today's news four years ago

Wonkette Told You About iPhone/AT&T Spying On You, Back In 2007

Safe when used as directed.Here’s a crazy thing, as opposed to all the other crazy things: We read those reports about the iPhone tracking your every move and then saving the entire geographic/time details of your daily activities, and we thought Hmm that sounds familiar guess it’s old news and then the editor of Metro Jacksonville wrote and reminded us that we had written about this, on Wonkette, four years ago. But we didn’t actually know for sure, it was just kind of an edumacated guess, based on AT&T’s long record of clandestine surveillance of its customers, so that it can give the government info on you, to put you in FEMA moon camps forever.

In case you missed the Guardian story from England, here’s the relevant nugget:

Security researchers have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of where you go — and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronised.

Maybe you can buy an App to turn it off?

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And here’s our not-paranoid-in-retrospect stuff from June 2007:

How does this expensive “miracle gadget” do so much domestic spying on you? Well, to use the iPhone you must sign up with AT&T, the telecom that has been tirelessly working with the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, which has installed massive data-mining and recording machinery on AT&T Internet hubs in every major American city.

The day is coming when we must all either put these things in the e-waste bin or just have them sewn into our face. But in the meantime, somebody in the government is actually looking into this, for the sake of The Consumer! Guess who it is? HINT: Paul Wellstone is dead. [Guardian/Metro Jacksonville]

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About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne

Hola wonkerados.

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110 comments

  1. Barb

    So, does the iPad keep track of our girly cycles? We need to know so that we can keep our abortion rates 90% over at Planned Parenthood.

    1. poncho_pilot

      it also lets the TN legislature know if your miscarriage was one of justice and not just an Unborn Merikan.

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      My new iPhone has a better idea of where I am at any given time than my wife does.

      I think this is OK, because my iPhone loves me better anyway.

      1. Negropolis

        But, when your wife and iPhone get together and talk behind your back, they gossip about everything. As long as you keep the two seperate, though, you have no problem.

    1. Swampgas_Man

      And I thought the reason I didn't buy a cell is because I didn't have friends. Little did I know I was a pioneer of FREEDUMB!

  2. Sophist [غني عن ذلك]

    But in the meantime, somebody in the government is actually looking into this, for the sake of The Consumer! Guess who it is?

    It's really depressing how easy it is to get that guess right.

  3. WhatTheHolyHeck

    I'm glad somebody's finally looking in on it. That tinfoil iPhone 4 case keeps slipping off.

  4. DahBoner

    I heard some "expert" on Coast to Coast talk about "FEMA Death Camps", so I googled "FEMA Death Camps Debunked" and there was an article in Popular Mechanics, which showed the main evidence was a picture of a forced labor camp.

    In North Korea.

    Talk about outsourcing! We can't even build our own fucking death camps…

    1. Ken Layne

      But you don't take the EZ Pass in the room where you do … sexytime?

      Unless, of course, you frequent street hookers. And there's nothing wrong with that! Except for the sexual exploitation and disease and poverty and pimp violence and all. Gah, NOTHING IS FUN.

      1. jus_wonderin

        Couple this with the ability to pay for the hooker with your iPhone and, well, we are just double screwed.

      2. MissTaken

        Not only do I take the EZ-Pass into the room with me for sexytime, I've jailbreaked it so it vibrates each time a car drives by…rowr!

  5. Bonzos_Bed_Time

    That Al Franken with all his funny-man jokes. When will he get to the people's business of cutting corporate tax rates????

  6. Trannysurprise

    Jezus. I miss one Wonkette post in 2007 and because of that the gubmint knows where the fuck I am at all times?

    I hope this means I'm cleared of the Madeleine McCann murder.

    1. Guppy06

      Once Nancy Grace figures out that the tracking info can be used by pedophiles, on the other hand…

  7. MarcelleMarceau

    Look on the bright side. This should make it easier retracing our steps after misplacing stuff. Just call up the DHS – "Hey, Buddy, sorry to bug ya, but I'm kinda in a hurry. Can't find my keys."

