Cell phones are tracking and surveillance devices. Almost every person has a
cellphone nowadays and carries it around all the time. There are two types of
cell phones: simple mobile phones and smart phones. Simple mobile phones
are the ‘old’ ones, with the buttons. Those types of phones are mainly used to
make phone calls. Smartphones on the other hand are not only for making
phone calls, but also for checking emails, surfing the web or using social media.
Both types of phones can be used by the police for surveillance purposes. The
police asks the mobile phone provider for access to your phone line and is then
capable of listening to every call you make. They do this based on your phone
number, so if you are being surveilled and you change the phone, but keep the
number, they are still listening. And they can listen to the calls you make as
soon as the phone is dialing. Because the microphones of the telephones are so
good, they also listen the surrounding noises (if at the time you make a phone
call people around you are talking, the police can also listen to their conversa-
tions). They do not only listen to the phone calls, they also record them. The
police also receive a copy of every SMS you send with that number.
The mobile phone provider also gives to the police the location of the mobile
phone while a call is being made or an SMS is being sent or received. This
means, that the police can also track your movement while you use the phone.
If you don’t use the phone, the police can send you ‘Silent SMS’ (SMS you
cannot see on your phone) so they know where you are at the moment. With
smartphones, the situation is worse, because when you use a smartphone with
a data connection (for example to check you emails or your facebook status),
the phone provider can track your location all the time.
When the police monitor your phone number, they also get an unique identi-
fier of your phone. So if you change the SIM-card but not the phone and they
start monitoring your new number, they know that it is the same phone.