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Cell Phone Location Signals

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August 2, 2005 7:47:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

I read an article in today's New York Times that one of the London
bombers was located in Rome because a cellphone on standby, even
without making a call, emits a signal giving his location within six
feet.

Last Saturday morning, early, an arson crime was committed on my
driveway resulting in the complete loss of two vehicles. Do cellphone
service companies have the ability to tell me if a particular user
wearing a cellphone was on my driveway at that time? Or conversely
can they terll me the numbers of any cellphone that was within six
feet of my driveway at that time?

Is this capability just for the moment or are historical records kept?

Regards, George
August 2, 2005 7:47:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

I can't answer your questions. But, I have an opinion on this interesting
subject, until someone with specific knowledge can answer.

I have a feeling that the technical facts from these cell phone record cases
(London, 911, and others) get sorta mangled by the time they hit the wire.
The overall result is probably reported right the exact terminology is
probably technically incorrect. I know, big surprise! LOL.

Anyway, my guess is that there are a lot of factors at work here. First,
there are cell phone "records" which would require a court order (warrant)
to audit. Next, there is cell phone conversation monitoring which would
require a court order (warrant) to conduct.Third, if you know the time and
date of a call and have the authority to audit and/or monitor a cell phone
call, it is a simple matter to find out what cell tower propagated the call
(hell, the city name of the tower is on your bill in most cases). This in
itself is one hell of a lot of information that can be gleaned from a cell
phone call.

As for simply having the cell phone turned on... well, probably that can be
traced to a communication tower too, if you have the court order and are
monitoring the phone IN ADVANCE. I'm sure (well, I think :)  ) that there is
no way any cell phone provider actually keeps logs/records of this. It would
have to be real time.

As for GPS, I am somewhat unclear as to what this is currently configured
for and capable of with various providers. I know (okay, I think!) that most
providers are still only capable of identifying this during a 911 call, and
not all of them even then.

Of course, I've been talking about the US here. When it comes to overseas
locations, it could all be different. Maybe the police don't even need
anything like a court order. Maybe overseas locations have already fully
implemented the GPS functions.

Additionally, with all the new homeland defense laws in the US, law
enforcement agencies have more leeway than ever before for this type of
search and monitoring. If our NSA gets involved, they have ways of tracing a
specific cell phone via intercepted transmission signals that create a sort
of "signature" of that specific cell phone and homing in on exact location
using satellites, not GPS. Anything is possible with the right authority
and budget.

As for your own driveway incident (sorry about that!) I doubt you will find
any help via the cell phone route. Primarily because the perps were not
under surveillance at the time. And after the fact info probably doesn't
exist.

-Frank (just guessing :)  )

"George" <sum1@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:42ef946c.481364@news-server.optonline.net...
>I read an article in today's New York Times that one of the London
> bombers was located in Rome because a cellphone on standby, even
> without making a call, emits a signal giving his location within six
> feet.
>
> Last Saturday morning, early, an arson crime was committed on my
> driveway resulting in the complete loss of two vehicles. Do cellphone
> service companies have the ability to tell me if a particular user
> wearing a cellphone was on my driveway at that time? Or conversely
> can they terll me the numbers of any cellphone that was within six
> feet of my driveway at that time?
>
> Is this capability just for the moment or are historical records kept?
>
> Regards, George
August 2, 2005 7:47:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

I can't answer your questions. But, I have an opinion on this interesting
subject, until someone with specific knowledge can answer.

I have a feeling that the technical facts from these cell phone record cases
(London, 911, and others) get sorta mangled by the time they hit the wire.
The overall result is probably reported right the exact terminology is
probably technically incorrect. I know, big surprise! LOL.

Anyway, my guess is that there are a lot of factors at work here. First,
there are cell phone "records" which would require a court order (warrant)
to audit. Next, there is cell phone conversation monitoring which would
require a court order (warrant) to conduct.Third, if you know the time and
date of a call and have the authority to audit and/or monitor a cell phone
call, it is a simple matter to find out what cell tower propagated the call
(hell, the city name of the tower is on your bill in most cases). This in
itself is one hell of a lot of information that can be gleaned from a cell
phone call.

As for simply having the cell phone turned on... well, probably that can be
traced to a communication tower too, if you have the court order and are
monitoring the phone IN ADVANCE. I'm sure (well, I think :)  ) that there is
no way any cell phone provider actually keeps logs/records of this. It would
have to be real time.

