Why is the first I've ever heard of Heather Kuykendall's hijacked cellphone is through a story on WBUR's Here & Now today?
I don't begrudge Here & Now's newsbreaking capacity, but you'd think this would show up on the high tech blogs at least a while before it hits mainstream. This is potentially a HUGE deal.
It took an extra twenty-three years, but we officially live in 1984.
UPDATE 6/29/07: According to Mike Elgan at Computerworld, the whole thing is "bogus". I think Mike's judgement is rather harsh...the kind of elitism I often see from tech people, directed at non-tech people. I do agree that if Mike is correct, then the media has really fallen down on the job here, and is guilty of scaremongering (Fox News? Scaremongering?!? Say it ain't so?!?)
I think something Elgan has overlooked is that while he seems to have found the simple answer, for some reason the local Fircrest, Washington police have not found it. Nor have the wireless carriers themselves, but I expect their tech support to be completely useless by now.
But getting back to the police, I find their apparent inability to recognize Elgan's simple fixes either unlikely or disturbing. Either it's unlikely it's that simple, and something truly sinister really is happening here....or it's disturbing that they're that clueless. Either way, it's in poor taste for Elgan to sneer from is tech-savvy perch. If he's gonna preach about clueless users, he should be preaching that the police can't afford to be clueless users. Not in today's high-tech world, and a high-tech world where people are kept in a constant state of fear.
I'd like to think our law enforcement has to be the voice of knowledge and reason; a place where citizens can turn to not just to see justice done, but also to make us feel a little safer. So far Fircrest's finest seem to have failed in that aspect.