Sim Cards are Being Designed to Track Users
Governments around the world are expanding their capabilities to track and monitor the activities of their citizens. One of the easiest ways to do this is by creating sim cards that can reveal a lot of information about users. Sim cards are being developed and distributed around the world that not only track the movements and whereabouts of users, but they can also monitor calls, text messages and online activities as well.
While rumors of such technology have been circulating for years, the military-led government in Thailand has made it official. Starting next year, all foreigners in the country are required to use a certain type of sim card that will monitor all of their activity. At the moment, all users are required to register their personal information when obtaining a new sim card. However, these cards are not trackers. The fear is that once the kinks are worked out in the system that applies to foreigners, everyone will be required to put them in their phones and tablets.
The fact that a developing country that doesn’t have the money or technological resources to conduct mass-surveillance is able to devise such a system is scary. Imagine what our government is capable of doing with the enormous amount of resources that are being dedicated to accomplish the same thing here on the home front.
We are already required to register most of our sim cards, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be able to get service anonymously. While there are supposed to be controls in place that prevent the government from collecting our data and tracking our movements, there’s no telling how much they are able to circumvent them without our knowledge. Consequently, it’s better to consider it a foregone conclusion that you can be monitored at any time, for any reason, if someone is interested in your activities.
The sim cards that will be distributed in Thailand have tracking and data-logging capabilities hard wired into the circuitry. This means that users will be unable to switch off these features through their phones unlike the options that are available today. While it is likely that a black market for anonymous sim cards will explode due to these new rules, the consequences of getting caught can be severe as well. There is also the foregone conclusion that hackers will come up with ways to beat the system, and these tricks will be disseminated to the public over time as well. Consequently, this system is not fool-proof.
However, this should serve as another reminder of how easy it is for the government to keep an eye on our daily activities, and how we are becoming increasingly-powerless to do much about it. At least in Thailand, this information was made public before implementation. Here, there’s no guarantee that any of us will know if our sim cards are coded in the same way if the government decides to secretly implement this technology. There’s a good chance that it’s already happened.
Only you can decide how much of your life should be on or off the grid, but this technology will definitely make it more of a challenge. This is why it’s so important to keep abreast of the latest trends and developments surrounding the incremental erosion of our ability to be free and anonymous. The more you can uncover about how the government is trying to monitor our activities will give you more options in terms of being able to fly below the radar. One thing is for certain, our options are becoming more limited with each passing day, and you don’t need to be in Thailand to experience big-brother first hand.