back to article Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

A senior British judge has highlighted the benefits of legislation that obliges people to carry their mobile phone at all times. Sir Geoffrey Vos QC, Chancellor of the High Court and former head of the Bar Council, raised the prospect of compulsory mobe-carrying in a speech to the Law Society (PDF). Vos drew attention to the …

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It's like something out of Black Mirror.

So, one day my habit of keeping the GPS of my phone off to save the battery will get me in hot water? Great.

Presumably anyone who gets hauled before the beak and is found to have put their phone on airplane mode will be hanged immediately, just in case they did something naughty while the state couldn't see them.

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Anonymous Coward

Solutions...

It's more like when your SO asks you to "download the thing", when they mean "fix the computer" when they actually need "to do what they should in the first place, and stop clicking the wrong button".

So it's more an effort of looking to be doing something, anything, that has a result of anything. Than actually thinking this will go through.

Though I may be putting more assumption of intelligence than they are deserving?

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Or more likely those of nefarious means will simply stash their smartmobe somewhere on a train, or taped under the wheelarch of a taxi or some such, then get a simple burner phone under a fake ID that can be destroyed after the fact.

Instant alibi: 'It can't have been me guv. Look, I woz on the Eurostar to Amsterdam at the time of the alleged offence'

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Deepfakes inbound...

Combine that with the ability of deepfakes to replace faces on CCTV footage and you could* claim, "It weren't me Guv, I've been fitted up! My mobe proves** I were at the Mistress's/Toyboy's gaff all night."

* not suggesting that would actually fly in court

** depending on the legally mandated/tested accurracy of the location

You would have thought a lawyer might have thought through the implications of this wild idea, but...

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Anonymous Coward

nonono, you misunderstand!!!! You won't be hanged, relevant legislation to punish terrorist behaviour such as not carrying a fully trackable phone must be introduced FIRST...

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@Richard 81 "So, one day my habit of keeping the GPS of my phone off to save the battery will get me in hot water?"

I wouldn't worry about it - it only LOOKS like your GPS is off...

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Big Brother

The family went out for a meal together yesterday. As everybody was there that we would want to talk to, nobody took a phone with them.

That would probably come under organized crime under any new legislation...

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Airplane mode?

I was going to say take the battery out.

Even on airplane mode, you can keep the blue tooth and wi-fi on.

Here in the states... this wouldn't fly. And truthfully, you would be hard pressed to find people who won't carry their mobe. Its become as important as your house keys.

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That would probably come under organized crime under any new legislation...

Conspiracy. When they can't get you for a crime, if more than one person was involved they get done for conspiracy.

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France

allegedly, a couple of years ago, maybe 5

there were French people, allegedly arrested for allegedly being terrorists, who allegedly went to a remote evening meeting [uniquely, strangely and suspiciously] without their mobes, and they were then allegedly arrested.

fair enuff, some people call them terrrrrsts, certainly, they were planning (allegedly) to do evil things to TGV infrastructure with bicycle chains [power is off all night, then comes on, sharp, at 4am for testing!]

however, it has since come to my attention that they were allegedly 'being helped' by one of the 'Mets finest Special Demonstration Squad rapists, sorry, man with a van, sorry Agent Provocateur - whatever the French word for that is - so who knows who exactly are the crims in this & future cases, with probably many parallels. constructions.

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Facepalm

"I wouldn't worry about it - it only LOOKS like your GPS is off..."

My battery endurance distinctly begs to differ. This is your cue to suggest that GPS chipsets come with a tiny built-in always-on plutonium cell, I'll wait.

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Doesn't matter

It will be extensible. Your partner, friend, child will have it on and it doesn't take much to intuit that if A is at location X then B will almost certainly be there too. Besides you all have a habit of signing into FB with A is at X with B and C.

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Big Brother

You said it first...

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It doesn't need GPS to track you, it records the signal strength from 3 nearby cell towers and transmits that to Google.

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Re: Airplane mode?

And truthfully, you would be hard pressed to find people who won't carry their mobe. Its become as important as your house keys.

True, but my wife regularly forgets one or both when she goes out. Fortunately our neighbours on both sides have keys to our house if I'm out when she gets back.

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Re: Airplane mode?

