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US Marshals Tracking Cell Phones With Fake ‘Tower’ Broadcasts From Small Airplanes

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posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 10:15 PM
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US Marshals Tracking Cell Phones With Fake ‘Tower’ Broadcasts From Small Airplanes


The U.S. government is tracking the location of criminals and a number of regular citizens with a secret program that tracks cell phones, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Justice Department uses small aircraft that contain a device that tricks phones into sending identifying data.

The U.S. Marshals Service has used Cessna aircraft out of five major airports around the country in an operation that intercepts phone signals by impersonating a cell phone tower. Officials told the newspaper that the program was legal, and has operated since 2007, ensnaring innocent people as well as fugitives -- whose capture is the marshals’ primary objective -- according to the Journal report Thursday evening.


Click link for remainder of article...

Fake Cell Towers Allow the NSA and Police to Keep Track of You

Everything We Know About The Mysterious Fake Cell Towers Across The US That Could Be Tapping Your Phone


I understand the need to remain vigilant against those who wish to do us harm. At what point though do we start harming ourselves by holding to the dragnet theory? Exactly how much do these types of activities water down our 4th amendment rights?




posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 10:44 PM
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Hmmmm I find this useful for those who are dangerous criminals. But it is also an annoyance for those of us who are innocent. I don't like feeling that everything I do and say has been recorded into a big file about me somewhere.



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 10:45 PM
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I understand the need to remain vigilant against those who wish to do us harm. At what point though do we start harming ourselves by holding to the dragnet theory? Exactly how much do these types of activities water down our 4th amendment rights?


The point of harming ourselves has come and gone. The people missed the window a long time ago and now must live with the consequences of Doing absolutely nothing because "It Doesn't hurt me so why should I be concerned?"

Well people...get it now? It's now hurting you.

Too late. Thanks a lot.

Peace



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 11:40 PM
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The practice is unconstitutional......people have the right to be secure personally...in every way....This chipping away of parts of the constitution by such slimy practices is traitorous act of itself....Serve and protect my ass.....
Serve yerself and protect yer cronies is what we got for law and order.....



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 12:06 AM
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It's a series of illegal searches.

They can do this legally...with a warrant.

It's this crap that leads to a complete distrust of LE.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 12:19 AM
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I remember way back when there were legal challenges to making radar detectors illegal. One of the arguments was that the law says that if someone broadcasts a signal, you have a right to receive it. Prevents the government from censoring radio or TV stations, etc.

That being the case, if your cell phone is broadcasting a signal, everyone has the right to receive it. I guess that would be the legal rationale. Simple solution, turn the phone off, take out the battery, etc. Maybe someone can write an app that would prevent your phone from transmitting unless you make a call.

But of course, following that logic radar detectors should be legal everywhere.

I hope some hacker figures out a way to spoof his phone to make it look like his favorite congressman. The places he could visit.


On the other hand, maybe the government could make a buck on this. Lost your phone? We'll tell you where it is for $5.
edit on 14-11-2014 by VictorVonDoom because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 12:52 AM
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a reply to: VictorVonDoom

Radar detectors, per the courts, is a valid device to protect ones self from hidden government observation (although it does not apply to commercial vehicles).

Phone conversations are covered under a different set of laws and at no point have I ever seen anything that states people not part of the conversation have a right to listen into your conversation simply because its being broadcast. Its one of the main reasons police scanners capable of monitoring the 800mghz sections are specifically restricted to prevent it from hearing the cell phone signals that were broadcast in the 800mghz range (although now I think they moved them off of those frequencies).

I just have issues with a blanket dragnet instead of obtaining a warrant. Maybe I am being to idealistic in today's day and age.. When we ignore our own laws in order to catch terrorists then the terrorists won.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 07:32 AM
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There is no need for this now...

All smart phones come with GPS and all smart phones are
accesible to law enforcement. It is getting to the point
that even small town PD's don't need a warrant anymore.

This ancient tech only works on guys like me who use old
flip phones with no internet or gps (and there are not
many of us left.) I don't know anyone that doesn't own
a "smart-phone-volunteer-personal-surveillance device".


edit on 14-11-2014 by rival because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: rival

Most everything is done on the backend. It doesn't matter what kind of phone you have. Smart phones can allow for more data collection since there is more data throughput, but location, conversations, etc. are all performed from the network itself and not the individual devices.

A properly encrypted smartphone will actually be more secure than an old phone.

ETA: of course, getting your phone to that point usually means voiding your warranty, at the very least.
edit on 14-11-2014 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

You can only track an old cell phone to the nearest cell tower,
or, at best, use a method of triangulation and signal strength to
estimate a cell phone's postion--an expensive option in manpower
and equipment.

Smart phones, as you say, transmit their gps data directly to
the network in real time so it is a much easoer option to find
a smart phone.

