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Questions about the Surveillance State & IMSI Catchers (Stingrays)

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posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 09:45 PM
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I was watching some series on the VICE network about fraud, and they discussed IMSI catchers (also known as Stingrays in the US), which can intercept messages and activity, including for use in tracking a cell phone user's movements.

IMSI stands for international mobile subscriber identity [ Technopedia ] An IMSI catcher can mimic cellular tower service and attract phone users looking for coverage within their vicinity - they act as a "man-in-the-middle (MITM) by posing as a "fake" cell tower.

Police (and positively intelligence agencies) have been known to use them in the UK, and even more heavily in use by US police departments





I'm curious as to how this technology/device is so readily available to the public, and how this hasn't been a hot topic when considering the increasing encroachment on citizens' privacy in this post-9/11 world.

I wonder if this one of the primary tools in use by the NSA with their illegal surveillance programs Snowden helped expose, or if the ABC agencies have have an automatic backdoor through all of our service providers directly?

Evidently I am not thoroughly familiar with how the surveillance state works or what methods they use but what better place to ask these questions and discuss this topic than Above Top Secret?


www.privacyinternational.org...



An IMSI Catcher is a phone monitoring kit that provides active intercept capabilities. Traditionally, IMSI Catchers (or Stingrays as they are known in the United States of America) can capture a number of different pieces of identifiable information including the IMEI and the IMSI: identifiers for your phone and SIM Card respectively. Nowadays IMSI Catchers can record voice and message data as they travel through mobile networks.

An IMSI Catcher performs interception by presenting itself as a base station amongst the mobile network: the station that your phone connects to when it wants to place a call or send a message. The IMSI Catcher acting as a base station then enters the network as the most powerful base station available, meaning that all mobile phones operating within the same area connect to the IMSI Catcher's base station. Once connected to the IMSI Catcher’s base station the Catcher has the mobile phone provide to it its IMSI and IMEI data. Once these details have been gathered it becomes possible to monitor the operation of the phone: the voice calls taking place, the messages being sent and the location of the phone.

The system is described as active because of its focus in enticing the signal towards it, rather than passive monitoring which does not entice the signal but sits silently between the phone and the base station and does not replace the base station operation like an IMSI Catcher. The benefit of passive interception is that it is almost impossible to detect its operation, whereas an IMSI Catcher could be detected by a network operator because of the active enticing that it performs.


More information on How IMSI Catchers Work (North Star Post)
edit on 27-2-2017 by FamCore because: spacing




posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 09:59 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

All this is done to protect you.

Even questioning it means you have something to hide.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

OBEY OBEY OBEY



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 10:34 PM
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Well I am not versed so well in the matter either because there are many different devices besides the one you listed. Some of these devices can be carried in a regular school back pack. I know they use them at protests especially. I also have read multiple reports that a good number of cell towers across the country aren't even owned by cell providers which once you think about it, if you had the juice and the connects who's gonna stop you from being a free lance provider for the three letter agencies we all learn to distrust. There are also "fusion" centers in many states that gather a unfathomable level of data on regular people . I've read these places consume insane amounts of water and electricity because the buildings themselves house giant super computers. I would have to assume all the stop light monitors and city surveillance are hooked to it. Again I've read that body cams on police offers are also hooked into facial recognition. I couldn't really elaborate much more but this is what I've read and I couldn't site my sources. I'm just a stoner who likes to read between the lines and have a good conversation lol



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: VicVega

What enticed you to comment on this for your first post? Just curious



edit on 27-2-2017 by FamCore because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:20 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

I've been lurking around here sometime I just wanted to wait for the political madness to calm down. I was bored and looking for something friendly to talk about where giving your opinion doesn't or isn't gonna work to many people up. ATS can be a ruthless place for the uninitiated lol I figured I would watch before I comment. Back to the main story i thought about purchasing a multi band cell/radio jammer to mess with the boys in blue since I live on a busy highway lol



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:25 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore
I'm curious as to how this technology/device is so readily available to the public, and how this hasn't been a hot topic when considering the increasing encroachment on citizens' privacy in this post-9/11 world.


It ISN'T available to the public. This is one of those fairly closely controlled things that ends up in the hands of local LEOs and the various intelligence agencies.

Being able to design something to do this is sort of implicit if you understand how the cell phone system works, and by that I mean the sort of understanding you end up with if you're an engineer and you've got the specs for the protocol, which are pretty awful to have to read.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

then why can you order them directly off of Ebay, or AliBaba?
edit on 27-2-2017 by FamCore because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:38 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

I feel like seeing those for sale on eBay is like buying weed off the internet. To good to be true wouldn't you say? I mean imagine the implications it would have on the witsec protection program or hitmen looking for their targets. I would have to assume there's a main program key for each operating agency I could be wrong but I think the cell providers themselves I.e. Verizon. Would have to be tied into that computer software but I don't think anyone really has the exact details on how they work unless the person has used one. I could be very wrong they do have magazines for them at police conventions



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:42 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: Bedlam

then why can you order them directly off of Ebay, or AliBaba?


The same reason I can buy bulk drugs off of Alibaba. Or explosives precursors. Or all sorts of things you can get that way that you can't get legally here.

Not that I haven't bought things from Alibaba that way, mind you. It's just that if you get caught it can be tough to explain. You get caught with that, and it's going to be very bad for you. The cops don't share well.

But like I said, how to do this is implicit in the specs. It's time consuming to design one from scratch but it's very possible.
edit on 27-2-2017 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:47 PM
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originally posted by: VicVega
a reply to: FamCore

ATS can be a ruthless place for the uninitiated lol I figured I would watch before I comment.
Certainly can be. It has always been this way to a degree. I have been a member for 11 years. It's about the worst I have seen it. The only time it was as bad or worse is back when we got a huge influx of Atheists... It was crazy around here. Now, we're infested with a bunch of mainstream political zealots and I honestly think it's worse than the religious vs. atheist phase we went through. Best of luck. Lol.
edit on 27-2-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:50 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

Of course the NSA uses it. I don't see any practical reason why they wouldn't.



posted on Feb, 27 2017 @ 11:59 PM
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a reply to: SpeakerofTruth

I got a big dose of how vicious it can be seeing all the political stuff. I don't mind a debate or a good convo as long as both parties can pretend to put their egos away and try to look at it from a different perspective respectively but that's asking a lot.the reason why I commented on this post is because it was relatively neutral and interesting to me and well to be honest I only have internet so I get super stoned at the end of the day and watch documentaries and read strange things so I knew a little about this subject







 
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