It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Mysterious “interceptor” cellphone towers that can listen in someone’s phone call despite not being part of any phone networks have turned up near the White House and Senate.
A company that specializes in selling secure mobile phones discovered the existence of several of the towers in and around the nation’s capitol.
“It’s highly unlikely that federal law enforcement would be using mobile interceptors near the Senate,” ESD America CEO Les Goldsmith told the technology website Venture Beat on Thursday.
“My suspicion is that it is a foreign entity,” he told Venture Beat.
The reason Mr. Goldsmith doesn’t suspect U.S. agencies of placing the interceptors is that the federal government already has the capability of tapping directly into the carriers.
The devices, although often called a tower, can actually be as small as a suitcase, the website reported.
originally posted by: Chickensalad
I just dont see how our intelligence agencies would allow a foreign entity to install these.
Sounds like a load of b.s. to me.
originally posted by: JiggyPotamus
I remember doing research on these things a while back, when I was wondering about phone hacking in general. In most instances these things are for boosting cell signals for who live well outside of town or just need a stronger signal, and they look basically like a router. At least the ones I've seen. But they could really be made in many different ways, and I don't know exactly what we're talking about here. Suffice it to say that phones inadvertently connect to these devices, because that is what a phone is supposed to do to establish a connection with another phone. So then the people who are utilizing these devices can then retrieve different types of data from the phone, including monitoring phone calls.
Now in my opinion I would not put it past certain US government organizations themselves, such as the NSA or CIA. Contrary to what some might believe, spying on the government by the government is nothing new, and there are many reasons for such intelligence practices, all centered around gathering information. I'm sure there are various groups who would love to know what the main politicians and their associates in Washington are talking about on their private and business lines. This information can be used in a variety of purposes, but I am willing to bet that the want of "compromising" information is part of the motivation. If you can catch a politician doing something they're not supposed to be doing, that politician either has to face the music by the interceptor going public, or they have to play ball. You can imagine how useful this would be if you are an immoral agency like the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc...Probably not the FBI, but rather an intelligence agency, whereas the FBI is more of a law enforcement agency on a national level. For the most party anyway.
Now the idea of a foreign government is also quite probable. The NSA can probably utilize their surveillance methods to monitor whomever they wish, so it is likely not them. The CIA could use various methods, including this method, and are therfore more likely than the NSA, but a foreign government is just as likely if not moreso. There are countless countries with spies in America, the majority of them probably utilizing official cover at their particular embassy. I don't know if it would be an official cover agent who would do something like this, probably not likely, but who knows how many non-offical cover operatives are in the US? Probably a lot from a variety of countries.
Those two explanations seem the most plausible to me, and seem more plausible than a criminal organization out to make a buck. If it were a criminal organization then I do not see doing this unless you have political motives, which is not very likely in my opinion. I mean if you want to bring heat on yourself then you can target members of the US political system, so it just seems unlikely that any criminal organization would be responsible. They're about money moreso than politics, and I can think of no organization who would need the types of information gained utilizing these methods. Could it be a terrorist organization? That is a possibility to be sure, but the types of information they would be interested in are not very likely to be intercepted with this method. So I still think this is a government operation, whether the US or a foreign government.
originally posted by: chiefsmom
a reply to: jude11
I'm with you. If they know they are there, regardless of the size, why isn't anyone removing them? Did they tell the general public where they are?
Can any joe shmoe just walk up and dismantle one? Who would do anything about it?
I say, if the government knows about them, and isn't touching them, they belong to them.
originally posted by: Spruce
I think they belong to the government anyway, so what's the big difference?
How else would they have been installed covertly?