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Paul E. Niedermeyer

Aug 30, 2007, 6:53:42 PM8/30/07
New York Post


By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

August 30, 2007 -- A 21-year employee of the school system could lose his job after officials accused him of repeatedly leaving early - and stunned the worker with data it got by tracking his movements with a city-issued cellphone, The Post has learned.

In a precedent-setting case, administrative trial judge Tynia Richard recommended the firing of John Halpin, a veteran supervisor of carpenters, for cutting out before the end of his shift on as many as 83 occasions between March 2 and Aug. 9, 2006.

The evidence against Halpin, whose base pay is $300 a day, included time cards that suspiciously appeared stamped on the same machine, even though his duties placed him in different locations each day.

But there was a clincher: data gathered through the GPS system on Halpin's cellphone, which he accepted in 2005 without being told it might be used to trace his every move.

On March 8, for example, supervisors determined that Halpin was last in Manhattan at 1:31 p.m. and was home in Levittown, L.I., at 2:40 p.m. On March 29, Halpin was found at home at 2:38 p.m.

The earliest he was caught in Levittown was 1:40 p.m. on June 22.

But his shift wasn't supposed to end until 3:30 p.m.

Some workers refused the free-phone offer, saying they preferred to use their own cells.

Richard said the unsuspecting Halpin "admitted he took the phone because he liked the walkie-talkie and other functions it has."

She dismissed concerns about whether the city had to warn Halpin in advance of the cellphone's tracking abilities.

"The department [of Education] is not expected to notify its employees of all the methods it may possibly use to uncover their misconduct," Richard decided.

"The undisputed intent of issuing the cellphone with GPS was for the department to be able to determine the whereabouts of its supervisors in the field."

Rachel Minter, a lawyer who specializes in labor relations, said she knows of very few similar cases because the law hasn't caught up to the technology.

"This is a very interesting case because it raises issues very much on the edge," she said.

Halpin questioned the reliability of the data and argued that his privacy was invaded, since officials tracked him when he wasn't at work.

In fact, the data found Halpin on numerous occasions turned up early for his job, sometimes at 6 a.m. His shift started at 8 a.m.

Despite the extra hours Halpin put in without pay, Richard ruled that it didn't mitigate his early departures and recommended he be fired.

Halpin has been removed from his duties and is awaiting word on whether Schools Chancellor Joel Klein will follow the administrative judge's recommendation.


NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc. NYPOST.COM, NYPOSTONLINE.COM, and NEWYORKPOST.COM
are trademarks of NYP Holdings, Inc.
Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tom Valos

Aug 31, 2007, 3:06:50 PM8/31/07
can a phone that is TURNED OFF still provide gps signals ???


Sep 1, 2007, 5:20:42 AM9/1/07
YES! The ONLY way to disable that function is to remove the battery!
Its not only possible for GPS, but to use it as an audio bug as well,
even turned off, and invisible to the owner!

Tom Valos wrote:
> can a phone that is TURNED OFF still provide gps signals ???
> ----- Original Message -----

> *From:* Paul E. Niedermeyer <>
> *To:* <>
> *Sent:* Thursday, August 30, 2007 5:53 PM
> *Subject:* [TSCM-L] {1906} Article | CAUGHT BY THE GPS: CELLPHONE

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> New York Post <>

> By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

> document.write(' <\/script>');
> /August 30, 2007/ -- A 21-year employee of the school system could

> / <>/
> Home <>

James M. Atkinson

Sep 1, 2007, 4:32:12 PM9/1/07

It depends on the phone.

With an older phone, it will not work because there is no integrated E-911 or GPS functions. If the phone was made within the past 2 years, and integrates a GPS chip/E-911 then the phone will transmit GPS coordinates to anybody who is interested. With new phones you do not actually "turn them off" when you hit the power button, but rather you are putting the phone into a low power sleep mode, *** AND *** a communications path is still active between the phone and the tower.

This permits the cell phone company to talk to the phone, download new firmware, and determine your locations partially due to the GPS receiver built into the phone, but also through the triangulation of the phone in relationship to the cell phone towers. All of this can be some when the phone is in sleep mode, or what most customers think is off.

