As the research states, the nature of radio signals being sent into space have changed dramatically over the years. Whereas previously the majority of signals would have been radio and TV a few decades ago, the number of mobile communications not far outweigh those signals.
Cell tower signals are the second most powerful sources of radio signals being beamed into space after military radar transmissions, and theoretically alien civilisations could use them to monitor behaviour on Earth.
According to the researchers, if aliens had similar technology to humans then the signals would be detectable up to around 12 light-years away.
The sheer number of mobile communication signals being sent up would mean that the messages would be impossible to interpret, but they could be used to monitor population distribution.
So, if aliens do indeed exist we don’t have to worry about them reading your Whatsapp messages – but they could theoretically be gathering information about the human race from afar according to the research.
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