.

  11. Very simple solution: When you go to a gun range, or any other place you do not want to be tracked, just turn your phone off while you are there. Cheeeeze – you gotta be smarter than your stuff!

  12. OR you can just wrap it in aluminum foil — my brother is a cop and they do that to block out the gps on the squad car

  13. profitup10 says:

    They do not need the gps feature they use the Cell towers to triangulate the locations and it can track your movement fro cell tower to cell tower . . If you want privacy do not have a cell phone or do this Project to Restore Liberty . .

  14. Why do you think they want you to have a 'Smart phone' ?

  15. You've jumped off the economist train and landed in Lake Crazy.

  16. Ben Rollins says:

    They actually built a Faraday cage on Mythbusters. The best thing to use is brass screen material. It completely blocks both incoming and outgoing signals.

  17. A better way to solve this problem is to vote out everyone in our government now, fire the top management in every part of our government and replace all of them with people who I sign an oath to never do any of what is being done now and to help imprison anyone who does. Pass laws to never allow any spying on Any Americans with out proof they have done wrong! Have everyone to prove they are Citizens in order to vote or run for office and release all records about them selves or not run for office. May not solve all the problems but would right a lot of wrongs we have now and not let them happen again!

  18. I'm sorry that I don't still have a car with a carbureator in it. Anythng requireing electronics can be knocked out by an EMP. lBut such a car would be an antique.

  19. Its ' Gee ee eze ' ; you gotta be smarter than your stuff " ; you will still be traced '.

  20. you're kidding right? all the dirtbags in our government have sworn oaths to protect and defend our constitution. what good has that done us? exactly!

  21. Turning off your cell phone does not stop tracking. It is tracking anytime there is a battery in it.

  22. there is a secret reserve battery in the cell phones access is a code
    Subject: your cell phone
    Some good info: 4 Things you might not have known about your Cell Phone

    For all the folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your
    car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.)

    There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.
    Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for
    survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:

    FIRST (Emergency)
    The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out
    of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial
    112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the
    emergency number for
    you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialed
    even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

    SECOND (Hidden Battery Power)
    Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#.
    Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show
    a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge
    your cell phone next time.

    THIRD (How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone? )
    To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on
    your phone: *#06# .
    A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your
    handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.
    If your phone is stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them
    this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief
    changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't
    get your phone back, but at least
    you know that whoever stole it can't
    use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in
    people stealing mobile phones.
    And Finally….

    FORTH (Free Directory Service for Cells)
    Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411
    information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a
    telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of
    a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial:
    (800) FREE411 or (800) 373-3411
    without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.
    This is sponsored by McDonalds.

    This is the kind of information people don't mind receiving, so pass it on
    to your family and friends.

    Read more: http://teapartyeconomist.com/2013/06/21/dont-take

  23. So you think voting works?

    Here’s some facts from a math expert: There are over 300 million US citizens. There are over 238 million eligible voters. 69 million reelect Øbama. So 69/238 = 29% of eligible & 69/300 = 23% of whole population. Keep dreaming if you think voting fixes things.

    So now you know why the founders left us a Republic and not a Democracy.

  24. Metal shields you from RF & EMP. A pulse or just regular RF doesn’t travel thru metal which sucks since my workshop is all metal exterior. The styrofoam or Cardboard does nothing except keep the phone from bouncing around inside the can. Just turn off the phone and rap it in tinfoil when you aren’t using it.
    EMP stands for Electro-Magnetic Pulse which is how all RF works. I could write a whole paper on E-fields and B-fields but you can look that up for yourself.

  25. Obama go in by massive voter fraud, the machines were rigged.

  26. Nancy FL says:

    You must take the battery out — shutting off the phone is not sufficient.

  27. have a phone that u take the battery out

  28. It's not where you go that puts you at risk. …It's who you associate with. If you are on the golf course, at the shooting range, or runnin and gunnin in an FTX with your buds, get and use FRS radios. Otherwise, ditch the phone unless you need it.

  29. Not a problem.




    IDK, my thoughts are they will at least must know we are deadly serious~

  32. Sieg Heil, comrade…

  33. At the gun range I go to, there is a big sign stating that all cell phones must be turned OFF. Not just set to vibrating, but off. It is a scary thought, the way some people seem so scatter brained anymore to go to answer the phone with a loaded gun.