I live in the US, and know more than a handful of people who either don't have a cell phone at all, or don't regularly carry one around. Not the majority, of course, but still...

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J27

I don't think any current model of phone actually has a way to turn the GPS transceiver off. Android (or I guess iOS) just controls access to requests for GPS info. So you're probably no saving any power. And the powers that be can track you via the cell towers so you're not safe from that either.

Anyone who's really worried about being tracked should consider not carrying a mobile phone (or similar device). I'm decided to put up with it for the convenience.

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Drain your battery playing candy crush on the bus ride home?

Get a ride in the back of a cop car?

But when it's bankers and executives and millions are involved this will not do a thing.

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Re: Airplane mode?

What's a mobe? I've not got one and that's very unlikely to change. Nor house keys. I've lived in the same room and board for the last sixteen years. As an aside, my Google location history says the same thing. I'm always here, even when I'm not. Nice.

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So you are saying that tracking data for *any* mobile phone is sent to Google unknown to the owner? For Android or Google maps users I would consider that reasonable(ish) however for those not using Google products it would be in direct contravention of the GDPR and probably the DPA ... so they would have to stop it quickly ...

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> don't think any current model of phone actually has a way to turn the GPS transceiver off. Android (or I guess iOS) just controls access to requests for GPS info. So you're probably no saving any power

Really? In Android, the Location Settings are marked 'High Accuracy (GPS, cell tower and WiFi)' and 'Battery Saving (cell tower and WiFi only) '. When I first switch to High Accuracy (GPS) it'll take the phone some seconds to a minute (depending on terrain and availability of cell masts for AGPS) to lock on to enough satellites a clue that the phone hadn't been tracking satellites in Battery Saver mode. The GPS will deplete my battery quickly to the extent that the phone grows hot and my car stereo's USB socket won't keep the battery charged, especially on older phones I've owned such as Xperia P, Xperia Z3C and Nexus 5. These are phones running something close to Stock Android, but even my Samsung has its location setting marked this way. What phone are you using?

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Re: Airplane mode?

I rarely carry my mobile... I usually don't bother with keys either (unless I'm driving) - I had too much of that shit when I used to be on-call.

It's sad how for some people they are like another appendage.

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Anonymous Coward

Grey hair and security

I’m from an older generation from a tech background. I’m not alone in the fact that I restrict my privacy rules to avoid sharing. Always have my GPS turned off, never check in on Facebook. Friends and family also know not to tag me in the very rare pics which make it to Facebook. A.C. as It's not that I have something to hide. I have nothing I want you to see (anon 2018)

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Maybe future phones won't even have the facility to switch off location tracking!

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nonono, you misunderstand!!!! You won't be hanged, relevant legislation to punish terrorist behaviour such as not carrying a fully trackable phone must be introduced FIRST...

===

THEN we hang you .......

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Re: Doesn't matter

Besides you all have a habit of signing into FB with A is at X with B and C.

Got pissed off at some group on Farceborg back in August, quit going there for a while (not that I posted my whereabouts even I was using it). But I wonder about the possibility of a script that would post multiple, intentionally conflicting location messages. Flood their system with so much wrong information they wouldn't know what was valid.

Also have to wonder about those people who don't want or can't afford cell phones. Does the govt. intend to subsidize them? We know just what a clusterfuck that would become in short order.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Grey hair and security

I wanted to give you 2 thumbs up - one for the overall post and the extra one for including the quote from Anon. :-)

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Presumably anyone who gets hauled before the beak and is found to have put their phone on airplane mode will be hanged immediately, just in case they did something naughty while the state couldn't see them.

Quite. It's almost like he expects criminals to obey the law and carry their phone with them to make their activities easier to identify.....

Criminals are stupid. Not only did they commit a crime presumably expecting to not get caught, but they didn't undertake even minimal preparation first. For example, the number of criminals identified via fingerprints annually is not zero, despite their existence being common knowledge for over 100 years and gloves being available freely at most gas stations.

Criminals, however, aren't completely incapable of putting 2 + 2 together and some of them make at least vague attempts to avoid detection..... like leaving a phone at home, or turning it off (and extrating the battery + sim). Some might even, shock horror, nick a phone to use for tracking, commit a crime, then replace the phone, having incriminated someone innocent. "I wasn't there your honour" "Well, your phone says you were, so you were. Guilty!"

