According to this unsourced report, the Belarusian mobile operators have cooperated with the country's secret police to provide a list of everyone who was in the vicinity of an anti-government demonstration; the spooks are now calling in everyone on the list to interview them about their involvement in political dissidence. I'd love to see a better-sourced version of this article, but it's technically possible for the operators to have logged every phone near a given tower at a given time.
This is one area where I really agree with Evgeny Morozov, who has written extensively about the risks that technology use poses to demonstrators: at present, mobile phones are not fit for purpose. Mobiles are too closed, the mobile operators too vulnerable to be considered safe enough for use against powerful hostile states. Unless your mobile-driven protest ends with the collapse of the state, it's all too likely that you and your friends will face dire reprisals.
It's one of the reasons I'm so anxious to see more free/open phone operating systems, which open up possibilities for IMEI spoofing, anonymizing tunnels through proxies, etc. But until there's widespread adoption of open handsets, your phone is eminently capable of finking you out.
Mobile operators rat out all demonstrators
A flashlight review that begins with the promise “I’m about to hike through a remote canyon to an abandoned mine, and I gotta tell you there’s a storm raging outside” should end on an interesting note, and this one does. [via] Disturbing, strange sounds. That’s exactly what I caught on video while filming and documenting […]
Reflectacles, the hyper-reflective Ray Ban-style $75 glasses frames that Scott Urban is Kickstarting have a new feature: now you can get ones doped with materials that reflect the infrared light that CCTVs kick out to let them capture images in low light, which blind cameras’ sensors. Cool!
Typewriter historian Martin Howard (previously) writes, “I was able to pick up a rare and exquisite Waverley typewriter (1896) this summer in Scotland and have just the other day posted it to my website all cleaned and ready to show.”
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]