Events: protect your smartphone from tracking and surveillance

The important thing in a demonstration is the message to be conveyed and especially that it be heard. Certain ideas are defended and it is also a French specialty that this freedom to take to the streets to express one’s dissatisfaction. However, if you want to be heard, you may not particularly want to be tracked down when you go. We give you some tips to avoid this.

Sesame, don’t open up!

So the first piece of advice is the obvious, but if you don’t want your phone to harm you, just don’t take it. Afterwards, in 2021, we know very well that it is complicated since it acts, for many people, as an official camera and camcorder. It can also be used in an emergency, or to make lives on social networks. We therefore fully understand that many people take it with them during a demonstration.

If you are afraid that someone will take your phone from you, leave it locked as often as possible. A good shortcut to know: if you quickly press the “ON / OFF” button on your phone twice, you can access the camera while keeping your smartphone locked for the rest. A secure way not to expose the content of your device while immortalizing your journey. And if, in a stampede, you drop it, it will still get stuck.

To further secure your data in the event of loss / theft, you can activate the encryption of the latter. Because even if locked, it is still possible for a hacker to access unencrypted data: SMS, contacts, emails and photos. The option is automatically activated on the latest models, but it will have to be activated for the older ones. You will find it in Settings>Security>Encryption and identifiers.

You see me, you see me more, you see me, you see me more

Our modern smartphones are walking GPS beacons that can give our position to any satellite antenna near us. They are also used by the police to locate participants in protests. Using IMSI Catcher type monitoring devices such as Stingray, it is very easy to make your phones connect to it thinking they are real cell towers. Your messages and calls can then be intercepted, just like those of the devices around you. An incredibly powerful system that can also find its place on a drone and pursue you. Do you want to know if you are being watched? Watch our video and don’t forget to subscribe …

To work around the problem, an easier solution is to stay in “airplane” mode for the duration of the event. For those who need to stay connected to the network, the best solution is use a VPN or the app Fake GPS on your mobile. So you can hijack your location and give the impression that you were on top of Everest at the time of the demonstration. We explain how to do this in this article.

Communication breakdown

If you want to communicate with each other during the procession, we can only advise you on messaging Signal who is the only one that is really secure on the market. WhatsApp, we avoid and Telegram, since they are in bickering with the Russian government, we are a little less fan.

Even more hermetic alternative if you show up with several people, you can create a “mesh” network that will only be available to those who are connected to it and in a small area. We explain how it works with the Serval application in this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *