Bob says thanks to iFix it, he's been able to fix his own iPhone's when they've broken. So that site is great. Leo says that what iFixIt does is great because they believe in the "right to repair" and show you how. Bob is worried that he can be tracked with the GPS tracking from apps. Leo says you can always turn it off, but the benefits of being able to use map apps can be beneficial. And even without the GPS, the cellphone still knows where are at all times, and law enforcement can find out by making an unwarranted pen register request with the cell phone company.
Derek wants to know how secure cellphones are today versus 20 years ago. Leo says that they are secure because of digital networks that are encrypted. Back in the 90s, cell phones were analog, making them really easy to eavesdrop and "snarf." It was even possible to clone them. But just because you have digital security, doesn't mean you're completely secure. Law enforcement can pay a small fee and get the meta data from your wireless company via a pen register request. Also, there's GPS data, super cookies, and social interaction.
Anthony wants to know if someone can track his email address to where he lives. Leo says no. It can list the servers it's been through, but not the physical location. If the server was in his house, then maybe. But if he's not running his own mail server, then he's OK. Unless he's broken the law and the authorities can find him through his internet address.
Although they promised customers that they would protect private information, Radio Shack has announced that they will be selling off customer information as part of the Fire Sale portion of their Bankruptcy. State governments and even AT&T have announced lawsuits to stop it. AT&T says that the privacy information should remain confidential through the sale and that Radio Shack should only sell to companies in the same business. But the lesson is clear, if you gave Radio Shack your information, they're now considering it an "asset." So much for privacy policies.
Jan has a friend who is a model and she's had some embarrassing private photos appear on the net. Leo says that could fall under the revenge porn law, and it could allow her to prosecute them. Most reliable places will take the images down if they had been contacted. If she's having trouble getting them taken down, the sites may be outside the US and it's hard to prosecute across international borders. But in time, that will change.
Nuris has an Alcatel phone and her mom is getting weird texts. Leo says that it sounds like someone else is texting her, and it could easily be someone texting the wrong number. Leo has a hunch that T-Mobile has crossed a few wires, and they'll need to fix it.
Citizenfour is an Academy Award winning documentary on the story of Edward Snowden. He was a contractor for the NSA as a systems administrator working out of Hawaii, and that's how he was able to obtain information. What he did with that information is what became so controversial. He went to Hong Kong, and contacted journalists to give them this information he had collected, but didn't want anything released that would risk the lives of government operatives. Instead, he wanted journalists to tell the world, Americans in particular, what the NSA had been up to.
Ed thinks his HTC One Android phone has been hacked. Can it be tracked? Leo says that every cellphone made is trackable. In order to use a cellphone, he has to connect to a tower, so it's able to triangulate his position at any given moment. If he's worried about that, then he shouldn't have a cell phone.
The internet is a public place, and whatever you post to it is out of your control. The one exception to this is encrypting your data, however. This will ensure that only you and the recipient will be able to read the data. Here are a few open source tools for public key encryption:
Daryll's wife freaked out because she typed the first letter of her name into a computer she never used before and it said "Hi Gina" to her. Then she downloaded Google Chrome and it mirrored her sister's desktop 10 miles away. Leo says the only way that could have happened is if she was logged into it before, or her sister was.