Merely pulling the battery does not resolve the problem either because many phone maintain enough charge inside the phone, independent from the battery to ensure that the phone drops into sleep mode when the battery is yanked, but does not fully discharge the phone and thus you remain "on the grid" for anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of hours.

The optimal solution is to place a call with the phone, and once the communications path is live and you can hear the other end connect, then you yank the battery without actually turning the phone off, and then you wait for a few seconds for the phone to actually die. Surprisingly several phones can stay on the call for 10-15 seconds after the battery has been pulled, so this should tell you something about how much life the phone has with no battery. This method also "shocks" the sleep circuit so that this catastrophic power crash will drain all power out of the phone and it may not enter sleep mode, or it may preserve enough power to "sleep" the phone, so it varies by phone (this is called a "parachute").

I can take a phone, yank the battery, and yet still address the phone and communicate with it over the airwaves even though the main battery has been removed for several minutes. The phone will not light up, and will give the appearance of being totally dead, but the spectrum analyzer or CDMA test set will show that the phone is talking to the tower. If you have a CDMA/TDMA/GSM analyzer you can watch the data-stream between your own phone and the tower, and can watch how the phone behaves after the battery is pulled, and watch the phone tell the tower the battery has been pulled, and then watch the phone slowly go into the death spiral as the internal battery or capacitor drains off the last of its reserves (could be seconds, or it could be hours).

So, in answer to your question... Yes, the phone will still transmit GPS data even when the phone is turned off, or not on a call, but it can all so do this when the phone has had the battery yanked.

My advice is to not use a cell-phone, period. However, if you need the use of a cordless or cellular phone for some reason (need is different from want) just remember that nothing you say is private, and just because the phone looks like it is off, does not mean that it really is. For security and privacy reasons you should always remove the battery from the phone (mid call), and keep the phone at a location a considerable distance from where you want to engage in private matters or where sensitive topics are being discussed.

A good example of this is group of corporate executives who come together in a conference room to discuss some kind of public relations debacle. Anybody who attended this conference should have been stripped of anything resembling an electronic communications device, and those devices locked up in a room where a loud sound source or white noise was being played (for phone eavesdroppers to listen to). Then when the group of executives was ready for the conference, a TSCM technician would play a audio recording of a fake conference for the bugs in the room to hear, and the conference attendees would depart the room to have the real conference in a secondary location in a secret room in the building that had been cleared of bugs and any kind of electronic devices. The phone there were stripped doff the attendees may then be put back into the room to hear the fragments of the fake meeting, and at the end of the fake meeting the Blackberies would have a script typed into them containing details of the fake meeting, while the actual classified/sensitive meeting was being held elsewhere. After the real meeting, the attendees would given copies of the fake presentations that they would leave out for their nosy subordinated to find, and would send each other a series of prescribed bogus E-mails in regards to the fake meeting to deceive the spy that they know is eavesdropping on them. There are actually PR firms who work with TSCM people for just such situations, and PR firms that use TSCM folk as part of the counterintelligence operation. The TSCM'er find the weak spots that a spy would be targeting, the PR firm prepares false information, and works with the CI team to insert that false information into the weak spots.


At 03:06 PM 8/31/2007, Tom Valos wrote:
can a phone that is TURNED OFF still provide gps signals ???
----- Original Message -----
From: Paul E. Niedermeyer
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 5:53 PM
New York Post 


By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

  World Class, Professional, Ethical, and Competent Bug Sweeps, and
Wiretap Detection using Sophisticated Laboratory Grade Test Equipment.
 James M. Atkinson                              Phone:  (978) 546-3803
 Granite Island Group                          Fax:      (978) 546-9467
 127 Eastern Avenue #291                 Web:
 Gloucester, MA 01931-8008              E-mail:
 We perform bug sweeps like it's a full contact sport, we take no prisoners,
and we give no quarter. Our goal is to simply, and completely stop the spy.


Its from Onion

Sep 1, 2007, 7:37:41 AM9/1/07
BUT, like any transmitter it will feel warm to the touch and short battery life.  Watch for these and other tell-tell signs of
Remember, it isn't magic.  Just transmitters.

Sep 2, 2007, 12:37:32 AM9/2/07
Thanks for that information. Very Helpful. After I found two devices on my vehicle, I suspected my cell phone because it kept sending of unusual beeps with a fully charged battery. I talked with a P/O one day and after about 20 minutes of conversation, he stated "I have to go now without finishing the conversation. I suspected that he had some how recorded the phone frequency or something to track the location for what ever reason after I had reported what I thought was a crime.