But why encrypt a smart phone? To what purpose? A smart phone's
appeal is its internet connectivity and GPS--unless you are talking
about a p2p encryption, and unless it is your own encryption it
is only safe to the point that a warrant is obtained and the third
party service is subpoened.

Both phones are suscptible to back-end network surveillance of
data sent and recieved, regadless of encryption, so that is the caveat
to all cell phone use. But and old phone with no internet connectivity
or tracking is safe from being located at a moment's notice. It is also
safe from regular law enforcement using gps data against you in a case
in court of say, something like a vehicular accident, for example.

Smart phones are the single greatest surveillabce tool mankind has
yet devised...and the kicker...the surveilled accept it willingly
and even pay for it, lol.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: rival

Your information was correct, but not so much at this point.

Does your phone have a camera?



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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originally posted by: whyamIhere
It's a series of illegal searches.

They can do this legally...with a warrant.

It's this crap that leads to a complete distrust of LE.



Local leos do this service so as to put bread on the table...share the same boat on a local level as do we ourselves (nobody special)...it's stupid imo to think we should hate on local leos. if bread wasn't so sustaining, i doubt too many 'officers' would play these roles...

civilian aircraft being engineered to steal data? criminals deeds by criminals means?

sorry, but 'regulating/logging' these flights comes from who exactly?
pardon the cloud



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: loveguy

Our entire society is based on incentives such as that. An unconscious, archaic meme that leads to so many issues..

How do you think it could be solved?
edit on 14-11-2014 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:29 AM
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The U.S. is already under the watchful eye of Big Brother. Cameras everywhere. I mean everywhere. Traffic cameras do more than just snap plates of speeders and red-light runners. ATM cameras, convenience store cameras, they're everywhere. You're already being watched every second of every day. Now they just want to know what you're saying.

It's not really any better here in JP though. Most first world countries have massive surveillance. There may come a day that not even your own thoughts are private anymore.
edit on 14-11-2014 by ScientificRailgun because: Why do I end up correcting 90% of my posts?



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: rival

My phone allows me to turn off GPS and Bluetooth.
Isn't that enough to thwart the attempt to listen?

BTW, it does have intenet, but is NOT a smartphone.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe

They can be turned on/off remotely with no end-user indication. Same goes for nearly every operation on a phone, smart or not. Even taking your battery out isn't a sure thing.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

Well, isn't that just peachy-keen???? :@_@:
Even if the phone is turned off, I assume?

Would the same hold true if a person was abducted, lost, injured and there was a search for said person?
Would you know if it had been turned on remotely?
What if you have no internet on the phone?



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:53 AM
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originally posted by: Serdgiam
a reply to: loveguy

Our entire society is based on incentives such as that. An unconscious, archaic meme that leads to so many issues..

How do you think it could be solved?


it's not easy, but people have to start imagining the big bad bogeyman (pops up every news cycle) actually wears a pink tutu and should be laughed off his stage...doesn't deserve the attention...should be pointed at liars and thieves behind the newscasters...

i was checking the after halloween sale at my local market and the stock clerks were putting xmas stuff in it's place. one of them said to me;
"it's xmas time again" all joyfully.

i replied, "it's supposed to be xmas every day."
had i arrived sooner, there would have been a better selection of candy.


edit on (11/14/1414 by loveguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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They could easily develop this technology to filter out, ignore and not record anything that is not specific on a court ordered search but they wont. They fully want to record everything and that is where the problem lies. Invasion of the innocents privacy. This technology needs to be designed so that no human gets to choose weather to filter and ignore stuff or not. Only court orders should allow your information to be monitored, recorded.

Sure have the tech so you can record known criminals but not without a court order.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 11:01 AM
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originally posted by: DontTreadOnMe
a reply to: Serdgiam

Well, isn't that just peachy-keen???? :@_@:
Even if the phone is turned off, I assume?


Correct.


Would the same hold true if a person was abducted, lost, injured and there was a search for said person?


Technically, yes, as long as the device can make a connection. But, those with the tools need to have an inclination to help people. In the same way, mass surveillance networks could be utilized to ID people in need of help, but we don't see much of that happening either.

Would you know if it had been turned on remotely?
What if you have no internet on the phone?


There are ways to tell, but i don't know of any that are easier than just leaving the phone elsewhere during sensitive times. There is no obvious way to tell, i am just assuming an app could be written to log changes in hardware. At the very least it would probably require a root though, which most won't be bothered with doing.

No internet isn't all that relevant. They won't be able to track browsing habits, bank accounts, etc. simply because that data doesn't exist on the device. But, that info is gathered at multiple points anyway, so it doesn't particularly matter whether they get it from your phone or PC activity.

ETA: just remember, if you are being watched it also means you can control the narrative.. Hubris will take care of the rest.
edit on 14-11-2014 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)




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