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NSA Can Track Your Location Even When Your Phone is Turned Off

NSA Can Track Your Location Even When Your Phone is Turned Off

Feds have had technology for at least 10 years

Paul Joseph Watson
November 13, 2013

Did you know that the NSA can track the location of your phone even when it is turned off and the batteries have been removed?

This admission went largely unnoticed in a Washington Post report entitled NSA growth fueled by need to target terrorists.

In the article, writer Dana Priest details how teams of NSA employees stationed around the globe are dedicated to tracking phones in real time.

Read more: http://www.infowars.com/nsa-can-track-your-location-even-whe...

Read more: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130723/12395923907/

Read more: http://www.fastcompany.com/3014675/fast-feed/how-the-cia-can...

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Not with the battery out

There's no way for a phone to work with its battery removed. Yes, they upload new firmware which makes it into a bug and locating beacon while visibly powered down, but they can't make it into a magical free energy device that keeps doing this with the battery removed.

Take back the GOP and Restore America Now.

Mental note, when being

Mental note, when being stalked by the NSA, throw your phone on a turnip truck going the other way...

Just a hypothesis

Just a thought of how it might work...

Energy is broadcast from towers. Phones have antennas. Wirelessly transmitted energy activates phone components needed for tracking - no battery required for spy activities.

Think of it like the rfid device on products at WalMart when you walk out the door. No battery in the antennae yet the device at the door broadcast signals that resonate the antennae on the product to alert the system of the items whereabouts. On a broad scale, hypothetically, could not radio towers do the same thing to our cell phones? And then cell towers be used to pick up the return frequency? Just a hypothesis. And then what if that said energy could also be used to activate a microphone, etc? I'll stop there, don't want to give them anymore ideas. ;-)

Sometimes pondered why phones can't be charged wirelessly with all the energy broadcasted though radio towers. What if the cell manufacturers use this theory to remotely power components of cell phones needed for spying?

Placing phone in a lead box would probably be the only real way to prevent this from occurring.

A phone is a computer

AND just like a computer there is a small back up power device that maintains the memory. on a computer this is the cmos. sometimes when fixing a computer unplugging it isnt enough u actually have to take this tiny battery out of the motherboard. so id say this is plausible but still unlikely given that there is no rf signal.


still have my pantech slide up phone...

no GPS, no Internet, no Apps...

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

Not True

I work in mobility and without power there is ZERO RF signal going out of the phone and no way to track it.

Just not possible.

Now your location CAN be tracked even if your wireless is turned off when your phone is powered on... just not when off.

Problem is...

... the "Power-off" control is just software. It does not throw a (sort of) mechanical switch unless the software tells it to. A snoop can install software into the phone that will make it look to you as though it is off, while it still does sneaky stuff. Said snoop probably needs collusion from your carrier to install the sneaky-ware, I don't know.

In any case, the only way to be sure the phone is truly off is to remove the battery.

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

Actually what ur saying is not true...

It was on the news...back in 2009!

Even if your phone is powered off, they can listen in through the mic to hear whats happening in the surroundings. They can remotely "power on" the phone for their spying functionalities.

Even if you take out the battery, the small amount of capacitance w/in the device can be used for spying albeit it won't be a very long amount of time until that capacitance is spent.

Removing the battery is the only assurance, as capacitance is very limited.

If you care about this, put the phone in a metallized bag

Turn of the phone and put it in a metallized mylar bag (like the ones used for food storage), or wrap it in aluminum foil. There will be no way to wirelessly access it.

Really, though, if you want to use a mobile phone, you have to accept that there is no privacy. Having a phone that is turned off and wrapped in aluminum foil isn't very useful. As soon as you use it, the cell phone company and U.S. government will know where you are, who you talk to, and what you said.

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

-C. S. Lewis

Printer ink bags make great faraday bags

Put your phone in a metallic - lined printer ink cartridge bag, close and poof !!! Vanish from the spy grid ...

Everyone should do this randomly to throw a monkey wrench in the gears of tyrrany :)

When The Stuff Hits The Fan everyone should go dark using a faraday bag, dark sunglasses and a wide-brim hat... then spraypaint all spycams or use a laser to burnout spycams. Down with Big Brother

Just pop the battery out

When you are concerned. But as soon as you put it back in it will update and you will be located again. When they start putting GPS on cars, mine will have a rash of short circuits in the power source and a tin foil hat, lol

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Tesla Anyone...