As for GPS, I am somewhat unclear as to what this is currently configured
for and capable of with various providers. I know (okay, I think!) that most
providers are still only capable of identifying this during a 911 call, and
not all of them even then.

Of course, I've been talking about the US here. When it comes to overseas
locations, it could all be different. Maybe the police don't even need
anything like a court order. Maybe overseas locations have already fully
implemented the GPS functions.

Additionally, with all the new homeland defense laws in the US, law
enforcement agencies have more leeway than ever before for this type of
search and monitoring. If our NSA gets involved, they have ways of tracing a
specific cell phone via intercepted transmission signals that create a sort
of "signature" of that specific cell phone and homing in on exact location
using satellites, not GPS. Anything is possible with the right authority
and budget.

As for your own driveway incident (sorry about that!) I doubt you will find
any help via the cell phone route. Primarily because the perps were not
under surveillance at the time. And after the fact info probably doesn't
exist.

-Frank (just guessing :)  )

"George" <sum1@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:42ef946c.481364@news-server.optonline.net...
>I read an article in today's New York Times that one of the London
> bombers was located in Rome because a cellphone on standby, even
> without making a call, emits a signal giving his location within six
> feet.
>
> Last Saturday morning, early, an arson crime was committed on my
> driveway resulting in the complete loss of two vehicles. Do cellphone
> service companies have the ability to tell me if a particular user
> wearing a cellphone was on my driveway at that time? Or conversely
> can they terll me the numbers of any cellphone that was within six
> feet of my driveway at that time?
>
> Is this capability just for the moment or are historical records kept?
>
> Regards, George
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Anonymous
August 3, 2005 2:27:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 15:47:35 GMT, sum1@optonline.net (George) wrote:

>I read an article in today's New York Times that one of the London
>bombers was located in Rome because a cellphone on standby, even
>without making a call, emits a signal giving his location within six
>feet.

Riiiiiiiiiight. And of course, you've thought about the battery draw
that would happen if your cell phone was transmitting your position,
even say every 2 minutes? How long do you think your battery would
last? I'd venture to guess if you turned your phone on at 6 am, the
battery would be dead by noon. I think the tinfoil hat on that guy was
too loose.

>Last Saturday morning, early, an arson crime was committed on my
>driveway resulting in the complete loss of two vehicles. Do cellphone
>service companies have the ability to tell me if a particular user
>wearing a cellphone was on my driveway at that time?

No.

>Or conversely >can they terll me the numbers of any cellphone that was within six
>feet of my driveway at that time?

No.

>Is this capability just for the moment or are historical records kept?

It's complete and utter B.S. Could you imagine the size of the
database that this would require?
--
To reply, remove TheObvious from my e-mail address.
Anonymous
August 4, 2005 2:31:12 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

George wrote:

> Last Saturday morning, early, an arson crime was committed on my
> driveway resulting in the complete loss of two vehicles. Do cellphone
> service companies have the ability to tell me if a particular user
> wearing a cellphone was on my driveway at that time? Or conversely
> can they terll me the numbers of any cellphone that was within six
> feet of my driveway at that time?

Generally location services are accurate to within about 100 feet. So
no, they could not definiteively tell you if someone is standing on yoru
driveway at the time.

Even if someone with a cell phone is located within the vicinity, it's
only circumstantial evidence here in the US. So someone's cell phone
was located within around 100 feet of the property. Maybe the owner was
visiting one of your neighbors, or they may not have even been using
their phone and lent it out to someone else for the night. Without a
witness, it's not going to be a smoking gun.

Lastly, cell phone companies will not release that kind of info to YOU
specifically. They will release it only to law enforcement, and only
with a warrant or court order.


--
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
August 4, 2005 5:23:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Isaiah Beard <sacredpoet@sacredpoet.com> wrote in
news:11f49lmejkhqp26@corp.supernews.com:

> Generally location services are accurate to within about 100 feet. So
> no, they could not definiteively tell you if someone is standing on yoru
> driveway at the time.
>
>

That WAS true when the government had "Selective Availability" turned on a
long time ago. But, now, the cheapest GPS handheld can hold a position
from 6 birds within a 10' circle. WAAS GPS receivers will hold it within
3' on our sailboat...(Raymarine WAAS/GPS receiver). If we click a waypoint
on top of a bouy, the autopiloted boat will run right over it!

--
Larry
!