Ian Grigg wrote:
I can make a call, and nobody can read my location without doing
complicated tracking stuff with many cells.

I understand usually no more than three are required, and even two are enough.

The day that the cops get their dream of cell phones being able to
signal location, that might change, but in the meantime, a cell phone
 is for most purposes unlocatable.

Having just bought a new Kyocera SE-47, you can imagine my surprise to note the phone has an integrated GPS transponder, theoretically used for location tracking by 911 services. I'm assuming it won't be particularly long before law (the next patriot act?) requires such transponders to be accessible by law enforcement agencies regardless of user preferences.

All of which is irrelevant.  The MP3s you are trading do not generate
a transaction request, being fraudulent or otherwise, do not hit a
server that has details on who you are, and are probably encrypted so
nobody can tell what it is you are doing, thus forcing the cops (IP
terrorists being your #3 priority) to pull the car to a halt and
search for contraband music.

I haven't yet read Doctorow's novel, but I don't see how the idea of cops having to pull people over could make much sense. Cars moving down the highway require an implicit trust architecture to exchange music, unless we're talking of some distant future where there's a global PKI that we're all part of, and people can rely on trust networks that arise from it. So, if you have an implicit trust architecture (you have to tell anyone who asks what you're offering, hoping they'll do the same in return), the cops are indistinguishable from anyone else, making it very easy to land arrests.

Regarding the EZ toll debate, I'd say the cost/benefit ratio will keep
people from starting to mess with these. I can buy a new cell
phone for $100, but not the same with a car; unless people are willing
to go very hi-tech in their toll evasion maneuvers, implementing, say,
thin see-through LCD screens placed over their license plates that turn
opaque at a push of a button, they probably won't risk their car. And
once they realize such a setup would cost more than the tolls they're
evading in the first place, they probably still won't risk their car.


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