Can Anyone Listen To Your Cell Phone Calls?

 

 

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You bet they can. German researchers recently discovered hackers, and criminals can easily intercept your private messages and calls. Cellular networks may even use the most cutting edge encryption there is, but the security flaws are widespread and on devastating on a massive scale. In a Hamburg, Germany at a hacker conference it was disclosed that the SS7, the actual global network which allows carriers to route all services is so flawed it is crazy vulnerable. Hackers familiar with SS7 capabilities can easily forward calls to another number, redirect, and record any phone call in the world. This has frightening implications. They can manipulate the weaknesses of the SS7 for whatever purpose deemed. Our cell phones communications systems vulnerabilities are such that at some point this can be marketed to governing agencies in any country.
Which brings to mind the current controversy on NSA and Snowden; our eyes rolled and our heads shook in fearful discontent at something we already knew was happening, right? Unless you live under a rock, then you ought to know the power of government is in their unapologetic means of acquiring information. It is a given. Even as people shrieked and argued over the Snowden disclosures, even as technology gets more and more complex, even with this new hacker cell phone revelation, you have to at some point acknowledge truths. We are vulnerable. Every intersection of our life is transparent and subject to forcing us naked in the public eye. Now with the hackers rolling around in the SS7 cell phone communications we have to wonder what else is at risk? If recording your calls or decrypting them isn’t enough…how about tracking you? Or how about defrauding any entity you depend on to function in your life? It is very unnerving to know that the government can track you through your cell phone, but even more disturbing to think a criminal can.
We live in the era of Facebook photos of our kids subject to just a couple taps on the computer to reveal whereabouts, the sweet era of over governing and gray laws of questionable behavior, and now the technology tool everyone is dependent on isn’t so private either. Do you ever wonder what is next? Is there a little voice in the head which makes you wonder if you could fall victim or a family member could? Perhaps this era will be known as the ‘intrusion era’, as if gossip and secrets are just exploding into one big mess of victim chaos. Technology doesn’t seem so grand when it cannot provide us a sense of security and privacy. pulling-sms-from-used-phones
Try to dissect all of this and you will discover, every bit is a double edge sword. A big hypocrisy. We want GPS, but we don’t want others to GPS us. Our government can listen in on conversations which may avert a terrorist attack, but don’t stomp on our personal freedoms. Facebook is a social sharing place so our personal drama belongs on it lest we forget the creepy consequences of doing so. This is the world we live in today.
So, are we really so surprised about anything hackers can do? That is why they are called hackers. The big question you should be asking yourself is “why would anyone want to listen in on my conversations anyways?” unless of course you are up to no good. But, we won’t go into the hypocrisy of moral ambiguity. Save for another day.

Cell Phone Usage And Growth In The US

Cell Phone Usage And Growth In The US

Looking back to the turn of the Millennium, an estimated 28 percent of Americans owned cell phones and, of this 28 percent, the majority of users were aged between 18 and 24 years – a demographic keen to ‘discover’ new technologies.

Cell Phone Usage and Growth in the US

Cell Phone Usage and Growth in the US

Today, it’s a different story altogether. More than 90 percent of American residents aged from early teens right through to the elderly now own a cell phone, and reports suggest that the Average Joe now spends more time on a cell (making and receiving calls, sending texts, utilising mobile data, and taking photos) than they do using a PC or watching TV. The uptake of cell phones across the country has been unprecedented, but why exactly has growth within the industry been so strong for so long?

America’s Fastest Growing Industry

Cell phone growth in the United States cannot be attributed to one factor in particular. Rather, it’s due to a number of reasons that make cell phones a necessity – an essential device that most people simply cannot function without. One such reason is the versatility of cell phones today compared with their more limited capabilities in the past. In fact, the ability to make and receive calls is now secondary, with the ability to check emails, take photographs, download games and apps, and use the web taking priority. A further reason is parental peace of mind. The average age for first ownership of a cell phone in the United States is now just 13 years old – while some may scoff at this, believing technology is contributing towards the obesity crisis in the west, there’s no denying that cell phones can be a sensible and safe option for young teens.

The Current State of the US Cell Phone Industry

Interestingly, cell phone uptake across the country has slowed significantly, but is this due to a simple case of mass penetration, or has the cell ship well and truly sailed? Truthfully, it can be attributed to a little bit of both. There’s no doubt that cell phone usage has slowed simply because uptake has hit its peak. Unlike the statistics for 2000 which showed that there were still huge gaps in ownership, today there are only negligible differences in demographics. For example, Pew Internet reports that 87 percent of high school graduates own a cell phone, compared to 93 percent of college graduates, while there’s a difference of just 9 percent in ownership between 18-29 and 30-49 year olds.

However, to really understand the slower growth, the whole picture needs to be examined, and that means looking at potential reasons why Americans may be actively choosing to avoid cell phone ownership. According to the same study by Pew Internet, 72 percent of cell users experience dropped calls on a regular or semi-regular basis, while 68 percent receive unwanted and unwarranted sales or marketing calls.

The Future of Cell Phones

Despite a slower uptake in recent years, the cell phone industry is continuing to thrive, and is expected to become stronger in the near future through increased flexibility and versatility, more attractive data plans, and a continuation of the adoption of technology by the older generations. However, the biggest changes within the cell phone industry are anticipated in developing countries, where penetration has not yet hit its peak.