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Q: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: cescoffy-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 31 Jul 2006 22:31 PDT
Expires: 30 Aug 2006 22:31 PDT
Question ID: 751340
I have a cell phone (Siemens) that is allegedly being monitored by my
spouse. She claims to know when I make calls or send SMS to a certain
number, and what are in the texts. I don't believe the last part, but
she really seems to know about my calls/texts. Also, I called her cell
using a SIM card from another network, and though I had the number set
as private, and other people couldn't see it, she claims she knew that
I was on another network, and that it had something to do with her
knowing my IMEI. She also seems to know my movements in an uncanny
way, and I wonder if it's also  via the phone somehow. Is any of this
possible? Please inform me if I'm just paranoid and being psyched out.
Subject: Re: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
Answered By: hedgie-ga on 01 Aug 2006 02:28 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
"There are probably 100 such sites" known to security officials at
Verizon Wireless that offer to sell phone records, said Jeffrey
Nelson, a company spokesman, who said Verizon is always trying to
respond to abusive practices. He said that the company views all such
activity as illegal and that "we have historically, and will continue
to, change policies to reflect the changing nature of criminal
activity," though he declined to be specific.

It seems that at this time the content of SMS (which is 'dialed' not
'spoken' soes not require a serach warrant:
Issue is in litigation:

"Judge Smith correctly recognized that the privacy protections for
your phone calls shouldn't depend on whether the information you are
communicating is spoken or dialed,

Those decisions revealed that government investigators had routinely
been tracking cell phones for years without getting warrants based on
frivolous legal arguments.

July 21, 2006
Judge's Refusal to Dismiss EFF's Spying Case Sets Stage for Congressional Showdown

Ruling Comes as Senators Consider Dramatic Changes to Surveillance Law

Currently, law is not clear:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The cell-phone industry and privacy advocates are
calling on Congress to clarify the widespread police practice of using
mobile phones to track suspects without probable cause,70829-0.html

There are other possibilities:
First, if your boss provides your super-phone you should be aware of
the possibility of monitoring. For more information see our Fact Sheet
7on workplace monitoring available at

The second precaution to keep in mind is that when you synchronize
your cell phone with your computer you are putting both devices at
risk for viruses. Similar to precautions you would take with personal
computer use, do not open unfamiliar attachments or files on your
phone because they are likely to be harmful. Currently, cell phone
viruses are designed in such a way that they can only infect your
phone if you click "yes" to a request to install a document or
application, such as games, pictures, songs, or ringtones. You should
only download documents or applications from trusted sources.

If your cell phone becomes infected because of the Bluetooth feature,..

First Trojan Spy for Symbian Phones

Finally, the content of the message is encrypted, - but encryption can be broken

Researchers Crack Code In Cell Phones
by John Markoff Issue: Encryption : New York Times (D1,D5) 
Description: A group of Univ. of California computer researchers
announced Monday that they had successfully cracked the world's most
widely used encryption code that is designed to prevent the cloning of
digital cellular phones.

The last option (cracking the encryption) is unlikely in a case of a domestic 
problem - unless she happens to be dating someone at the NSA :-)

This applies to digital cell phones; the older analog phone calls were
intercepted easier:


Request for Answer Clarification by cescoffy-ga on 01 Aug 2006 07:16 PDT
I don't have a Symbian phone, so if something was done to it to
monitor me it would have to be done to the physical phone - which
could always be done as it's around the house unsecured a lot, though
I do have a SIM code lock on. I don't remember accepting any thing
that could be a virus or trojan or something like that.

I routinely clear my call lists and text messages so I know the info
isn't being retrieved from the call history/log etc.

My phone is pre-paid so there are no bills. 

I'm really puzzled about how she knew that I was calling from another
network when I swithced my SIM to one from another network. I had just
used it to call someone else who told me that there was no number or
anykind of ID info displayed. I am told that she can do something
(install some codes or other) to her phone (a Motorola) that would let
her see my phone ID even if I tried to hide it from my phone. Is this

Clarification of Answer by hedgie-ga on 01 Aug 2006 19:59 PDT

 When you say:

 "something that would let her see my phone ID even if I tried to hide
it from my phone.
 Is this so?"

 Do you mean: can she see ID of your phone, on her phone (or scanner) when you
 call a third person? Or when you call her with display of your ID switched off? 
 Do you call from the same location (same house) where she is?

  It is not possible to determine exactly what is going on, without much more
 data and inspection of the actual phone. I can only tell you in general how
 the cell phone works:

  Whenever you make a call, IMEI of your phone is transmitted (even if your
 ID display is hidden). IMEI is identification number of the handset, 
 independent of the SIM. This number is 'hardwired' to the handset,
same for
 pre-paid SIMs or subscription. It is necessary for operator to route the calls.

