From the people who brought you Fast & Furious, introducing the new cellphone tracking device, code named "stingray" That's right, a faux cell
tower that has the ability to intercept any cell traffic within it's location. Although the DoJ has said it can only acquire limited information,
I'm going to have to call BS. ACLU obtained emails via The Freedom of Information Act, and what turned up makes me a bit uneasy.
Federal investigators, according to the ACLU’s analysis of Justice Department emails, have “routinely” used a portable technology called a
“stingray,” which masquerades as a cellphone tower by emitting a powerful signal. The goal is to trick nearby cellphones into connecting to the
stingray, which can then gather data transmitted by the phones.
The device target the cellphones of intended suspects, but it can also capture the cellphone data of nearby innocent people for up to several
So here we have the DoJ with the ability to collect pretty much any data they would need in tracking an average "target of interest" My question is,
how many of these "stingray" devices are currently throughout the US? It's a fairly old technology, this report says they have been tinkering with
it since 1995.
The Justice Department has also argued that in-field use of the device was an innocent mistake by agents “using a relatively new technology,”
but the emails obtained by the ACLU demonstrate that the government’s undeclared in-field use of the stingray was not isolated to the Rigmaiden
For example, an email chain dated May 2011 showed that federal investigators were still using the technology in the field, although their court
applications for surveillance failed to “make that explicit.”
So here we have a case from 2008 where a "StingRay" was deployed to track a hacker so they could prosecute them. Other reports claim they have been
utilizing these in the field for quite some time now, but they continue to not be transparent with the judges about their use.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) also obtained documents from the FBI in February 2013 that revealed the technology not only
targeted Rigmaiden, but also innocent cellphones within the vicinity of the signal.
So, here it clearly states that innocent cellphone users within the vicinity of this device have the ability to be tracked, and logged. Which again,
the question comes to mind of just how many of these things are out there, and where could they be?
The documents showed that the bureau’s agents have been using “cell site simulator” technologies since 1995.
The FBI told The Wall Street Journal in 2011 that the bureau “considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data
gathered in their use, mainly to keep suspects in the dark about their capabilities.”
So they've used the cell site simulator tech since 1995, but they consider it so critical that it has a policy to delete any information gathered.
Now, for some reason I find this so hard to believe, when you have agencies such as DHS, FBI, and NSA all chomping at the bit to get all the
information they can on citizens. My personal thoughts, they are storing all of this data, they could honestly be collecting information real time.
“We hope that the court sends the clear message to the government that it cannot keep judges in the dark,” said Lye. “Judges are not rubber
stamps – they are constitutional safeguards of our privacy.”
Federal government electronic surveillance has reportedly seen a dramatic increase over the past several years.
A 2012 report by the ACLU revealed that between 2009 and 2011, warrantless electronic surveillance requests by the Justice Department to spy on phone
communications increased 60 percent from 23,535 to 37,616.
People need to be vocal about this warrantless invasion of our privacy. If they moral judges that try and fight for our freedoms everyday don't have
access to the information obtained with these devices, how will anybody ever get a fair shot if they are wrongfully accused? We are most certainly in
the digital age, and it appears to be a double edge sword, so expect an uptick in surveillance technology, but also be on the lookout for anti
Google — in its period transparency report — has also reported a continual rise in the number user data requests filed by governments,
including the U.S.
It's obvious that the government is soliciting the biggest data providers in the world in order to keep the ultimate database on the US. Again, this
is an issue that must be kept on the forefront, and discussed. We can't let people like Eric Holder and his criminal gang run us over.
FBI defends warrantless tracking via Stingray/GPS