Can a cell phone be tapped?

I recently lost possesison of my cell phone. I know it had been tampered with, as all my call logs and contacts had been erased. But as the title says, my question is: could it be tapped? Perhaps with the assistance of a private investigator?

Yes. Is it likely? No, unless your last name happens to be Gotti.

excuse my ignorance, but why? is it expensive or difficult? i have reason to believe that this person it trying to make bad things happen to me, using absolutely any means possible.

It is expensive, difficult and illegal if you don’t have a court warrant. The companies that make surveillance equipment normally do not sell it to the general public.

If you suspect that someone has tampered with your cell phone, the simplest solution is to discard it or replace it with a new cell phone.

Phone tapping does not directly involve the phone, it’s done at the switching office and is supposed to only be done with a court order. It can be certainly be done with cell phones. I was just a juror in a kinapping case and a large part of the evidence was recordings from three wiretapped cell phones. Those using the phones and those calling them would have have no way of knowing their calls were being monitored and recorded. Whatever someone may have it wasn’t tapping it.

Did the thieves steal your SIM card and replace it with a different one? You should really call your phone company.

It can also be done by monitoring the transmissions of the phone and base station, or by adding a simple transmitter to the phone. If you have the cooperation of the carrier, a tap in the switching office is preferable.

Given how tightly the circuitry is packed into a cell phone, wouldn’t that be extremely difficult?

I’ve seen “bugs” that are very small. A postage stamp sized printed circuit board with surface mount components and a few wires for power and an antenna.

Cellphones can certainly be tapped - just ask Prince Charles. :slight_smile:


Cellyhones can certainly be tapped: just ask Prince Charles. :eek:

Cell phones are two-way radios. As such it can be tapped by anyone with the correct equipment. Sure, it won’t be easy as you have to be able to follow along with the spread spectrum transmissions, but still possible.

Eavesdropping on a CDMA phone conversation is so difficult that it just isn’t done.

Is it possible, in theory? Sure… if you happen to know the encryption codes and the power characteristics of the phone and the station–each handset’s transmission power is carefully controlled so that all signals appear equally strong at the tower, which means they won’t be equally strong anywhere else–or if you have enough bandwidth and storage to record the entire signal (containing all conversations from all phones in the area), and enough computing power to analyze it later. The only folks who really have the capability to do it are the phone company and the government, and they have easier ways to monitor calls.