FBI taps cellphone mics to eavesdrop on criminals

Darren Murph
D. Murph|12.04.06

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FBI taps cellphone mics to eavesdrop on criminals
While we figured the NYPD could just install Magic Message Mirrors in every mafia hotspot in the Manhattan area, the Genovese family has proven quite the eagle-eyed bunch when it comes to spotting wiretaps, tailing, and other (failed) attempts of bugging their conversations. In order to tap into critical conversations by known mafioso and other, less glamorous criminals, police are utilizing a "roving bug" technique which remotely activates the microphone of a crime lord's cellie, giving the boys in blue convenient access to their secret agenda(s). The presumably controversial tapping was recently approved by top US DoJ officials "for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques." Software hacks (and actual phones, too) have previously allowed such dodgy eavesdropping to occur, with "Nextel, Samsung, and Motorola" handsets proving particularly vulnerable, but this widespread approach in tracking down criminal conversations could hopefully pinpoint future targets where prior attempts failed. Of course, if mafia members hit the internet every now and then, they're probably removing those batteries right about now anyway.
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