UK Mobile Phones (uk.telecom.mobile) Mobile telephone equipment and networks.

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Old October 11th 18, 08:20 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Default Mobile in Prisons

Martin Brown wrote:
On 10/10/2018 16:40, Paul Cummins wrote:
In article , (Tweed)
wrote:

The fact that this is not being done leads me to
think that the powers that be regard their intercepts on traffic
from the local cell sites to be of greater importance than disrupting
mobile comms from within prisons.


The tried this - the Pico-cells were still catching legitimate people
outside the prison.

For some reason, radio waves don't know about walls and boundaries.


Phased arrays can be engineered to cover a relatively small space if you
know what you are doing. Evidently they got some cheap jack cowboys in.

I don't consider blocking mobile phone use in the prison carpark to be a
problem or even on the road immediately outside the prison wall. Apart
from a handful of inner city prisons most have very little around them.

If they were serious about it there are technologies that can solve it.


Exactly. The mobile phone network is probably the most technically
controlled, most access controlled radio system there is. Its use is also
highly regulated by HMG, who can impose any regulation they see fit.
Interception in the clear is trivial for the powers that be, as they have
access to the switching centres. I’m therefore led to the conclusion that
all the publicity about mobiles in prisons is theatre to cover for the fact
that they gain valuable intelligence from intercepts, the alternative
conclusion is monumental incompetence on a huge scale.

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Old October 11th 18, 09:58 AM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Default Mobile in Prisons

On Thu 11/10/2018 09:20, Tweed wrote:
Martin Brown wrote:
On 10/10/2018 16:40, Paul Cummins wrote:
In article , (Tweed)
wrote:

The fact that this is not being done leads me to
think that the powers that be regard their intercepts on traffic
from the local cell sites to be of greater importance than disrupting
mobile comms from within prisons.

The tried this - the Pico-cells were still catching legitimate people
outside the prison.

For some reason, radio waves don't know about walls and boundaries.


Phased arrays can be engineered to cover a relatively small space if you
know what you are doing. Evidently they got some cheap jack cowboys in.

I don't consider blocking mobile phone use in the prison carpark to be a
problem or even on the road immediately outside the prison wall. Apart
from a handful of inner city prisons most have very little around them.

If they were serious about it there are technologies that can solve it.


Exactly. The mobile phone network is probably the most technically
controlled, most access controlled radio system there is. Its use is also
highly regulated by HMG, who can impose any regulation they see fit.
Interception in the clear is trivial for the powers that be, as they have
access to the switching centres. I’m therefore led to the conclusion that
all the publicity about mobiles in prisons is theatre to cover for the fact
that they gain valuable intelligence from intercepts, the alternative
conclusion is monumental incompetence on a huge scale.


Interception is almost impossible for the Prison Service as the cellular
air interface is encrypted. Yes the spooks can do it but (technically)
they need a Court Order, and as the SPs now carry the conversation back
to their switches over their own networks (rather than on BT circuits as
was the way years ago) it would mean the spooks getting access to the SP
switches and that would not remain secret for long! What is more if the
call is mobile to mobile within the same network I would guess it is not
even decrypted at all.

--
Woody

harrogate three at ntlworld dot com


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Old October 11th 18, 12:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Default Mobile in Prisons

On 11/10/2018 10:58, Woody wrote:
Interception is almost impossible for the Prison Service as the cellular
air interface is encrypted. Yes the spooks can do it but (technically)
they need a Court Order, and as the SPs now carry the conversation back
to their switches over their own networks (rather than on BT circuits as
was the way years ago) it would mean the spooks getting access to the SP
switches and that would not remain secret for long! What is more if the
call is mobile to mobile within the same network I would guess it is not
even decrypted at all.



Equipment and software is restricted to law enforcement which will
include the Prison Service or at least police working on their behalf.

They should be able to easily log the identities of phones used even if
they do not have the powers to link to a phone number. Commercial
companies do this legally to monitor things like shoppers' behaviour.

It could be argued that they should put lots of small low power cells
around the prison so they can get more accurate positioning.

When a phone is discovered in a search they should be able to see how
long it has been in use.

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Old October 11th 18, 04:13 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Default Mobile in Prisons

Woody wrote:
On Thu 11/10/2018 09:20, Tweed wrote:
Martin Brown wrote:
On 10/10/2018 16:40, Paul Cummins wrote:
In article , (Tweed)
wrote:

The fact that this is not being done leads me to
think that the powers that be regard their intercepts on traffic
from the local cell sites to be of greater importance than disrupting
mobile comms from within prisons.

The tried this - the Pico-cells were still catching legitimate people
outside the prison.

For some reason, radio waves don't know about walls and boundaries.

Phased arrays can be engineered to cover a relatively small space if you
know what you are doing. Evidently they got some cheap jack cowboys in.

I don't consider blocking mobile phone use in the prison carpark to be a
problem or even on the road immediately outside the prison wall. Apart
from a handful of inner city prisons most have very little around them.

If they were serious about it there are technologies that can solve it.


Exactly. The mobile phone network is probably the most technically
controlled, most access controlled radio system there is. Its use is also
highly regulated by HMG, who can impose any regulation they see fit.
Interception in the clear is trivial for the powers that be, as they have
access to the switching centres. I’m therefore led to the conclusion that
all the publicity about mobiles in prisons is theatre to cover for the fact
that they gain valuable intelligence from intercepts, the alternative
conclusion is monumental incompetence on a huge scale.


Interception is almost impossible for the Prison Service as the cellular
air interface is encrypted. Yes the spooks can do it but (technically)
they need a Court Order, and as the SPs now carry the conversation back
to their switches over their own networks (rather than on BT circuits as
was the way years ago) it would mean the spooks getting access to the SP
switches and that would not remain secret for long! What is more if the
call is mobile to mobile within the same network I would guess it is not
even decrypted at all.


I suspect that the cellular networks are required to provide intercept
capability at their switches. I also suspect they are not allowed to talk
about it either. Certainly in the early days of digital exchanges it was a
requirement on BT, and I very much doubt HMG will have let this drop or be
bypassed by the cellular networks. Intercept at the air interface is as
unlikely as a bloke using a headset and a pair of croc clips on a landline.
It’s probably also very easy for them to get a court order to intercept
traffic they suspect is coming from a prison, assuming such legal niceities
bother them.

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Old October 11th 18, 04:28 PM posted to uk.telecom.mobile
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Default Mobile in Prisons

tony sayer wrote:
In article , Tweed
scribeth thus
Paul Cummins wrote:
In article , (Tweed)
wrote:

The fact that this is not being done leads me to
think that the powers that be regard their intercepts on traffic
from the local cell sites to be of greater importance than disrupting
mobile comms from within prisons.

The tried this - the Pico-cells were still catching legitimate people
outside the prison.

For some reason, radio waves don't know about walls and boundaries.


Well that’s just poor or inept RF planning or implementation.

No its not quite as simple as that if you know much about the way RF
does propagate.

They did once use a Jammer made by Zetron but they were deemed to be
interfering with legit users outside said jails!.


I know a fair amount about RF propagation. The point of a cellular system
is you don’t need to jam a mobile, but rather lure it to the base station
you want it to use. It’s basically the principle behind the design of a
cellular network in the first place. Granted, you might just catch the odd
mobile outside of the establishment, but that is just bad luck. Those
mobiles will soon get a legitimate base station once they move. Those
mobiles are in no worse a situation than one out in the countryside with no
coverage. A pico cell is not going to leak very far out of its intended
coverage area, due to both antenna design and our old friend the r squared
law. The odd poor soul who lives right next to the wire could apply to have
their mobile whitelisted.



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