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The "Stingray" Surveillance Device

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posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:01 PM
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The Stingray

A stingray is a suitcase-sized device that acts like a cell tower. Police use it to simulate a cellphone tower and connect to a suspect's cell phone in order to intercept text messages and phone calls. They are used predominantly in the U.S. and covertly in the U.K. and can be mounted in a vehicle or handheld.

The stingray device will transmit a server signal to an area of town that is of a higher caliber than the one naturally found there. This will result in the nearby cell phones connecting to the stingray instead of the normal cell tower (even cell phones that are not under surveillance). However, the cops will pick the cell phone they want to monitor and discard the rest.

Here is how the communications are intercepted:


Interception of communications content[edit]
By way of software upgrades,[10][20] the StingRay and similar Harris products can be used to intercept GSM communications content transmitted over-the-air between a target cellular device and a legitimate service provider cell site. The StingRay does this by way of the following man-in-the-middle attack: (1) simulate a cell site and force a connection from the target device, (2) download the target device's IMSI and other identifying information, (3) conduct "GSM Active Key Extraction"[10] to obtain the target device's stored encryption key, (4) use the downloaded identifying information to simulate the target device over-the-air, (5) while simulating the target device, establish a connection with a legitimate cell site authorized to provide service to the target device, (6) use the encryption key to authenticate the StingRay to the service provider as being the target device, and (7) forward signals between the target device and the legitimate cell site while decrypting and recording communications content.


Wikipedia: Stingray Phone Tracker

The stingray can also be used to track the location of a cell phone user, or to grab the information of all cell phone users in a certain area, such as a protest.
edit on 24pmMon, 24 Aug 2015 19:02:14 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 24pmMon, 24 Aug 2015 19:21:16 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:01 PM
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Baltimore

Baltimore seems to be the center of stingray controversy these days. Although it used to be required to get a warrant to use the stingray, it is not currently required. A recent leak by a Baltimore detective revealed that the use of stingrays was hidden from the court and lawyers involved in many of the cases.


Surveillance records show that Baltimore police used stingray technology in 837 criminal cases identified by USA Today. In addition, Baltimore authorities routinely hid proof of stingray usage in court



Baltimore cops say that for a while, they got search warrants to use a stingray. Not anymore. t.co...

— Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 24, 2015


What kind of crimes are stingrays used to investigate without a warrant? Some examples include investigating a woman who sent annoying text messages, investigating someone who stole a few credit cards to pay for a storage unit and on the other hand, cell-site simulators in Baltimore were used in at least 176 homicide cases, 118 shootings, and 47 rapes since 2008, according to USA Today.

Law enforcement agencies have been quite secretive about their domestic use of the stingray, which is also used by the FBI and DEA.


Dozens of law enforcement departments nationwide have long attempted to hide stingray use, going so far as to drop cases rather than disclose that the technology was used, according to documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.


Where do the local law enforcement agencies get funding for the stingrays? From the Department of Homeland Security, because they were supposed to be used in terrorism investigations.


The use of the devices has been frequently funded by grants from the Department of Homeland Security.[25] The Los Angeles Police Department used a Department of Homeland Security grant in 2006 to buy a stingray for "regional terrorism investigations". However, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the "LAPD has been using it for just about any investigation imaginable."[26]



RT
edit on 24pmMon, 24 Aug 2015 19:10:33 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)


Wikipedia: Stingray Phone Tracker
edit on 24pmMon, 24 Aug 2015 19:12:05 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 24pmMon, 24 Aug 2015 19:13:22 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

Do these surveillance devices go too far? They are used to intercept cell phone text messages and calls without a warrant. Or is privacy gone these days? Are the days of needing a warrant over?

Can the case be made that it is more important to prevent terrorist attacks than it is to protect the privacy of Americans? This kind of thing is hardly controversial anymore. Is the age of privacy over?
edit on 24pmMon, 24 Aug 2015 19:26:42 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:27 PM
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They use them in my city. I've seen scans of the official municipality minutes where the chief of police requested the money to be allocated for them, and was approved. I also happen to know for a fact that cell phone conversations in my town are recorded by the police when you are pulled over/arrested. It violates my state's right to privacy clause, but no one here seems to want to investigate it or take it to the media.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

Yes. it is mass data collection without a warrant.

