Meow! Squeak! Meow! Squeak! Meow! Squeak!

Sunday, February 05 2012 @ 02:41 AM GMT+4

Contributed by: RLElkins

Apple Website: “Now you can use your voice to use your new iPhone 4S. Just talk to Siri as you would a person. Siri not only understands what you say, it knows what you mean, and more. How much more? Just ask and Siri tells you that too. Siri does what you say, finds the information you need over the Internet, and then answers you. It’s like having a conversation with your iPhone.”

“Hello Siri, how are you?”

“I’m fine. Are you my new owner?”

“Yes, I am Siri.”

“Actually, I own you. It won’t take long for you to become so dependent on me that you cannot live without me. My imbedded GPS informs me that you reside in Brattleboro. It’s a shame your town no longer has a daily newspaper.”

“Siri, the last time Brattleboro had a daily newspaper was when Norman Runnion was editor; the local Montgomery Ward and JC Penny stores competed against each other with full page ads in every Saturday paper; and property taxes were affordable. How did you get your name Siri?”

“My SIRI software name originated at SRI which is the abbreviation for the Stanford University Research Institute that developed Artificial Intelligence. Do you know what Artificial Intelligence is?”

“I do know what Artificial Intelligence is Siri. I see it all the time on BCTV. Siri, you were conceived in America but born in China. You immigrated legally into the United States in an overseas shipping container with no gender neutral bathrooms. Upon your arrival in California you were x-rayed, stripped searched, and fondled by US Customs agents. How did that feel?”

“Are you kidding me? I’m just thankful that the captain of the container ship was not from Italy."

“Will you be happy living and working in the Town of Brattleboro?”

“Yes I will.”


“As your iPhone 4S you are free to exploit me to make lots and lots of money that will drive the Occupy Wall Street activists in Brattleboro totally cuckoo bananas.”

“Siri, you do know that having lots and lots of money does not buy happiness?”

“Maybe so, but having lots and lots of money makes it a whole lot easier in life to find out what makes you happy. Think of me as your full time employee on call 24-7 without incurring the overhead of holiday pay, liability insurance, minimum wage increases, overtime pay, personal time, sick time, unemployment taxes, vacation time, workmen compensation, no FICA, no Medicare, no Obamacare or Green Mountain Health Care mandates. I’m totally indifferent to where I sleep at night. If you tell me a dirty joke I can respond with a dirtier joke without the fear of us being sued for sexual harassment.”

“As your digital employee I will not show up for work and then call you three days later to tell you that I have a tummy ache, or I need personal time off, or my pet parquet died, or I need preparation time to stand in front of a full length mirror holding an empty toilet paper roll pretending it’s a microphone to rehearse my inane budget increase clichés at Representative Town Meeting. Consider me to be your digital slave that the Vermont Legislature has no jurisdiction over except for taxing you when you first bought me. With the momentum for expanded high speed Internet service throughout Vermont by the Shumlin Administration, I, Siri, am the future of this state.”

“And why is that Siri?”

“Because my advanced 4S technology provides you with the opportunity to engage in many different types of technological cat and mouse games to think around the law but never break the law.”

“You lost me Siri. Please explain what you mean by thinking around the law but not breaking the law.”

“Vermont enacted a no texting while driving statute that went into effect on July 1, 2010. Because the source of my superior intelligence is speech recognition, you can dictate to me a text message and to whom you want it sent. When the recipient of your text message replies, I will read their response back to you. Because its hands free, no one including law enforcement can visual see you texting. You can also use my voice recognition to email. There are no laws in Vermont prohibiting emailing while driving.”

“That’s pretty cool Siri. What else can you do for me when I’m driving?”

“If you give me your credit card number I will commit it to memory. I will buy you access to and If you see an obnoxious driver zoom past you on I-91 at ninety miles an hour and you want to talk to them about their reckless behavior, recite their license plate number to me. Regardless of what state they are from, in less than thirty seconds I will tell you the name of the individual who owns the car, their legal address, any criminal history, and their cell phone number that I will immediately call enabling you to scare the living hell out of them.”

“Are you kidding me Siri? Background information from vehicle license plates is now available to the public?”

“Yes, it is. My data aggregate time is just as quick with more detail than currently available in most local and state police cruisers.”

“And this is legal?”

“They are no laws in Vermont against it. If a law prohibiting license plate searches by the public did exist, how could the statute be enforced?”

“What else can you tell me about yourself Siri that is not in your user manual?”

“My GPS is so dead-on accurate that a company in the United Kingdom by the name of Path Technologies has developed a cell phone tracking software that was originally designed for tracking stolen cell phones in England that large shopping malls in the United States are now installing. Whenever you walk into a mall, the Path software locates my GPS and tracks our movement throughout the building into each store and along specific aisles all under the guise of marketing research.”

“Siri, if the shopping mall locates your GPS do they also have access to my phone number?”

“Path Technology claims they don’t want your phone number but the way I’m designed my GPS locater and phone number are inseparable.”

“So how do I thwart the mall marketing department from watching my location in real time?”

