[clug] OT: Location from IP

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at gmail.com
Thu Oct 25 04:31:09 MDT 2012

"If you allow a website to get your location via this service, we will
collect, depending on the capabilities of your device, information
about the wifi routers closest to you, cell ids of the cell towers
closest to you, and the strength of your wifi or cell signal."

Google Street View cars and people with Android devices have GPS and
wifi antennas, they upload their position and strength of local wifi
networks periodically and using triangulation - bam! accurate location
for those devices without GPS!

Apple iOS devices collect similar data secretly. Someone worked out it
was just an sqlite database file called "consolidated.db" of all the
places they had taken their iPhone, there were some pretty cool/creepy
visualisations of daily life:
iOS 4.3.3,fixed this by clearing out the database once it's sent
anonymously to Apple and not copying the file unencrypted to your PC
when you backup.

And on the FOSS side, there's a project to do this with mobile devices
while sharing the raw data as well http://openbmap.org/

On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM, Brett Worth <brett at worth.id.au> wrote:
> Between 8pm and 8:30pm I had problem connecting to the 'net.  I connect via
> Transact and Velocity (NetSpeed) so I thought I might be able to get on-line
> with tethering to my Testra attached mobile.  This sort of worked but was
> also having major problems so I just waited on the terrestrial link until it
> all came back 30 minutes later.
> This made me reminisce about the olden days when you'd  get an email from
> your ISP when an outage occurred telling you what happened.  Hmmm... that
> was good.
> I then did a bit of googling in search of somewhere I might find Internet
> status from somebody - anybody - when this kind of things happens.  During
> my quest I stumbled upon this telstra page:
> http://servicestatus.telstra.com/servicestatus/goc.do?q=technology.html&service=Internet
> Just for fun I clicked the "Allow Location" when chrome asked for permission
> to send it. It then gave me a "No Problems Found" response along with a
> lat-long in a text box.  This I plugged into google maps and got a marker
> that was within 30M of where I'm now sitting!
> How does that work?  I do have a fixed IP but I can't see how that gets to a
> location.  It wasn't from my address because it actually pointed to a
> neighbour's place.  How would Chrome even know what to say when asked?
> Does that mean that Telstra knows approximately where all the
> Transact/Netspeed/IInet end points are?  Or is the information in Chrome?
> Brett
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