  8. OkieDokieDog

    No problemo for me. I'm old school. No cell phone for me and I've still got the land line. Hey – what's that clicking sound? This ain't no party line.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Hello Central? Get me Edamame 5274 — I want to report some suspicious activity.

  9. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

    It's worse than you think. The on-board camera concurrently monitors your junk and generates a temporal-geographical-arousal profile.

  10. ChessieNefercat

    So there's an advantage to being poor enough to have only a $10 pre-paid Tracfone and a MagicJack (shut up!)? Oh, and I have a little Palm Pilot.

    I may never be one of the cool kids, but nobody knows (or cares?) where I am, let alone saves the information.

    That I know of. Hmm.

  11. __kth__

    Another reason smart hoboes use Tracfone, if credit shot to hell and can't get anything but prepaid wasn't a good enough reason.

  12. V572..whatever

    All you Jobs-bots are sorry now, I bet. "Walled garden" = gulag.

    Sprint would've done this, but weren't smart enough to make it work more than 35% of the time.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      I was going to make an ATT joke along the same lines, but I'm on Verizon, and the four years I've used them, they have shown a high level of competency, so I'm actually kinda worried.

      1. V572..whatever

        C'mon, a competent cell phone company? Next you'll be telling me about a cable teevee company that isn't run by merciless hucksters obsessed with making me pay for ESPN-3, where I can watch fencing trials from Belgrade.

  13. pinkocommi

    Ken, If you have the magical power to determine the future, can't you come up with something that's good, like all the Tea-baggers realize they are stupid asswipes and go home? Or hobo beans for everyone?

  14. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    But in the meantime, somebody in the government is actually looking into this, for the sake of The Consumer! Guess who it is?

    1. BlueStateLibel

      I suspect it's the Department of Justice–it takes A LOT of energy to overlook crimes on Wall Street that have ruined millions, and instead focus on more life-and-death issues like online poker and porn, and now iPhones.

  15. Jerri

    Oy, is that photo of the animatronic/kinda self-aware Philip K. Dick android that was on Nova not long ago? NIGHTMARE INDUCING. Thanks, Ken. Thanks for bringing that back to the forefront of my brain.

  16. OneYieldRegular

    I used to have to walk three blocks to a pay phone whenever I wanted to call anyone. In retrospect, that seems a lot easier than the crap I've had to put up with having an iPhone.

  17. MissTaken

    Real Question!:

    I keep hearing this tracking is related to 3G since the iOS 4 upgrade last year. Since I live in the Bay Area where AT&T 3G is a complete fracking joke and just leave it on EDGE at all times, am I still being tracked like a hunted animal? Or am I safe knowing that DHS and Apple don't know just how many times I've gone to Good Vibrations this past year?

    …7

    1. Duly_Noted

      I call customer service for all my orders; the representatives are friendly and I don't need to drive anywhere. Of course they're probably keeping track of my clalling patterns, too.

  18. Radio_Level_7

    Don't y'all feel safer?
    This is a small price to pay for freedoms!!1!

    I can't find the Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon wherein Bush and Cheney start eavesdropping on phone calls — what could go wrong?

  19. fuflans

    ok this is off topic but I haven't had my weekly NPR rant yet. And today is best ever:

    mara liassom fact checking birther story @ the top of the hour prime time slot.

    really NPR??

    1. HempDogbane

      And she settled it good so we won't be hearing about that anymore. I think she called Trump a petard, that might cost NPR some sponsors.

      (edit: can't believe it posted. First time it was "deleted by the administrator". Must have misspelled petard.)

  20. donner_froh

    I pick up a $10 throw away phone at Target, buy some minutes and manage to lose the damn thing after a few months. Anyone tracking me would probably find I am everywhere and nowhere.

    1. ChessieNefercat

      Under your couch cushions? Behind the aquarium in a waiting room? Intriguing! Must keep an eye on you and figure out how you periodically disable (i.e., not own) the tracking software.