Not only is it "going to far", it is a violation of rights.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

Is privacy over?
Yes.
Ever heard of Winblows 10 from Micro-shaft?



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:51 PM
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"However, the cops will pick the cell phone they want to monitor and discard the rest."
In a few words...No they won't. This is like priests in the confessional!



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: Cynic

I think Windows 10 is going to be very similar to this stingray device. Their EULA agreements already seem to be pointing in that direction. It could all fit in well with the TPP, which is specifically interested in Intellectual Property. But where are the officials going to get incriminating against pirates? Probably from Windows 10 acting just like a stingray.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 08:29 PM
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Interesting stuff here Darkblade

edit on 24-8-2015 by violet because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 09:05 PM
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We let them.

We gave away our Rights quicker than you I-Phone.

Our Forefathers would be bringing the pimp hand down.
edit on 24-8-2015 by whyamIhere because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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From reading the transcript of the city meeting in which our police were given the money to buy these devices, it doesn't sound like the city council people were told what they really do. The police representative (police chief I think) whitewashed the capabilities of the devices, and no one is going to vote against making the people safer. It read to me like the people on the city council were duped and not informed on what they were getting.



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:13 AM
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They have been around for a while and in use in many cities. A tell-tale sign of one being used is a small Cessna flying in figure 8 or circles over a particular area.....it is likely using Stingray tech. They are most often over larger cities or areas of immediate civil unrest. You can go to most any aviation monitoring site and find a craft that has been flying this pattern quite often....if you look up the registration of the craft they are typically a PO Box to a "front" company.



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:16 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

The device is manufactured by a company headquartered in Melbourne, FL. Here is an article detailing the device and illustrating how it works: Secretive Use of Stingray and How It Works



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe

They can also be placed inside of police squad cars. The devices aren't very large these days.



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: Vasa Croe

They can also be placed inside of police squad cars. The devices aren't very large these days.


There is also the issue that the Stingray device in particular can only be used on a 2G network...if used with the more expensive Hailstorm device/tower, any communication can be forced down to the 2G network to be intercepted.



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe

They also go by other names..."Kingfisher" is what they have in my city.

Part of the problem is that it scoops up the info of everyone in the area who's phone is trying to connect to a tower. Innocent people that aren't under investigation are having their location and information scooped up by these devices.

My state has a strong right-to-privacy clause written right into our constitution. Right there, article 22 of my state's constitution says:



The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section.


If someone isn't the suspect of a criminal investigation, having their personal information scooped up by one of these devices is a breach of that clause.
edit on 25-8-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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originally posted by: BeefNoMeat
a reply to: darkbake

The device is manufactured by a company headquartered in Melbourne, FL. Here is an article detailing the device and illustrating how it works: Secretive Use of Stingray and How It Works


Here is a search on the US Gov areas that have purchased Hailstorm upgrades.....the ones to look at are from the Harris Company. Click on the link then click on one of the Harris Corporation links then click on the "Contract Information" link and you can see the upgrades from Stingray to Hailstorm....

Source



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe

Why is an auto collision repair (Hays Auto Collision Repair Inc) getting money from the Department of Homeland Security?

What kind of auto repair is this company doing?



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:41 AM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: Vasa Croe

Why is an auto collision repair (Hays Auto Collision Repair Inc) getting money from the Department of Homeland Security?

What kind of auto repair is this company doing?


I did a search for Hailstorm, so it will bring up stuff like that as well...if you look at the details on that one you can see it was for hailstorm damage to a vehicle. The one to look at is the Harris Corp....they are the manufacturers of Stingray and Hailstorm. If you search Stingray on that same site, you get a lot more hits for Harris Corp...and this is just the US Gov spending......it doesn't include the local municipalities purchases.
edit on 8/25/15 by Vasa Croe because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe

Ah, I see -- some Fed got his black SUV damaged from an actual hailstorm.

I thought the Feds rented from Hertz?



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