Galenn Shadowslayer (Penemuel) (g_shadowslayer) wrote in little_details,
Galenn Shadowslayer (Penemuel)

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Cell (mobile) phone GPS tracking and data retrieval - damaged phone/SIM card

First, I have been following this comm for years, and only realized today when I tried to post this question that I'd never joined. So, I'm new, sort-of. Hopefully I'm doing this right - it seems really disjointed and I'm totally at a loss...

I'm working on a Person of Interest fic - the show takes place in NYC and the main protagonists have an extensive communications network using cell phones, computers, access to all of the various cameras that law enforcement and government have placed around the city, etc.. In my fic, one of the protagonists is on the run from bad guys and has to keep them from finding the other one (usually in constant contact by cell phone). He doesn't have a lot of time to do it, so he takes out the phone's SIM card and smashes both it and the phone with his boot heel.

My questions are: 1. Can the bad guys (CIA, so they have access to data forensics) get information from the SIM card or is it too badly damaged?

2. Can the other protagonist (back at their base where he has access to his computers, the city's network, etc.) access the phone's GPS tracking or cell tower pinging and at least find out the last location his friend contacted him from?

I've already searched and found out what kind of information is on a phone's SIM card (including texts, phone contacts, and the last number dialed and when), but just don't know if it would be too badly damaged.

On the second question, I've searched for 'can you track someone's phone if the phone is damaged?' and 'does cell phone gps tracking work if the phone is damaged?' and found lots of sites about GPS tracking, but none that specifically address damage to the phone. Tried 'can police track a mobile phone with no sim card?' too. Apparently if it's still pinging off towers, it could be done. Would the CIA plugging the SIM card into whatever reader they use to search it possibly allow the protagonist to access the GPS/location info?

I'm basically trying to find a way he can rescue his friend without the CIA finding their base of operations, and I just don't know enough about the technology... Help?
Tags: usa: government: law enforcement (misc), ~fugitives, ~technology: phones

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