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GPS optional.

Only need GPS to give location to better than 2 metre precision.

If your phone has a signal, your position (or rather, your range to the cell) is known to a couple of hundred metres precision because the air interface protocol needs that information to synchronise correctly.

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Don't forget to turn off WiFi too, as it's seemingly trivial to peg a location by cross-referencing ESSID/BSSID databases.

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Anonymous Coward

More likely the cellphone's Transponder...

OK I have to change locations now, hope your happy!

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Stop

Dear Sir Geoffrey,

You can *^&$ right off.

Regards,

The Public.

PS. Maybe someone could clue him in about the ability to have a second device to show to the Gestapo when you're stopped at a checkpoint (because you'll be needing those to enforce the rule).

Leave your registered phone at home then go on a crime spree #lawfail

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Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

"My mobile was stolen, m'lud. I would have reported it to the police as soon as I realised, but there aren't any phone boxes left and anyway the police don't even get out of bed for a minor theft like that any more. But if they do find my phone, they'll find the person who really committed the crime I am unjustly accused of."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

ability to have 2nd, 3rd and consecutive devices will be merely a proof that one was in numerous locations at the same time, I don't think THIS might be any cause for doubt or concern in criminal proceedings, no? :D

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Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

@AC "ability to have 2nd, 3rd and consecutive devices will be merely a proof that one was in numerous locations at the same time"

That would imply your omnipotence, and as the witnesses will have sworn an oath on the bible no less, they'll have to accept you are god, move in mysterious ways, and find you not guilty.

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Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

"merely a proof that one was in numerous locations at the same time"

Or a cat

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Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

... I guess anyone found to be a god will be also instantly found guilty. Because gods kill people, that's what I learned from Greek mythology.

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Coat

Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

they'll have to accept you are god, move in mysterious ways

God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform.

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OK, that's John Cleese, not God. And he's not portraying God. Or performing any wonders. But he is moving in a very mysterious way.

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Anonymous Coward

He might not advocate it but now it's published what is the betting that the politicians of all colours go for it - with exceptions for themselves of course.

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Anonymous Coward

He might not advocate it but now it's published what is the betting that the politicians of all colours go for it

Well, we're overdue for a civil war. This one would be Twats of the House of Westminster + Stasi Establishment Supporters versus The Rest.

It'd be quite gratifying to have a civil war that wasn't subdivided on boring old religion, ethnicity or left-right politics.

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Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

Yes, I know, undemocratic. And for some reason I suddenly had a mental image of both houses almost entirely empty ... weird.

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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

It is not a question of being too dim.

It is a question of having opinions and views which are incompatible with his profession. A person who even contemplates the idea cannot be a judge in a democratic society.

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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

Lawyers by definition believe* in laws, ergo they may like them a little too much if it could make their job easier.

* as in, "I believe I can make a comfortable living from this with no manual labour and only feel slightly less icky than a person-of-negotiable-affection".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

If you read it carefully you will see that he is not advocating the measure.

He says: "As society seems to accept more and more surveillance, I wonder how radical the change I have mentioned will seem to the population in 10, 15 or 20 years' time."

That's not dim. I for one wouldn't bet against him being right.

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Facepalm

Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

It is a question of having opinions and views which are incompatible with his reality

FTFY

Sums up politicians in general and lawmakers in particular.

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Joke

Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

* as in, "I believe I can make a comfortable living from this with no manual labour and only feel slightly less icky than a person-of-negotiable-affection".

Non of the people of negotiable affection I know are icky, I checked

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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

"If you read it carefully you will see that he is not advocating the measure."

That's because his words were written carefully. Senior and 'respectable' unelected establishment figures are often used to fly kites in a way that might get politicians burned. After noting the reactions to the kite, politicians can then decide if it would be ok to fly it themselves.

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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

@ John G Imrie

The people of negotiable affection are also likely to be far more honest and will (usually) stick to the agreed price to be paid when the association is finished.

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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

That big pot of frogs on the stove are just getting comfortably warm about now.

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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

Sorry, that would put the unemployment rate up by too much to be sustainable...

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