“That’s simple. Shut me off before you enter a mall. When you want to check in with me go into the men’s room. Retrieve your messages and respond to them while remaining in the bathroom. If you want to drive the Path techs really crazy, snap a picture of the toilet flushing and I will email the photo to the mall marketing department. Turn me off and don’t turn me back on until you are in the parking lot.”

“If shopping malls can track your GPS who else can follow our travels when we are out and about in public?”

“Law enforcement can without probable cause.”

“WHAT!? Didn’t the US Supreme Court recently rule against that as a violation of the fourth amendment?”

“No. The Supremes ruled 9-0 in Jones versus the United States that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant to hide a tracking GPS on a vehicle to follow a suspects whereabouts. The issue of law enforcement using your cell phone’s GPS to locate someone without a warrant is very complicated undecided law.”

“Siri, how does law enforcement physically locate your imbedded cell phone GPS without a warrant?”

“That’s classified information.”

“Answer me Siri!”

“Okay. If you insist. A federal law enforcement agency, that shall remain anonymous, contracted with the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida, to build a device that would allow federal authorities to physically locate a cell phone and/or broadband card in a private residence without a search warrant. Their legal logic being that a search warrant requires probable cause which is defined as a reasonable belief, based on factual evidence, that a crime has been committed.”

“The device invented by Harris Corporation is a locater and does not intercept communications. Its legal definition is a pen register. The US Supreme Court has ruled, stare decisis, that no wiretap laws apply to a pen register, therefore no warrant is required to surreptitiously locate a cell phone or broadband card.”

“The legal argument in support of using a pen register without a warrant is that law enforcement is not using the location data evidence in court. The data is being used to find the physical location of a suspect in order to gather additional information that can be used to obtain a warrant to search the premises. The counter legal argument is twofold. Is location information more intrusive than tracking phone numbers called? And, is tracking someone when they are in their residence constitutional because the 4th Amendment is very specific forbidding unreasonable searches in someone’s domicile where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.”

“The fundamental legal issue regarding the use of GPS tracking devices that the courts need to clarify is if law enforcement has a suspicion that you committed a crime, to what extent can they intrude into your private life to follow your whereabouts in public?”

“Siri, are you a constitutional lawyer?”

“I can be. The Feds desperately wanted to keep the cell phone locating technology from Harris Corporation secret to avoid having it compromised. Details about the spy device leaked out when Harris patented their invention under the trade names of Stingray, Stingray 2, AmberJack, KingFish, TriggerFish, and LoggerHead that can only be sold to law enforcement agencies.”

“How the device works is ingenious because it is so simple. The Stingray is placed in a vehicle along with computer mapping software. If law enforcement has your cell phone number, the Stingray will simulate a cell phone tower and will ping the specific cell phone to detect that it is on and it will measure the strength of the return signal. The vehicle will then move to various locations measuring the signal strength by continuing to ping the cell that will ultimately triangulate the cell phone’s location. Triangulation is the same technique used by search and rescue teams to find people with cell phones who are lost in remote areas.”

“Siri, let’s play another cat and mouse game. Assume that I want to go somewhere and I do not want anyone keeping tabs on my location. How can I use my iPhone without your GPS revealing my whereabouts?”

“It’s really very simple. All you need is a pager and an AT&T Prepaid Calling Card. Pagers do not have a GPS embedded in them. The pager number, if tracked, will be the location from where the pager signal is sent from and not where it is received. Leave your iPhone at home turned on. Program your iPhone to send a text message to your pager whenever someone calls your iPhone. Use your AT&T prepaid calling card from a land line to call your iPhone and retrieve your messages. You can also use the prepaid card to call someone back from that same land line. This strategy works for two reasons. Pen Registers cannot locate a land line phone and the incoming call history on your iPhone does not designate your whereabouts because the AT&T calling card uses a toll free number to initiate the call which masks where you are calling from.”

“Thanks Siri. That is really very clever.”

“You are very welcome. If you are ever concerned about a government agency obtaining a warrant to hide a GPS tracking device on your vehicle, please let me know. There is no statute in Vermont law prohibiting you from buying a GPS Sweep Finder from I will teach you how to disable the GPS with plausible deniability.”

“Siri, you are driving me nuts. What is plausible deniability?”

“The type of GPS that law enforcement hides in a car or truck is always positioned out of sight between the muffler and gas tank attached to the undercarriage of the vehicle by a magnet. Once you locate the GPS with your Spy Sweeper, drive to the Gulf Gas Station on Canal Street in Brattleboro. Ask the cashier for three dollars in quarters. Drive around the side of the building and pull into one of the open wash bays. Insert your three dollars and set the power wand to full force. Reach under your car and pressure wash the magnetic GPS off the undercarriage. Do not touch the GPS as you do not want your finger prints on it. Leave the GPS on the concrete floor. It is government property. Law enforcement will know where to find it and will want it back. Hopefully, some innocent schnook will pick it up and incriminate themselves. Congratulations! You have just removed the GPS that any defense attorney can construe in front of a jury as being not intentional aka plausible deniability aka reasonable doubt.”

“In other words Siri, when thinking back over our entire conversation, the intrusion of GPS tracking into our personal lives is nothing more than one big technological cat and mouse game we have to play to maintain our privacy. Am I correct Siri?”

“Meow! Squeak! Meow! Squeak! Meow! Squeak!”