High-ranking officials with the Department of Homeland Security, which is headed up by Trump’s hand-picked appointee Kirstjen Nielsen, disclosed in a letter to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden that they have been observing “surveillance activity” happening around the areas of “sensitive facilities,” including the White House, since last year.
What some would hasten to call phone hacking is actually the strategic placement of listening devices known as “Stingrays,” or International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers. An IMSI is something like an IP address on the computer you use when you connect to the internet — it is a unique identifier that can give details about your location, operating system, internet service provider, and in the hands of law enforcement, can be used to force your ISP to give your home address and name.
An IMSI acts much the same, in that it uniquely identifies any one mobile device connected to a cellular tower’s signal broadcast. But the technology that “catches” your IMSI is much more perfidious — it can be used to mimic a cell tower’s reception function, and eavesdrop on your communications.
Now, maybe you personally don’t have anything to hide, but stopping the use of IMSI technology isn’t so much about whether or not it’s being used to sniff out extramarital affairs or kids skipping school, or even drug deals or conspiracies.
According to a report in April by tech website Gizmodo, Donald Trump isn’t just using his own personal, unsecured cell phone as the President of the United States — he’s using it a lot more lately. That’s a BIG problem. Especially if, as one senior White House official says, he is “talking to all sorts of people on it.”
Imagine the swiftness with which a hostile foreign power would seize on the private communications of America’s Commander in Chief.
If you think Russia’s got enough dirt on Trump now to make him do whatever they want him to do, imagine what they might accomplish with, say, Melania’s real location after being missing for three weeks, or Trump’s opening gambit at his suddenly-back-on Korean Summit with Kim Jong-Un in Singapore in less than two weeks.
That’s terrifying, and possibly the biggest threat to our nation’s technological security since it was discovered that hackers in Russia were able to successfully scour the voter rolls in at least 21 different states during the 2016 election for use in targeting ads on social media to flip the election for Donald Trump.
Trump’s unsecured cell phone, in the midst of a hacking effort that can actually hear what he’s saying on it, is so, so, so much worse than any private email server has ever been.
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