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U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU

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posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 05:28 PM
U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU

A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them.

The surprise move by the U.S. Marshals Service stunned the American Civil Liberties Union, which earlier this year filed the public records request with the Sarasota, Florida, police department for information detailing its use of the controversial surveillance tool.

The ACLU had an appointment last Tuesday to review documents pertaining to a case investigated by a Sarasota police detective. But marshals swooped in at the last minute to grab the records, claiming they belong to the U.S. Marshals Service and barring the police from releasing them.

Hiding the evidence again, I would like to say I am surprised.

Stingrays, also known as IMSI catchers, simulate a cellphone tower and trick nearby mobile devices into connecting with them, thereby revealing their location. A stingray can see and record a device’s unique ID number and traffic data, as well as information that points to its location. By moving a stingray around, authorities can triangulate a device’s location with greater precision than is possible using data obtained from a carrier’s fixed tower location.

The records sought by the ACLU are important because the organization has learned that a Florida police detective obtained permission to use a stingray simply by filing an application with the court under Florida’s “trap and trace” statute instead of obtaining a probable-cause warrant. Trap and trace orders generally are used to collect information from phone companies about telephone numbers received and called by a specific account. A stingray, however, can track the location of cell phones, including inside private spaces.

We all know the LEOs are using stingray, it seems that it is getting easier for them to use with no probable cause and apparently little to no oversight. The ACLU is seeking a court order to retrieve the documents, but the state court has no power over the federal marshals, will be interesting to see how this story unfolds in the next few weeks and months...

edit on 5-6-2014 by Elton because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 06:09 PM
I posted the link to the lawsuit yesterday. They must have a lot to hide if the US Marshalls are stepping in.

The Police State continues to get stronger.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 01:15 PM
And no one even notices. We get a lot of people talk about the growing police state, how the government continues to step all over her citizens and when something like this happens no one even cares.

Because of this, we the aware American people have little hope in saving the US.
edit on 6-6-2014 by jrod because:

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 02:29 PM
a reply to: Elton

Why would they do this......Unless......Something bigger and badder is happening with this. To be honest it is better when they are trying to keep it a secret because it shows a level of fear.

When the secrets are all gone this country will look like Germany 1939. The systems are already in place. We no longer live in a republic ruled by law.

posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 02:39 PM

Why would they do this......Unless......Something bigger and badder is happening with this. - See more at:
a reply to: SubTruth

What could be bigger and badder than the simple act of clandestinely tracking you without probable cause and without a warrant? That in itself is scary enough for me and it's grossly Unconstitutional

edit on 6-6-2014 by Helious because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2014 @ 10:45 PM

posted on Jun, 12 2014 @ 05:57 PM
And a few days later the headline is:
US pushing local cops to stay mum on surveillance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.

Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.

Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.

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