give a talk called "The Future of Privacy," where I talk about current and future technological developments that erode our privacy. One of the things I talk about is auditory eavesdropping, and I hypothesize that a cell phone microphone could be turned on surreptitiously and remotely.
I never had any actual evidence one way or the other, but the technique has surfaced in an organized crime prosecution:
The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the "roving bug" was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone.
Kaplan's opinion said that the eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off." Some handsets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.
When I posted about this in 2003, you probably thought I was off the deep end and/or clinically paranoid. What a difference 4 years makes, eh?
So, which issues am I warning you about today that you're ignoring and dismissing?