Very insightful from Sam Culper at 

By Sam Culper

I’ve been loosely following developments in Ukraine, and have watched protests slowly evolve into riots and then real fighting between protesters and security forces.  There’s a very real possibility that Ukraine is in a civil war.  Parts of Kyiv (the capital; Ukrainian spelling, not Russian) look like something out of Mad Max.  (To catch up, refer to Euromaidan.)  In short, the battle is over with which side Ukraine will align herself: the European Union or Russia.

The Ukrainian government already tried banning protests, which didn’t work out too well for them.  Then the New York Times posted this news article today.  Something really stood out to me:

…on Tuesday, sending cellphone messages to people standing in the vicinity of the fighting saying, “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

How many of the Occupy protesters were identified through cell phone meta data?  How many pro-Liberty activists have been identified through the various marches on DC and state capitols?  I’m always very encouraged when I meet people who essentially say, “I don’t care if the federal regime identifies me.  I’m here, this is what I believe, they’re violating my rights, they’re in the wrong, and I’m not hiding.”  Kudos.

Here’s what Ukrainian cell providers had to say about the text messages:

Three cellphone companies in Ukraine — Kievstar, MTS and Life, — denied they had provided the location data to the government or sent the text messages… Kievstar suggested it was instead the work of a “pirate” cellphone tower set up in the area.

On its face, I would say that these “pirate” cellphone towers could be set up on fairly short order to identify American Patriots by their cell phones, even if the cell companies don’t agree.  It would be relatively easy.  The point I’m trying to make is that even if Google, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, and a host of other companies stood up for the privacy of Americans – their customers – then it would probably only have a short-term effect on NSA collection.  I could only surmise that NSA would find ways to collect the data they want without anyone’s cooperation.

I suggest that you read the Old Grey Lady’s article about the protests in Kyiv.  Fascinating, inspiring – foretelling?  Here’s the link:


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