  21. angryclownspawn

    Seriously, they don't need to go to that much trouble. They could just friend me on Foursquare and be done with it.

      1. Limeylizzie

        I just called MrLimeylizzie and he said exacty the same thing! Oh squeal with unadulterated joy, that would be so much fun

    1. glamourdammerung

      Your cut and paste appears to be broken.

      You are spamming this stupidity in multiple topics.

    2. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

      everyone is pulling their ads

      Dearest Constiparian,

      Do you even know what at ad looks like? If you did, you might notice there are plenty here. Maybe the word you want is "nads". I'm sure everyone over at Breitbart is, as always, pulling on those.

      1. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

        I was beginning to feel a drain on my IQ anyway

        I can't possibly improve on that.

      1. glamourdammerung

        I kind of thought it was amusing that a Breitbart follower that has to lie on the internet for attention was calling anyone pathetic.

    3. DashboardBuddha

      Sorry ass face, I still see plenty of ads. Thing is, they're ads about books, which is probably why you don't see anything.

      If you miss your ads about diapers and tuna fish, I'm sure you could find the appropriate web pages. Just don't let the librarian catch you looking up ads of babies and diapers lest she get the wrong idea. You never know what someone will think when they see a lonely drifter looking at pictures of babies.

    4. Gopherit

      Dude, same ads that I have always seen keep coming up. Never have seen anything but gay porn and e-cig ads. Love that you guys threatened starkist, though……fuck you, for killing the bluefins, assholes.

      And a libertarian who eats Papa Johns? Who would have thought you'd love a guy who sucks mitch mcconnell's dick? I'd have thought you'd be a rand man.

    5. UpFistTroll

      OH NOES! They discovered the HUGE SECRET that we all hate conservicunts! DEAR ME, MY STARS AND GARTERS!

      I think you've let the Invisible Hand of the Free Market creep a little too far up your ass, cowboy.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      If they really want him gone, they'll find a way. He could secret himself in a leftover 50s era backyard bomb shelter, & they could still get to him. & make it look like a Michael Hutchence sitch.

  22. Rotundo_

    I have always been a luddite as far as communication technology is concerned. I don't have a deep seated need to have people call me in the bathroom of a McDonalds to let me know they care, and unless I *really* need to use a cell-I don't. Computers work fine for the net, the thought of streaming a movie on a phone screen seems like the ultimate compromise in viewing quality etc. But I think Apple is way too cute and clever and Disneylike (this is not a compliment) in their marketing and business plan. A little too iron-fisty and not so cute and clever anymore.

    1. Negropolis

      I'm much the same, and it's really awkward being in your 20's and feeling this way. I'm like an old man; I like to keep my computer, phone, and television as seperate devices for any number of reasons, and I'm not a big fan of social networking, either, unless it's part of your job. But, on a personal level, no way. If I want to be "friended", I'll let you know in person. You don't need to know that I had waffles this morning, or haven't had a bowel movement in two days, thank you very much.

  23. bumfug

    Not to bum you out further but this tracking and storing of info applies to iPads as well. Screw these people, I use Credo which is a slight improvement (they use the Sprint network) – at least they donate a percentage of the bill to causes I support.

  24. Lascauxcaveman

    I knew that pro tip from watching 24 and NUM3ERS.

    I'd probably still be watching the latter (even though it's almost as hokey as the former) if I had any idea when it was on.

  25. DustBowlBlues

    Was the Pulitzer committee aware of the fact the wonkette did this fine piece of investigative journalism? And still no prize? Lamestream media.

  26. slowhansolo

    Outraged, outraged I tell you. Mostly because I like to hide my deeply rutted, nothing of a life hidden, like a (slightly-less-polarizing-word-for-mentally-disabled) uncle.

  27. Negropolis

    On a kind of serious note, while humans have always griped about the effect of technology on humanity since the invention of the wheel, I really do think we've come up to a point where we're finally beginning to lose ourselves inside our technology now in a really bad way.

Comments are closed.