Is the �echo� a sign of cell phone tapping?
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Aug 29, 2008, 00:16
(WMR) -- The
complaints are coming mostly from journalists and political activists, however,
they all ring of the same problem: some twenty percent of cell phone
calls are met with the receiver hearing his or her own voice coming back
in an echo. And its a new phenomenon. The caller can hear the person called
repeating �Hello� over and over again but the receiver can only hearing his or
her own voice being pinged back.
The �echoing� is not limited to particular cell phone
service providers or cell phone types. Customers of AT&T, Verizon, and
T-Mobile are reporting the same problem with phones from Nokia, Samsung, Nokia,
Motorola, and Ericsson.
Technicians report that echoes occur when there is not a
complete connection or if there is a third party connection on the call. While
echoing has been a minor problem in the past, the frequency of complaints
is increasing and affecting journalists and political activists from
Washington, DC to New York City and California to Texas.
Government agencies are already able to remotely activate a
cell phone and use the microphone to listen in on conversations. The only way
to prevent this surveillance is to agree to �batteries out� conversations,
something that is employed more and more among journalists while talking to
sources as well as others concerned about high-tech snooping from �roving bugs.�
Similarly, removing the battery from a cell phone also disables the Global
Positioning System and cell tower triangulation capabilities used by law
enforcement and intelligence agencies to track the location of the user,
according to U.S. intelligence sources.
WMR has learned that the Bush administration, in its final
months in office, has made several strategic and tactical moves to ensure that
the wireless industry comes into full compliance with government eavesdropping
policies and technical compliance with them. The echoing of cell phone calls
appears to coincide with these Bush administration moves and is an indication
that the policy has been given priority over the technology.
published in the Wayne
Copyright � 2008 WayneMadenReport.com
Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report
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