German Police Used 440K+ Stealth SMS to Track Suspects

According to a presentation given at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, Germany, 440,783 such "stealth" messages were sent by federal police authorities as well as the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Germany's equivalent of the FBI, in 2010. According to Heise Online, Germany's customs have picked up silent SMS as a tracking method, which is likely to result in a substantial increase in the use the technology. The customs alone sent 227,587 silent SMS in the first half of 2011.

German authorities apparently use silent SMS to create a movement profile of suspects or locate their position. SMS pings are received by a cellphone, but the user will not be notified of it. However, the cellphone carrier will record the data in a log, which can be requested by the government. While the data do not provide information about the phone, they do deliver location data via the cell towers that were used when the silent SMS was sent.

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  • Anonymous
    alyoshka, you're so right man, i'm with you 100%. actually, i think we should take it a step further and volunteer to be tracked. just have them implant a gps into us like one of those red tags they put on the ears of cattle. i mean, how awesome would that be, amiright?

    better yet, let's spread our buttcheeks and let the ole guv have at. i mean why not right? enough of this low level penny-ante, garbage. time to get hardcore and take it to the next level. i mean, we're all gamers here right? let's see who can get to level 99 gov'ment bitch first.

    ready set go
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  • Other Comments
  • joytech22
    What if the criminal purchased one of those $29 phones and grabbed a $2 sim card from a "Join Vodafone" bin and only him and his contact knew the number?

    Or did I just give thief's a new way to get around this... Because with the combo above, it's not like they could magically find the new number your using. It's not even registered to a name.
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  • joytech22
    Well they could find the number but it wouldn't be easy if he kept doing the swap as mentioned above.
    3
  • ko2n777
    joytech22What if the criminal purchased one of those $29 phones and grabbed a $2 sim card from a "Join Vodafone" bin and only him and his contact knew the number?Or did I just give thief's a new way to get around this... Because with the combo above, it's not like they could magically find the new number your using. It's not even registered to a name.


    They have to have the number or the name first. They aren't just going to catch people out of thin air. But my question is, if the German authorities are using this sort of technology, if you can call it that, then how long has our government been using it? We would never know. Kind of a scary thought.
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