Wireless power sources?

Label Jars, Not People!

meekandmild's picture

time to leave cell homes at home or

trade off cell phones with family and friends every week

Oh Fuck the NSA. As long as

Oh Fuck the NSA. As long as the employer can't!

Be Your Own Media!!!

for ONCE i would like a

for ONCE i would like a TECHNICAL explanation on just how exactly this is done, the chips, who makes them as much info as possible, how does something without power transmit data, or how do satelites keep tabs on non powered devices........pretty sure if this is true, that details, technical details, wouldnt be a bad thing

It has been common for awhile now

Just about every phone service updates the tower location you are closest to, and getting your connection from, every 15 to 30 minutes for 911 emergency services, even if it is off. Cell towers are actually fairly close together so a general location can be made. They have access to the service carrier's computers for the info when they want or need through the 911 source. Set your phone on top of a DVD or CD player or a radio while they are on and you will hear it blip the audio when it does update. Started noticing this years ago when we still had analog TV and chased it down back then.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I have noticed that aswell,

I have noticed that aswell, but never when the phone is off

from techdirt"In 2009,

from techdirt
"In 2009, thousands of BlackBerry users in the United Arab Emirates were targeted with spyware that was disguised as a legitimate update"

I KNEW they would go down this route, effectiveness.....legitimate updates of trusted programs/apps, this gets my back up so bad, if someone does this thats not government, its "illegal", and if its government doing it, its suddenly magicaly "legal"........the only difference between, hacking, and, "legal" hacking, is 5 letters

Bunch of self important entitled pricks, the lot of 'em

identifying these "legitimate" apps/programs sounds like a job for a journalist, or a whistleblower

you won't get it

because it's not true.

that has also crossed my

that has also crossed my mind, but with everything, i wont rule out either possibility, but at the moment, its as you say "there is no evidence".....until there is

Just like the nsa situation, we all suspected them capable, but had no proof of it.......i have gnawing suspicion there are MANY things suspected true, but have not been proven, their secrecy mentality just fuels this suspicion whether justified or not......i have a feeling if everyone knew the secrets of their government, that governments would be hard pressed to STAY the government

It doesn't require a power source...

I worked with a man back in 2001-2003 who was a computer guru. He had been over for Desert Shield as a civilian contractor working on satellite uplinks and inventory software and antennas for inventory control (like those little tags on items in the store that make the alarm go off as you exit the building). Anyway, he was explaining to me way back then about some of the computer spy stuff the military had...and one of them he told about was that the NSA or CIA could listen to your face-to-face conversation even if you had taken the battery out of your cell phone! It required no power in the phone to eavesdrop. There were no "smartphones" back then.
I want my Motorola "Brick" back!!! Analog, and no problems!

Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

This is a bit misleading.

This is a bit misleading. Even though the battery is out of the phone, there may be some sort of lithium ion battery that one cannot get to without breaking open the phone. These batteries have small voltage and current output though. In order to eavesdrop on a conversation in real time, there must be some sort of power source. If no battery was required, all our handheld electronics wouldn't have batteries because the manufactureres would save a ton of money if they didn't need them.


Not always true. Costs can be handed down to the consumer just as easily.



If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

you can get a 'Stronghold

you can get a 'Stronghold bag' from Paraben. Once inside, no signal will reach the phone. Keep your credit cards and passport in there too. No RFID or GPS tracking.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

I'm not buying a smart phone

I'm not buying a smart phone till a manufacturer installs a physical on/off power switch that cuts all power to the phone.


The articles linked to make no such claims. The claim is malicious software keeps the phone spying when the user has turned it off. This isn't news. The power button is software.

A power source is still required.

The wifi stuff is bullshit too. Of course you can be logged when your device is actively looking for access points to connect to. But when your wifi interface is down it doesn't transmit and you are invisible.

Been doing it for years

For years now every phone handshakes with the tower it is getting service from about every 15 minutes for so called 911 emergency service reasons. Not exact location but the general location within that one tower's reception range. Personally, I think the 911 excuse was bogus from the beginning.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Not true. I lost a highly skilled tech employee 8 years ago

to work on this exact project. He told me back then they were already doing it.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

passive audio capture is possible

but I don't believe it is in the context of an unpowered cell phone.