Secret US Spy Program Tracks Cellphone Users

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Planes carrying 'dirtboxes' trick phones into sending identifying data and location
    Nov 14, 2014

    (Newser) – The extent to which the US government spies on US soil continues to unfold. The latest revelation: Using Cessna aircraft over at least five metropolitan-area airports, the Justice Department oversees (albeit to an unknown extent) a program that indiscriminately accesses large amounts of cellphone data, including identifying information and people's general locations, to search for suspects. The program cuts out the middleman—cellphone companies—a process law enforcement has described as slow and inaccurate. The Justice Department has neither confirmed nor denied the program, but people close to it tell the Wall Street Journal that this type of surveillance happens on a regular basis.

    Cellphones are programmed to automatically access a cell tower with the strongest signal, but the devices being used by the US Marshals Service, some of which are called "dirtboxes," appear to have the strongest signal even when they don't, forcing all phones that detect them to send their unique registration info. Phone encryption like that on Apple's iPhone 6 doesn't protect against this. The chief technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union tells the Post, "It's inexcusable and it's likely—to the extent judges are authorizing it—[that] they have no idea of the scale of it. What is done on US soil is completely legal; whether it should be done is a separate question." It's unclear how the program ensures that data captured from innocent people isn't later used by investigators.

    Secret US Spy Program Tracks Cellphone Users
    vonslob likes this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    This is an extension of the .Gov Program for using faux CellTowers (StingRay) to collect Cellphone Information from "Person's of Interest" by Federal Agencies.... These same devices are also being used by State and local LEOs (Illegally, IN ALL Cases) under the table, to collect information on "Person's of Interest"
    If a State or local Outfit gets caught using information collected by one of these devices, to get a Warrant, they will have done so, by committing a Federal Felony. The Warrant will be InValid, and any information derived from said use, will be "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" These devices can ONLY be operated by Federal Agencies, and any other use, by any other Outfit, is ILLEGAL, PERIOD. The Use of these devices has by Federal Agencies, has not YET been tested in Federal Court, so operations are considered very suspect, and confidential, by the FEDs. Eventually, someone, Likely the ACLU, is going to get a solid Case, into Federal Court, and the FEDs STINK will be out in the open.... I can hardly wait, for that time....
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
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  3. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Not secret any more.
    vonslob likes this.
  4. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    My state DOJ admitted that they have 2 Stingrays but would not comment any further.

    The map below tracks what we know, based on press reports and publicly available documents, about the use of stingray tracking devices by state and local police departments. Following the map is a list of the federal law enforcement agencies known to use the technology throughout the United States. The ACLU has identified 47 agencies in 19 states and the District of Columbia that own stingrays, but because many agencies continue to shroud their purchase and use of stingrays in secrecy, this map dramatically underrepresents the actual use of stingrays by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

    Stingray Tracking Devices: Who's Got Them? | American Civil Liberties Union
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  5. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    Sure isn't, i have for years assumed the government has been listening in on phone calls, i guess i an finally right. Who thought i would be on the same side as the ACLU, i certainly never thought so.
    tulianr likes this.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    "Listening to your calls" No, Not without a Warrant....(That has SCOTUS Precedent) "Tracking your CellPhone's Position and OnTime " absolutely, and logging all that data, Likely, and so far, No Warrant Required.... Look for the ACLU to get enough Information, to file a Case in Federal Court.... SOON, as they are in Hot Pursuit of such a Case, NOW, Nation Wide... Which is why the FEDs are getting very quiet about the use of these devices.... and warning State and local Outfits, they should be VERY,VERY, Careful, in using these devices, or they could lose the ability to do so, if it is proved that they Did Operate one, in violation of Federal Statutes.
  7. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    So the feds are giving backdoor approval? I really want to be a law enforcement supporter but they make it so hard. It is not like i have anything to hide it is just the principle of it, no a fan of how they conduct business. I can see things like this making people even more hesitant to cooperate or even be helpful, depending on the situation. I actually feel more comfortable having my conversations recorded than having my every movement tracked. Why does the local police need to know where i am 24/7?
  8. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Just in case you happened to be in an area where a crime occurred at approximately the same time. It makes getting a list of suspects / witnesses easier for them.

    I could see the extra data points actually hampering real investigation by adding additional people to interview.

    Oh well, drink from the firehose and continue the investigation.
  9. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I can see your point but i just do not like it, makes me kinda guilty until proven innocent, imo. You also make a good point about the firehose.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Let's just say they have some reason to think you were involved in something illegal, but can't yet connect you to the crime.
    They ask where you were, and you tell them you were somewhere else, so they then know you are lying to them, so they will dig a bit deeper.
    It is much better to say nothing, then to be caught in a lie.
  11. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Just tell them you don't remember, Drives them up a wall.
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