A phone without GPS

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pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Joined: 09/03/2012

Hi,
I use an old SAGEM which has no GPS.
So, I ask myself a question, is that the cell phone can it be traced?
Can anyone tell me if this is possible?

Thanks.

--
Libere,
Pascal Diogo Antunes.

"On dit qu'il y a trois millions de personnes qui veulent du travail.
C'est pas vrai, de l'argent leur suffirait."- Coluche.

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

As far as I know, a cellphone can be tracked without GPS.
I don't have many details, but the basic principle is that two different towers of the mobile phone company receive your normal signal from different directions.
With this, you can easily get your position by constructing a triangle.

Sachin
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Joined: 06/02/2012

Not just triangulation.
Isn't doppler effect also valid in signals!

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

Since we're talking about electro-magnetic waves (or am I completely mis-informed?), doppler effect is completely unsignificant considering the velocities of the sender and observer on earth (cars etc). You can messure a redshift only observing stars moving away from the earth.

Anyway, it would only be possible finding out about the velocity of the cellphone with help of the doppler effect, nothing more.
But if you are better informed than me and have further information, I'm very interested.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Joined: 09/03/2012

On Mon, 16 Sep 2013 17:21:27 +0200 (CEST)
name at domain wrote:

> As far as I know, a cellphone can be tracked without GPS.
> I don't have many details, but the basic principle is that two different
> towers of the mobile phone company receive your normal signal from different
> directions.
> With this, you can easily get your position by constructing a triangle.

That is what I thought.
So the best thing to do, it's to not using cell phone.

--
Libere,
Pascal Diogo Antunes.

"Si j'ai vu si loin, c'est que je me suis hissé sur les épaules de
géants."- Isaac Newton.

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013

>With this, you can easily get your position by constructing a triangle.
It's called Triangulation.

Jodiendo
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Joined: 01/09/2013

The best phones are satellite phones, depending on the region/hemisphere you live they are hard to triangulate. depending on the foot print of the satellite coverage and region. but they are a bit expensive, Lately their prices have drop a lot. SAT PHONES COULD TALK VIA ENCRYPTION POINT TO POINT, iF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THAT KIND OF SOFTWARE. REMENBER there is nothing that big brother has not cypher.

For example: Thuraya phones, they come in various models, some models could use them with dual Sim cards. including an adaptor to use your famous IPHONE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_phone

http://www.thuraya.com/

http://www.iridium.com/default.aspx

Considering that you are buying a sat phone, do your home work diligently always check the foot print of the satellite network.

IRIDIUM phones are usable world wide, but Thuraya is not. If you purchase a sat phone buy one outside the USA. I bought my thuraya in dubai UAE. I found out, some of the features on that specific model are not available in the USA model bacause governement regulations. For example: Able to disable the GPS IN COMMAND and P2P conversations, unlimited text messages.

Later on time I bought one IRIDIUM, SEA FARER phone in Kuwait, was the best investment, gorgeous, robust, water proof phone, included p2p PHONE FOR FREE via encryption, as long the other party was in the same network.

imarsat and global star are the worst kind. Stay away from them.
Good luck

Maybe the so expert "Fernando_negro" could elaborate on how to encrypt a conversation over two soda cans, attached at both ends with a string at a distance of 5 meters." Probably, HE WILL SELL YOU A KGB STORY OF A SUPERMAN FLYING NAKED IN SPACE TO THE MOON, AT LIGHT SPEED WHERE THE VAPOR TRAILS WILL CARRY THE VOICE OVER IP,,,,

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Joined: 09/03/2012

On Mon, 16 Sep 2013 19:59:05 +0200 (CEST)
name at domain wrote:

> The best phones are satellite phones, depending on the region/hemisphere you
> live they are hard to triangulate. depending on the foot print of the
> satellite coverage and region. but they are a bit expensive, Lately their
> prices have drop a lot. SAT PHONES COULD TALK VIA ENCRYPTION POINT TO POINT,
> iF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THAT KIND OF SOFTWARE. REMENBER there is
> nothing that big brother has not cypher.
>
> For example: Thuraya phones, they come in various models, some models could
> use them with dual Sim cards. including an adaptor to use your famous IPHONE.
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_phone
>
> http://www.thuraya.com/
>
> http://www.iridium.com/default.aspx
>
> Considering that you are buying a sat phone, do your home work diligently
> always check the foot print of the satellite network.
>
> IRIDIUM phones are usable world wide, but Thuraya is not. If you purchase a
> sat phone buy one outside the USA. I bought my thuraya in dubai UAE. I found
> out, some of the features on that specific model are not available in the USA
> model bacause governement regulations. For example: Able to disable the GPS
> IN COMMAND and P2P conversations, unlimited text messages.
>
> Later on time I bought one IRIDIUM, SEA FARER phone in Kuwait, was the best
> investment, gorgeous, robust, water proof phone, included p2p PHONE FOR FREE
> via encryption, as long the other party was in the same network.
>
> Good luck

