Saudi Arabia is hunting down women who flee the country by tracking the IMEI number on their cellphones

.Detective.

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,850
Women who flee Saudi Arabia expect to be chased.

They expect their friends to be interviewed, their social media to be scoured, their passports to be frozen.

They mostly do not expect Saudi government agents to hunt down the old box for their iPhone.

But according to multiple sources who spoke with INSIDER, this is what has been happening in Saudi Arabia's quest to track down the growing number of women who flee the country every year.

Cellphone packaging can provide information that could — with the help of spy-grade tracking equipment — trace a Saudi runaway to within a few feet of her new location.

The data point being sought is the cellphone's unique 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity. Tracking people with IMEI data is not new but is more usually the preserve of militaries or intelligence services.

Tracking people using an IMEI is almost exclusively a tool used by police, national security, and military bodies.

The US National Security Agency uses IMEI numbers from phones belonging to targets in Afghanistan to direct drone strikes, according to leaked documents published in October 2015 by The Intercept.

Micah Lee, a computer security engineer and journalist, told INSIDER "it would be trivial for Saudi Arabia, as well as any other country, to track someone's physical location if they know the IMEI number of their target's phone."

2019 has seen a sharp increase in the number of women escaping Saudi Arabia in high-profile circumstances, a phenomenon enabled by social media.

In January, an 18-year-old named Rahaf Mohammed livestreamed her efforts to flee her family and secure asylum, gaining 114,000 followers and sparking large amounts of media interest in the process. She said she feared she would be killed if she was forced back to Saudi Arabia.

After barricading herself in a hotel room at a Bangkok airport, she ultimately received asylum in Canada.

Her new prominence led the Saudi chargé d'affaires in Bangkok, Abdulelah Al-Shuaibi, to joke that he wished the Thai police "would've taken her phone instead of her passport."

Many female refugees believe they will either be killed by their families, or imprisoned, if they are captured. One, Dina Ali Lasloom, was captured in Manila in April 2017, has not been seen since she was repatriated against her will.
 

Vinnie20

Member
Dec 23, 2018
438
I think you have to run a fake base station in a van To triangulate the phone position
 

Absent

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,880
The unique ID number can pinpoint a phone virtually anywhere but is rarely used by civilians. The US military uses IMEIs to direct drone strikes.
The fact that such techniques are being employed shows how seriously Saudi Arabia takes the mass escape of as many as 1,000 women each year, people it has said are as much of a national security threat as terrorists.
Good god.
 

nampad

Member
Oct 27, 2017
908
Saudi Arabia is one of the worst countries in the world. Fuck all those corrupt politicians who can't bend down low enough just to sell them weapons. Sadly, nearly every western country is to blame even though they act high and mighty with our countries.
 

kmfdmpig

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,760
When you're going to such extremes to prevent people fleeing your country it's probably time to self-reflect and figure out why living there is so awful that people want to leave.
 

Cort

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,521
I would expect nothing less from the government responsible for funding 9/11.
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,248
Just why the hell do they even care this much? To be evil?

God, what a mess. I hope any woman attempting to flee gets away without any harm. Fuck the Saudi government, such pieces of shit.
 

Violence Jack

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,374
Yet WWE still wishes to do business with them despite knowing about these kind of things happening over there.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,538
London
The utter hypocrisy of going in hard against Iran and then selling weapons to and ignoring the atrocities that take place in Saudi Arabia. One of the most terrible countries on Earth. Shows the moral bankruptcy of Western governments. If the West gave a shit about human rights, and women's rights, they would go in hard against both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
 

VectorPrime

Member
Apr 4, 2018
8,390
Remember the full on media blitz around the West the Saudi Prince did just over a year ago proclaiming how progressive he was? That was fun.
 

Heshinsi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,126
Edmonton
The utter hypocrisy of going in hard against Iran and then selling weapons to and ignoring the atrocities that take place in Saudi Arabia. One of the most terrible countries on Earth. Shows the moral bankruptcy of Western governments. If the West gave a shit about human rights, and women's rights, they would go in hard against both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
To be correct, there’s really only one country that goes in hard on Iran while covering for and protecting Saudi Arabia as they do whatever they want. Hint, it’s the one that pulled out of an internationally agreed upon treaty with Iran for no other reason than being colossal dipshits.
 

Syriel

Member
Dec 13, 2017
4,927
I think you have to run a fake base station in a van To triangulate the phone position
No, you just need to pay a major carrier for the track and promise to not use the info illegally.

US carriers have been selling info to bail bondsmen on the downlow for awhile. Was in the news last year.
 

Tracygill

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,253
Outside
I think you have to run a fake base station in a van To triangulate the phone position

This is a couple of years old. Your network operator knows where your cell phone is.

 

Cas

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,276
One, Dina Ali Lasloom, was captured in Manila in April 2017, has not been seen since she was repatriated against her will.
This breaks my heart. That video of them dragging her through the airport tied up screaming and kicking was horrifying. Fuck SA. If women want to flee your shitty government, let them. Stop treating half your population like sex slaves and maybe they'll want to stay.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,724
This is like something straight out of a dystopian novel. Not that I'm surprised but still it's crazy that this is even a thing
 

GSG

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,783
Trash country continues to be trash.

Can't see anything changing there either as long as they have oil and as long as Iran is a "threat". I'm glad Canada atleast called out the Saudis for their bullshit.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,331
They pose no threat, its just sheer vindictiveness.


This is a couple of years old. Your network operator knows where your cell phone is.

A boss I had like 10 years ago told me when she worked for 02 they caught an employee that had called in sick and said 'she had to take her mum to the hospital and was still there'. She checked her location and she was at home.

So fucked up.