Friday, January 10, 2014

Kanagawa Police recapture escaped suspect using phone location data


On January 7, Sugimoto Yuta bolted from a sixth floor, unsecured interrogation room at a Kawasaki police station while under arrest for suspicion of robbery and gang rape. He was unguarded and meeting with a lawyer at the time. He was recaptured 46 hours later in a Yokohama Park along the Tokaido Main Line, approximately 20 kilometers from the police station.

Sugimoto was spotted on a security camera getting in two a car with two of his friends. The police later determined that Sugimoto had borrowed a cell phone from one of the two. The police then tracked that phone with location data provided from the carrier to the vicinity of Izumi and Seya Wards in Yokohama, where they eventually located Sugimoto in a wooded park.

The mobile carrier and phone type was not reported. The phone was referred to as a keitai denwa (携帯電話) which could technically be used to refer to either a smartphone or a feature phone, but is generally these days used to describe feature phones. Based on the imprecise location data, it would seem that the police had only cell tower triangulation available. (Alternatively, they could have tracked the phone precisely to a number of locations within those two wards.)

Japanese mobile carriers do collect precise location data on customers using GPS. You may recall the animations that were produced by from NTT Docomo data of the exodus, primarily on foot, of people from Tokyo following the 3/11 Earthquake. Unfortunately the videos are no longer publicly available.


You also may recall that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police recently began pushing for ID verification for data-only SIM cards that are provided by MVNOs. These prepaid data SIMs have sufficient bandwith to support VoIP and SIP clients, so they can be used for voice communications. This recent case will likely be used as an example of why ID registration requirements should be expanded to data SIMs, without which, the police would be unable to track a person based on their mobile device.

16 comments:

  1. Should be noted that I/N plan changes on Smart SIMs are one-way only.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well I sure hope the popo fail to make their case! But since they're overly powerful here, I guess that chances they fail are slim.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No more guest commenting possible? So is Disqus going to spam me now...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Guest commenting was fun while it lasted but I was finally forced to be more restrictive on comments.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ok. Also the XA, XB, and XC Aeons are listed as convertible.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Antisthenes' RazorJanuary 10, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Yeah, because that's the solution instead of, you know, actually training their pigs. [Shakes head in face-palm]

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, if it is unlocked it should work fine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Which fails the smell test since he borrowed someone else's phone, making ID information functionally useless unless the police actually determine if a criminal is borrowing someone else's phone and the police know who that someone else is and what phones that someone else has. Which if they know, means they have somewhat inaccurate cell triangulation (SIM card or perhaps IMEI) already. So it's a power grab as usual.

    If the perp was a little smarter and used free 7-11 wifi and a smartphone in airplane mode (assuming the GSM radio is actually off in airplane mode) with wifi on, good luck.

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  9. I know this is a bit off-topic, but how is the EMOBILE network with a Nexus 5?

    From the other thread, it sounds like the b-mobile speed is rubbish (http://www.japanmobiletech.com/2013/11/b-mobile-free-data-sim-will-lower-cost.html). I haven't heard anything about the EMOBILE network.

    ReplyDelete
  10. iPhone
    Unlock Via iTune?

    Please take backup of your iTunes before
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    Please make sure that you are running the latest version of iTunes software on
    your computer. You can check it at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download

    The next 2 steps are optional to unlock your iPhone, but these 2 steps will
    make sure that your iPhone is running the latest operating system software. If
    you do not have the original carrier SIM card or do not wish to update your
    firmware, please go to step 4.

    2. If you've the SIM card from your original network (the network your iPhone
    is currently locked to), insert it. Connect your iPhone to your computer using
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    ReplyDelete
  11. iPhone
    Unlock Via iTune?

    Please take backup of your iTunes before
    you start.

    1.
    Please make sure that you are running the latest version of iTunes software on
    your computer. You can check it at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download

    The next 2 steps are optional to unlock your iPhone, but these 2 steps will
    make sure that your iPhone is running the latest operating system software. If
    you do not have the original carrier SIM card or do not wish to update your
    firmware, please go to step 4.

    2. If you've the SIM card from your original network (the network your iPhone
    is currently locked to), insert it. Connect your iPhone to your computer using
    the Dock Connector to USB cable provided with your iPhone.

    iphone unlock via imei

    iphone
    unlock via imei is very easy way to unlock iphone you can obtain your imei 06#
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  12. Hello,

    Could anyone provide some information about the iPhone 5s that is currently sold as sim-free from the online apple store in Japan?

    I would like to know if this phone will work with european sim cards .

    The reason I am asking is because I got two diffrent answers in two Apple Stores in Tokyo - in Ginza they told me that it will work fine, and in Shibuya they said that it will work with any japanese operators AND it will lock itself to the first operator used with this phone.

    I am not leaving the country for next few months so it would be nice if this particual phone could work properly here in Japan and later in Europe.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello
    Thank you for this overview.

    I am currently using a スマホSIM from bmobile. Recently I upgraded to the data free plan when they started making it available. I immediately got the 3GB data option but was very disappointed with the speed.

    I convinced a friend to buy this SIM as well, but he said he is fine with the slow speed. We did a speedtest.net comparison. Me with the 3gb option, he without. THe speed was literally the same. Sometimes it differed a tick. For me at 0.21mbps, he at 0.19mbps

    I obviously contacted bmobile and asked what's going on, as I expected a bit more. They just explained to me (what was basically written here), that this is normal and I can only use the speed that is available on the network. Which is usually 200 kbps.

    Is there any reason to use the 3GB option if I could just get the same speed unlimited for free?
    Also I am carving for some faster options. I am now and then tethering for my macbook but don't want a 2 years contract.

    Will the 'turbo charge' thingie get me out of this 200kbps cap?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The new "Smart Phone Sim" plan found at http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/fd/index.html appears to offer Voice + 3GB LTE High Speed Data for only 3000 yen and change per month although you pay above that for each call. You have to be a resident. US Military folks can get a letter in Japanese from their housing office to prove residency! I did this successfully with the following older plan that was almost as good (possibly discontinued): http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/yp/service_sp.html&usg=ALkJrhjKjz3gHiaxlPSAJj5RrVibB89nYA

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been using this 3GB plan, and the "high speed data" that Bmobile promises is anything but. In fact, sometimes I rarely can get data to load at all, despite my factory-unlocked iPhone (purchased directly from Apple Japan) showing five bars/LTE. I don't know how or what Docomo or Bmobile are doing to throttle data speeds, but they certainly are doing something.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What is your best case? Do you ever get LTE speeds?


    On the older plan which I started in October (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/yp/service_sp.html&usg=ALkJrhjKjz3gHiaxlPSAJj5RrVibB89nYA), I am getting speeds around 16.7 Mbps down / 3.3 Mbps up when I do tests late at night (using the Ookla speedtest app). It is not as fast in the daytime but fast enough to stream video or for Skype audio calls. My phone almost always shows "4G". And I did not even buy my S4 phone in Japan!


    I admit that I am talking best case here, and you are talking worst case. Occassionally, I don't have good network connectivity. I probably need to pay more attention to determine how often my phone shows a "4G" connection but has poor data throughput.

    ReplyDelete