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Secret Military Device ‘Hailstorm’ Used By Michigan Police, FOIA Request By Detroit News Denied

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posted on May, 21 2014 @ 06:12 PM
I did a bit of digging and came up with some good stuff to help put this all in context.

The Hailstorm is the latest in the line of mobile phone tracking tools that Harris Corp. is offering authorities. However, few details about it have trickled into the public domain. It can be purchased as a standalone unit or as an upgrade to the Stingray or Kingfish, which suggests that it has the same functionality as these devices but has been tweaked with new or more advanced capabilities.

Cost: $169,602 as a standalone unit. The price is reduced when purchased as an upgrade.

Well, that upgrade pricing is awfully kind of them...

The source link gives a brief run down on the Stingray, Gossamer, Triggerfish, Kingfish, Amberjack, Harpoon AND Hailstorm systems. It's not pretty. Less so to be creative in how such things can be misused in raw fishing expeditions to find whatever is to be found among a group of people. How about office buildings? ]

Privacy is a basic building block to a free society. These systems seem to suggest its not something we can ever assume outside a closed bank vault, far underground, encased in lead ....and then, someone may have bugged something inside the construction, huh?

Uncle has many many ways to peak in our virtual windows and monitor our goings on. It's feeling kinda like the wrong side of an Iron curtain these days. A modern one, at that.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 06:49 PM

originally posted by: Wrabbit2000
Uncle has many many ways to peak in our virtual windows and monitor our goings on. It's feeling kinda like the wrong side of an Iron curtain these days. A modern one, at that.

Completely agree except I think it's more of a silicon curtain.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:23 PM
a reply to: skuly

Wouldn't having your calls forwarded from your cell phone to a VOIP tablet thwart that hack? you could leave your cell phone at home if you have a wireless hotspot with you.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:32 PM
a reply to: VforVendettea

I wouldn't think so, as the hardware comes with optional software...From the link above

The Pen-Link software appears to enable authorities deploying the Hailstorm to directly communicate with cell phone carriers over an Internet connection, possibly to help coordinate the surveillance of targeted individuals.

They have a link to original procurement papers explaining the real time link and describing it combining to form a regional asset for law enforcement. It sounds like one heck of a system when all assembled and running.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:34 PM
a reply to: skuly

Overwhelm the system with useless information. We all know about trolling, troll the cops

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:32 PM
All i can say is don't use your phone for doing drug deals.

My guess is they are mapping drug deals using phone calls between dealers and buyers.

They also can map everyone that was at a shooting site. or map gangs as they move around town.

Probation and Parole departments can track offenders that have a "do not consort with other felons" orders on there probation and Parole release papers.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 09:27 PM
there are only a few ways to get around this/
Get a steel, or aluminum case and put your phone in it.

Take out the battery.

Find a short range rf spoofing device for GSM sim phone(randomly changes the ESN/MEID,gives the wrong gps ping,gives the wrong tower ping etc).

find a phone that has Wifi. Take the phone apart. Remove the cdma transceiver. Use skype, Google voice etc over a private VPN through the wifi.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:35 AM
It’s not a tool to spy on people, unequivocally,” McCabe said. “It does not record cellphone conversations ... Hailstorm does not capture personal information on anyone or store unintended target data. It does not take photos of anyone. It doesn’t take videos or fly in the sky. It’s a tool used for criminal investigations and it’s legal and lawful.”

We don’t just freewheel it around here,” McCabe said. “We’re not spying on anyone. We’re not authorized to spy on anyone. We aren’t the CIA, NSA and FBI. We are a local law enforcement agency doing a damn good job of keeping the community safe.”

I noticed this part was kept out of the OP like always. If you told the whole story then there would be nothing to get paranoid about. Those damn cops capturing fugitives and finding missing children is a VIOLATION OF MY RIGHTS!!!

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 02:24 PM
a reply to: spooky24

The cops overuse this sort of technology and waste taxpayer money. They watch people who have different political views, people who are no real threat to the community, this is a genuine threat to basic rights and freedoms. It's laughable that anyone on ATS would defend such Orwellian technology. I wonder who sent you here ?

This technology is being used to take away the rights and freedoms of citizens under the guise of fighting crime. After all - who could disagree with that ? The problem is that the law hasn't well defined the applications of this technology, and completely needs to, in an open and democratic fashion.
edit on 5232014 by cocointelpro because: under the guise...

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 02:51 PM
a reply to: spooky24

Spooky, do you just have the "word" of the men using this system and what they chose to say for public relations with media or have you actually read to understand the capabilities and purposes of these systems in an intergrated unit?

Keep in mind, HAILSTORM is a dramatic upgrade to STINGGRAY. STINGRAY is described in technical language from a much earlier article in this way:

The authorities can then hone in on specific phones of interest to monitor the location of the user in real time or use the spy tool to log a record of all phones in a targeted area at a particular time.

The FBI uses the Stingray to track suspects and says that it does not use the tool to intercept the content of communications. However, this capability does exist. Procurement documents indicate that the Stingray can also be used with software called “FishHawk,” (PDF) which boosts the device’s capabilities by allowing authorities to eavesdrop on conversations.

Now there is a whole lot more about the range of systems capable of mix/match to form a much greater whole. The software that comes with all this to allow full real-time connections to cell companies for cross reference and more is another big big hint for privacy concerns. However....the price is what gets me as the BIG clue.

STINGRAY is listed at $68,679 for Version I and $134,952 for STINGRAY II.

HAILSTORM is listed at $169,602, with discounts if it is piggy backed to upgrade STINGRAY. Whats all that extra dough buy, anyway? (That doesn't count the added software, by the way.)

So, we know by these tech spec articles that the system is 100% and fully capable of not only tracking location but also tracking and monitoring the voice telephone conversations as well. Not by default perhaps, but fully capable of it.

So, you take their word that they aren't doing that or exploiting that feature of the system?

That's nice.
edit on 5/23/2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

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