Get a sneak peek of the all-new


Sep 2, 2007, 6:09:13 AM9/2/07
Correct, as I've pointed out previously.

Its from Onion wrote:
> BUT, like any transmitter it will feel warm to the touch and short
> battery life. Watch for these and other tell-tell signs of
> transmitting.
> Remember, it isn't magic. Just transmitters.
> ----- Original Message -----

> *From:* kondrak <>

> *Sent:* Saturday, September 01, 2007 4:20 AM
> *Subject:* [TSCM-L] {1911} Re: question for you


Sep 3, 2007, 3:02:34 AM9/3/07
well hell yes, put your hand on your electric stove burner and wait 7
hours. IT WILL BURN YOU even if turned off, un plug your TV, and watch
electronics don't need electricity to be passed thru a switch, they use
pod people to transfer the current.

batteries, don't need to show no stinkin' batteries, we have aliens!!

boy people like you sure bring the quality of this list up to that
level i so much enjoy. you know, 3rd grade was the best 3 years of my
life too.

of course i'm assuming you're not stupid enough to use a cell phone
that someone has wired over the switch or programmed it for silent ops,
i mean nobody is that dumb. because that would mean it is turned on,
and invalidates your point.



James M. Atkinson

Sep 3, 2007, 1:31:10 PM9/3/07
Come on now, play nice.



Sep 4, 2007, 10:54:53 PM9/4/07
No the problem IS, its done from the phone switch end, without your
knowledge. Sprint does it for sure. They can then take complete control
of the phone, making it a room bug or GPS locater without the owners


Sep 9, 2007, 5:40:33 PM9/9/07
List below are a some carriers I recomend for use with GPS cell phones and services.
T-Mobile / Cingular / AT&T - The Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications as adopted by these carriers represents the network with the largest coverage footprint. Roaming agreements between these carriers provide end users with service throughout the country. GSM is also the prominent cellular network abroad.
Sprint / Nextel, not so much because of coverage, but because of their emphasis on data. Nextel has created their own data formats and communication protocols for high bandwidth mobile electronics applications. This company, who gave new meaning to the term "walkie-talkie", provides the most flexibility for the communication of GPS data between cell phones and location-based service providers. Recent co-operation between Sprint and Nextel has increased this network's footprint.



GPS Cell Phones:

Motorolla iDEN, Boost Mobile, Blackberry phones operate on the Nextel network.
Disney Mobile offers Pantech DM-P100 and LG DM-L200 operating on the Sprint Network
Wherify Wireless offers its own "Wherifone" operating on the GSM network.

Location-Based Services (LBS)

LBS providers have agreements with the wireless network carriers to receive data from a cell phone and make it accessible to you via an Internet web site or call center. Most all LBS providers will be able to tell you the approximate last known location, but beyond that, services offered will vary, depending on the type of cell phone and the capabilities of the service provider.

Disney Mobile
Disney Mobile operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) utilizing the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network. Designed for families, Disney Mobile features Family Locator (tm) allowing adults to locate kids phone by viewing map on the adults phone or on the Disney Mobile web site. Ref:
Accutracking is a full-featured low-cost LBS provider using Motorolla, Boost Mobile and Blackberry phones operating on the Nextel network.
Nextel's Mobile Locator
Nextel's Mobile Locator is a service used in conjunction with Nextel calling plans with Nextel GPS-enabled phones. Mobile locator allows you to view and monitor your peoples' location in real-time, either singly or within a group, on a zoomable, online map. The web interface allows you to view location history, based on your most recent queries. See: Nextel/Mobil_Locator web site for more info
Mapquest Find Me
Using certain models of Nextel phones, you can view a group of your peoples' locations on one map, or you can view a track of an individual's location history. Powered by uLocate, Mapquest provides a web interface for mobile devices like PDAs as well cell phones. Other features include in-depth location history detail. See
Wherify Wireless
Developers of the "Wherifone" designed specifically for children and seniors. The Wherifone is supported solely by Wherify's Global Location Service Center. See:

Other Things to Keep in Mind

> Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2007 06:09:13 -0400
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