I don't need a phone, specially a satellite phone.
So the best thing to do is to not have a cell phone :)

Thanks.

--
Libere,
Pascal Diogo Antunes.

"Il faut manger pour vivre et non pas vivre pour manger."- Socrate.

trisq

I am a member!

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Joined: 09/03/2013

I've been thinking about this. Can anyone confirm what is right or wrong with the following approach?

1. Pagers built in the late 1990s are still widely available and are often the only ones available since the pager business has fallen off several years ago. These pagers are true one-way pagers. Receive only, no transmitters. You receive your page as the message is sent via radio to all towers in your location, region, or country. There is no way to know where you are so they broadcast everywhere.

Since many calls or emails aren't that urgent, forwarding an (abbreviated) email or a voicemail alert to your pager will let you know what is happening regardless of where you are without tracking.

2. Say you get a page and want to respond. Get the dumbest prepaid cell phone you can and keep the battery charged but removed at all times.

If you are out and want to respond to a page, select a place to make your call, put the battery in and go. Small dumb phones boot in seconds. Complete your call and take out the battery.

Your location has been plotted at the point of making your call, but not how you got there, or where you went afterward. It would be a dot on the map, in a location of your choice, instead of continuous 24 hour tracking.

Seems like this would work.

I see people struggling with earphones, wires, bluetooth set ups and so on and that takes no more time than putting in a battery and turning on a dumb phone. Shouldn't be too inconvenient, but will it really work? Seems like it should.

Jodiendo
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Joined: 01/09/2013

Mr. Pascal

You could always raise messenger pigeons, unless you are allergic to pigeon poop.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Joined: 09/03/2012

On Wed, 18 Sep 2013 19:26:09 +0200 (CEST)
name at domain wrote:

> You could always raise messenger pigeons, unless you are allergic to pigeon

I'm for animal liberation.
Not for me, sir.

--
Libere,
Pascal Diogo Antunes.

"Quand on entreprend, on a immédiatement contre soi: ceux qui font la
même chose, ceux qui font le contraire, ceux qui ne font rien."-
Jean-Pierre Petit.

Fernando_Negro
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Joined: 06/17/2012

Every cell phone can be tracked, simply by triangulating its radio signals.

That's even how the Portuguese equivalent of the FBI used to catch the drug dealers, who, thinking they couldn't be tracked using them, preferred to use the first-generation (non-GSM) cell phones.

Hell, even the nazis, in WW2, could locate "behind enemy lines" radio transmissions, by knowing from which direction they came.

Jodiendo
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Joined: 01/09/2013

I have to disagree with you in that, locating a Morse code operator in WW2 was a real hard job to do. Because they always had a small window of transmission time, Unless you was on a radio, then you was broadcasting a wave pattern, then If you stay to long, they will detect you.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

In fact, any phone is connected in a way that your position can be learned. Traditional phones are always in one location, and cell phones can have their location detected by triangulation.

Actually, it's not a bad thing that your position can be detected, necessarily. It's good in particular that the location of calls to emergency telephone numbers; someone could be unable to speak and alone, for example. The real problem is that the software in the phones is proprietary, so you the user are unable to be sure that the phone is not communicating with towers or using its GPS without turning the phone completely off (and since computers are never truly off, and some phones might not even be in the regular pseudo-"off" state, that means taking out all of the batteries).

An ideal free OS for a cellular phone that doesn't have hardware that depends on nonfree software or that is malicious would have a good set of options for when the phone communicates with towers. I don't think any cellular phone today has such options. It should be a standard option to simply shut down all communications with cell phone towers during periods when you're not intending to use the phone for communication. Instead, all we have is "silent mode", where the phone still communicates with the tower, but doesn't notify you of calls and messages. "Silent mode" sure has a place, but shutting down communication with towers would work just as well in many cases where it's used and prevent gratuitous tracking of people who aren't even using their phones at the time.

