In an article published on Wall Street Journal we have leaned about a new (for us) spy technology used by U.S. Government security agencies (this time doesn’t seem a matter of NSA) to track criminals and assure the internal State security. By the way who can say if there’s also a use of this technology beyond the legal and security purposes.
The core of technology is a device that, mounted on an airplane (e.g. a Cessna like plane) may replicate a cellphone tower. Acting as a BTS, the device may setup a man in the middle attack, intercepting phone calls, sms and all the traffic routed by the cellular infrastructure. It’s also possible (standing to this information leak) to track a cellphone (and the owner) with a 3 meters precision.
That’s a new amazing technology revelation that we have to add to the possible privacy threats and “state of control” issues even if this technique seems to be used only for legal purposes, like fighting criminality and terrorism.
Even if these news let us scared and have a big impact on the media, we have always to remember that this kind of control is more surgical than the kind exercised by economical reasons. In fact, it’s more probable that we are spied by commercial companies to track our behavior in the internet or collecting metadata on our emails etc… that we have a plane on our head listening our phone calls.