 IMEI is short for International Mobile Equipment Identity, a unique
number given to every single mobile phone, typically found behind the

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number can be
displayed on most phones by dialing the code *# 06 #.

  brackets   [   ...  ]  are used to indicate long URLs (web-addresses) - 
  whole inside of the bracket needs to be pasted.

 So, answer is yes. It is physically possible to identify the phone - but
 it is not something a normal customer can do. 
 Naturally, operator has the record of the IMEIs and the records can indicate
 that different SIMS were used in the same handset. 

 " I called her cell using a SIM card from another network .."

 Imagine that someone would make threatening or blackmail phone call to
 a 'victim' using an anonymous (prepaid) SIM.  Law enforcement can in such a
case obtain the records and identify the perpetrator. Normally, it requires
a court order.  In US, mobile phones also use GSP to determine your location.
  I repeat - this information is not available to a customer, but can
be made available to law enforcement agency. One hopes it still
requires a court order.

Somewhat more accessible to the public is the GSM scanner. GSM is
using  (three microwave bands) of the spectrum. Scanner will not
decode the content,, but can
determine that someone in the house is making a call. It is normally used by
a trained test technician.  
The Seven.Five Multi-Band, Multi-Technology RF Scanner, from Comarco,
Inc. through its Wireless Test Solutions (WTS) group, is the most
advanced and accurate scanner for wireless field-test applications.

  So, (as in any 'secure' transmission) question is not 'is it possible?'
 but 'how hard it is?'  'how much time and resources is available' to break
 the privacy of a transmission.

 For normal, day to day, typical conversations, GSM communication can
be considered private.
 For extra security businesses use scrambled phones.

 Another general rule is: If you have 'physical control of the device' e.g.
 computer - you can  break (almost) any protection scheme. Erased
memory can be read etc. It is an issue of time and money and

 It just is unlikely that anyone would go the trouble to use those methods and
 measures in mundane case of a marital spat or divorce.

 To see if physical security of the phone was compromised (if something was
 installed into the phone) you would need a phone itself examined by
an  technician. An expert technican. There is a number of  covert
listening devices
on the market. 

cescoffy-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
I think that my question has been ventilated, discussed and answered well. Thanks.

Subject: Re: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
From: keystroke-ga on 31 Jul 2006 22:41 PDT
Could she be spying on your physical phone? Searching the call history
and looking at the texts themselves? There are sites where one can buy
someone else's call records but they wouldn't include text messages.

Anyway, it seems like she enjoys playing mind games.
Subject: Re: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
From: codingphprob-ga on 01 Aug 2006 02:11 PDT
Well, I don't know.. but if you have detailed billing it would show
all the call times but not for the one that you swapped sim cards for.
To be honest, I think she is just playing mind games with you. From
what I know, the IMEI number is just a serial number, only sim card
are tracked. Perhaps she is just messing with you? In the past there
was a couple things people could install into phones that actually
recorded calltimes/numbers/voice records of all the calls.

A little scary for you none-the-less though.
Subject: Re: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
From: tim1212-ga on 01 Aug 2006 04:24 PDT
i have a tmobile phone and i lost all the sms messages on my phone. I
called team and asked if there was a way to recover the messages and
they told me they dont keep records of them. If its call time all
should would have to do is open your bill out you knowing. With my
phone provider the say on the bill what city the calls were placed
Subject: Re: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
From: parrys-ga on 01 Aug 2006 11:07 PDT
This may be helpful..possible she may be using their services
For about $200.00 ICU, Inc. offers to locate a cellular telephone by
pinging the phone ? a kind of triangulation process similar to the one
I mentioned earlier. Ms. Landers explained that the cell phone appears
as a ?blip? on a screen. They provide the service 24 hours a day, 7
days a week in order to help locate missing persons, fugitives,
cheating spouses, etc. They regularly serve bondsmen, authorities,
investigators and many others. You will receive the results within 7
to 10 minutes of a successfully completed ping that will indicate
within approximately 50 feet, where the phone was located at the time
of the ping.

I.C.U. Inc.

Phone 1-888-342-7737
Mon. - Fri. 9:00 - 5:00 PST

Fax 1-866-329-8787
24 Hours

So, according to ICU Inc. they are the most reliable source for this
type of information.
Subject: Re: cell phone calls and SMS being monitored by spouse
From: cescoffy-ga on 01 Aug 2006 15:03 PDT
Hi All,
FYI, ICU Inc have stopped selling tracking info for "cheating spouses" and the like!

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