Saturday, May 7, 2022

Faithful Servant, Treacherous Snitch

Like most middle-class people in developed countries, I find my smartphone an invaluable tool.  It's basically an electronic Swiss army knife- phone, camera, computer, calculator, compass, atlas rolled up in one compact package.  It's also a snitch, providing data to observers such as search histories and locations... data which could be weaponized against women seeking abortions.  Conservatives in the US have already indicated that they do not believe in one's right to privacy, why would they respect one's right to have one's data private?

During 2020's Black Lives Matter protests, it was no secret that police were surveilling protestors' phones. The ability of the police to demand one to unlock one's phone, even forcing one to use one's fingerprint to unlock it, has been litigated in the courts, and there seems to be differing policies in various states.

My advice to anyone seeking an abortion, or even protesting for women's reproductive freedom, is to get a burner phone, that staple of crime dramas and spy thrillers.  A cheap pre-paid flip phone can be purchased at a big box store for about twenty bucks, and prepaid cards with a set number of minutes and/or text messages, can be used to replenish it.  I'm not a big fan of big box stores, but the faceless anonymity of the megacorporation is actually a plus when one wishes to protect oneself from reactionary forces while living in an actual crime drama/spy thriller.  It's going to be a long, hot summer, leave your faithful servant at home so it can't snitch on you.

7 comments:

Ali Redford said...

Thank you! It's not necessarily a thing I would always think about if someone comes to me for a ride or something, but now I will.

Unknown said...

Dollar stores like Family Dollar also sell them, if you don't want to patronize big box stores.

Anonymous said...

Buy the phone and minutes with cash. Minimize the paper trail.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's crazy how we are all going to end up living like criminals

Eric said...

“Suppose twenty years ago Congress had proposed a law saying every citizen had to wear a radio transponder around his neck, all day and all night, so the government could track him wherever he went. Can you imagine the outrage? But instead the citizens went right ahead and did it to themselves. In their pockets and purses, not around their necks, but the outcome is the same.”

— Lee Child, from A Wanted Man

Matthew Saroff said...

Also, pay cash, and wear a mask, and if challenged about the mask, say that your mother is immune compromised.

Matthew Saroff said...

Also, if you have got to have a smart phone, you can get an older one for less than $50 on eBay.