Idiot Phones

Marketing spin doctors try to call them “smart” phones, but they really are idiot phones. Just like a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view of a pickup truck is a pretty good Red Neck marker, one of these phones in the hand of someone is a pretty good idiot marker. Actually, it’s a much better idiot marker than the fuzzy dice since so few Red Necks do the fuzzy dice thing these days. I guess word got around. Yes, I grew up on a farm and live in the middle of Red Neck U.S.A. so I’m allowed to talk about them. Now if that hole “Truck Nuts” thing would just go away…sigh.

While working at my last client site the owner and several others used to raz me about my MIL-SPEC flip phone and wireless account with texting disabled. Finally the owner fessed up that the software company he also owned part of out in the Seattle area had a team of developers and all of them had phones like mine. I told him “when you work in IT you know just how insecure those phones are. Don’t surf the Web, don’t text, just let your cell phone be a cell phone with an alarm clock and your life will be happier.”

Sigh… I really do miss my original G’zOne phone. Not the ones you can find now, the original. That was a true military grade phone. It survived falling from the ridge of a house roof onto an iron patio table and the bounce from there onto the concrete patio. Everyone was shocked when it started ringing before we got done up on the roof. If cell towers still supported it I would still own it.

Today we learn over 10 million Android devices may be infected. Back in 2014 we learned of iPhone infections. Earlier this year security firms started warning customers that their connected vehicles will need anti-virus software. Anyone paying attention has already learned of the Chrysler problem with Uconnect.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security with all of this talk about uncrackable encryption. To start with, all encryption is crackable. All you need is both time and computing power. Encryption is the white flag of surrender in IT. You employ encryption when you admit your security is near useless. We first employed it with data communications because we could not secure communications lines. Next backup tapes were encrypted because they could not be secured during transport. The fact your phone now encrypts everything should speak volumes.

Everyone should rent the movie “Traitor.” I actually own a copy of this. It is old enough now you can find it in quite a few clearance bins. The thumbnail sketch is an operative embarks on a multi-year under cover operation to embed himself within a terrorist group planning on attacking the United States. Besides being a good movie it covers many topics of terrorism which are sadly still valid today. One of the most glaring subjects is just how easily email surveillance was circumvented. Instead of actually sending email they created accounts for every terrorist within the united states and created an email draft which was never sent. The terrorists simply logged into their email account, deleted spam, and looked at their drafts folder every day. Since no email was ever sent, there was no “chatter.”

Before a person, every person, not just “other people”, embrace “new tech” they need to seriously consider the implications of that tech. Idiot phones are wide spread and the public is just now learning about their dark side. Without much difficulty we can purge idiot phones from our lives. The dark side will grow exponentially when “The Internet of Things” is allowed to hit the market.

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