In what seems like invasion of privacy scaling to new heights, surpassing even the most dystopian state of any hardcore Orwellian, Americans found to their horror of not only having to live with NSA snoops on all their private communications when a recent Popular Science report revealed the existence of fake cellphone towers across the US that cannot be linked to any owner or operator and set up simply to connect to nearby phones, bypassing encryption to eavesdrop on calls and read text messages.
As many as 17 such fake cellphone towers have been discovered in July alone, with more expected to be found, according to the map above charted out in August by ESD America CEO Les Goldsmith and phone technology expert.
What’s more disturbing is that most of the fake towers are set up near US military bases which prompts the question if these were US or foreign government interceptors.
These interceptors are radio-equipped devices to overcome the onboard encryption on our phones, Android or iOS alike. Their target is actually another operating system hidden behind every phone called the baseband processor, which channels the communications between the core OS and the cellphone towers.
And these towers are unlikely to belong to the NSA as the agency can simply go the local phone carriers to suck up all the metadata, as the Snowden revelations have revealed.
It would be interesting to keep an eye on the US Federal Communications Commission which The Washington Post announced early August that it is investigating into the use and misuse of surveillance technology by criminal networks and foreign intelligence.