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

"The real problem is that the software in the phones is proprietary, so you the user are unable to be sure that the phone is not communicating with towers or using its GPS without turning the phone completely off (and since computers are never truly off, and some phones might not even be in the regular pseudo-"off" state, that means taking out all of the batteries)."

No, in this case, free software can't solve the problem on its own. It should only be possible to track cell-phones everytime the user wants this to happen.
The user must have the possibility to use his cell-phone without getting tracked - not only the possibility to turn it off completely or shut down the communication to the towers.
A mechanical modification of todays cell-phones could also provide the possibility to turn it off completely; we can think of mechanical disconnection of the battery.
But I want to be able to talk -use my device - without getting tracked; a free software phone can't provide this.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

What's preventing that is the phone needs to communicate with towers. There's no way around that.

You also can't hypothetically work around the problem by connecting via some other phone network because people communicate with you in a way that requires your phone to identify itself (each phone having a unique number assigned to it). The only way around that is a fundamental change of how phones work to the point where you might as well just use the Internet.

RMS expressed in his talk at LibrePlanet an idea to use a parabolic antenna that is pointed to just one particular tower, preventing triangulation, but there are problems with that. Most notably, unless you're in an area you're familiar with (such as your home), there's no way you're going to know where the various towers in your area are. There would have to be some way to scan for towers for it to be easy to use, and doing this just once would be enough to possibly infer your position. You also wouldn't be able to move as easily, since you need to keep pointing the antenna at the tower. So basically, this would be something extremely difficult to do, requiring knowledge of where the towers are and possibly some math to make sure you're pointing the antenna in the right direction. You would be better off just going a distance to a place you're not going to stay at long, turning a regular phone's communications on, talking, then turning the communications off again.

In a nutshell, I think preventing phones from being able to get your position without also preventing them from making and receiving calls is a pipe dream. We should focus on making them work with free software so that we can be sure of when it is and isn't communicating with towers.

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

"There would have to be some way to scan for towers for it to be easy to use, and doing this just once would be enough to possibly infer your position. You also wouldn't be able to move as easily, since you need to keep pointing the antenna at the tower"

I think you're exaggerating . A device which searches for the nearest tower increasing the angle of direction and stops once he receives a signal (all this automatically) would not be able to get tracked and we can be sure it's technically possible;
adjusting something due to an incoming signal is very often done in modern technology; think of cars which do parallel parking automatically;
The only problem I can think of is the case when the cell phone sends a signal and hits a tower, but the tower is too far away for sufficiant signal amplitude; the next tower with higher signal amplitude would reveal your position.
But this can be prevented using an artifically low scanning signal which hits only towers nearby.

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/19/2013

What about "Airplane Mode"?

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Oh yeah, I forgot about that.

So change that to: airplane mode needs to be something that people use routinely (not just when airplanes are taking off) and as easy to activate as silent mode, and the OS needs to be free software so we can be sure that it's truly never attempting communication.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Joined: 09/03/2012

On Tue, 17 Sep 2013 16:49:35 +0200 (CEST)
name at domain wrote:

> Oh yeah, I forgot about that.
>
> So change that to: airplane mode needs to be something that people use
> routinely (not just when airplanes are taking off) and as easy to activate as
> silent mode, and the OS needs to be free software so we can be sure that it's
> truly never attempting communication.

I've always wondered this on the old phones that I used.
Rigth. Without Free Software, we can't be sure.

--
Libere,
Pascal Diogo Antunes.

"Ils ne se révolteront que lorsqu'ils seront devenus conscients et ils
ne pourront devenir conscients qu'après s'être révoltés."- George
Orwell.

ssdclickofdeath
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That would only be true if phone manufacturers are required by law to really turn the radio off when the phone is in "Airplane Mode".

axgb
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Joined: 09/22/2013

If one is good at electronics/engineering, they could modify a phone so there is a button to disconnect the gps/gsm module, and another to disconnect the battery.

Magic Banana

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The infamous Carrier IQ rootkit/universal logger/spyware works even in airplane mode as Trevor Eckart demonstrated (Gnash flawlessly play the Flash video).

ssdclickofdeath
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Fixed link: http://xrl.us/bpumsd