[openBmap] GSM/GPS logger 0.4.0 is out! (Legal status)

Alex (Maxious) Sadleir maxious at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 12:00:16 CEST 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:15 PM, Stroller<stroller at stellar.eclipse.co.uk> wrote:
> On 28 Jul 2009, at 11:35, Patryk Benderz wrote:
>> ...
>> Hi, did you considered legal side of this work? I mean, do GSM
>> operators
>> in all countries allow us to collect these data?
> The data is publicly observable, so I don't see how they can claim any
> copyright upon it.
The legality of cellid collecting projects has been discussed before
here (and probably also in other communities)

Harald Welte mentioned the potential for legal issues in austria:
>Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 10:39:31 +0200
>Subject: Re: locating via GSM, revisited (legal sidenote)
>Just as a general note added to the discussion:
>As far as I remember, there has been a highest federal court ruling in
>Austria some time ago, stating that the location information though
>present for anyone to read in the intrinsics of the GSM signal, cannot
>be used without explicit permission by the network operator.
>The point they made was that the subscription contract between the
>operator and the customer covers things like voice calls, data calls,
>GPRS data, etc - but it does not permit the use of GSM signals for
>locating the handset on the customer side.
>I don't say I like this, and I also don't say OM should not investigate
>thsi further.  I'm just stating that there are legal issues and somebody
>inside FIC legal should probably do an extensive survey of the legal
>situation all over the target market to make sure OM doesn't get into
>trouble here.

But the technology has moved on since april last year and possibly
even google is collecting and submitting back more GSM + GPS data in
this way through it's java google maps clients.

> I don't see that it could be covered by a user agreement, because cell
> towers advertise their presence to users of other networks.

This interests me more! Can we do this with the Calypso GSM module? I
only have sim cards for valid for registration on 1 network but there
are 3 networks available. I'm happy to not be registered to any
network/not have functioning GSM while collecting data about cellids.
Is it already showing up the reports you get in the FSO interface?

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