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Unnamed base in Nevada that is intercepting your wireless phone calls, so claims PopSci

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posted on Sep, 2 2014 @ 01:35 PM
Mystery towers

“What we find suspicious is that a lot of these interceptors are right on top of U.S. military bases.

Whenever he wants to test out his company’s ultra-secure smart phone against an interceptor, Goldsmith drives past a certain government facility in the Nevada desert. (To avoid the attention of the gun-toting counter-intelligence agents in black SUVs who patrol the surrounding roads, he won't identify the facility to Popular Science). He knows that someone at the facility is running an interceptor, which gives him a good way to test out the exotic “baseband firewall” on his phone.

First of all, this is Popular Science, so you need to use a BS detector. For instance, in the Nevada desert, the spooks like white SUVs, not black. Also I suspect if these sites exist, they don't look like big arse cellular towers.

Most phones will indicate when the crypto level has been compromised. However the product these people are peddling (this story is more like a sales pitch than news) does seem useful.

posted on Sep, 2 2014 @ 01:51 PM
Too bad the limited information on this reads like an advertisement. However, these towers are something that should be acknowledged and looked into.
In an article from June of this year:
Local cops in 15 US states confirmed to use cell tracking devices

A new map released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union shows that fake cell towers, also known as stingrays, are used by state and local law enforcement in 15 states.

Further Reading Is Chicago using cell tracking devices? One man tries to find out Lawyer: Chicago police "has a history of doing some questionable surveillance." Police departments in Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Tucson, Los Angeles, and even Anchorage, among others, have been confirmed to use the devices. Beyond those states, 12 federal law enforcement agencies, ranging from the FBI to the National Security Agency, also employ them.

Relatively little is known about precisely how police decide when and where to deploy them, but stingrays are used to track targeted phones and can also be used to intercept calls and text messages. However, privacy advocates worry that while the devices go after specific targets, they also often capture data of nearby unrelated people.
- Arstechnica
-cute for terms- Little is known about the towers, why and where they are chosen to stand. The concern is capturing data of people unrelated to the target areas and or people if only that is what they are there for. If not, of course, it could be meant for everyone collecting data of areas.

Map of locations are included at the source.

posted on Sep, 2 2014 @ 02:08 PM
a reply to: gariac

If I had to make a bet my money would be on fake cell towers collecting info and than streaming it into Utah. The founding fathers and privacy advocates could not even begin to understand just how bad this is.

Eventually the constitution will be updated to stop this I believe but it could take 10 or more years.

posted on Sep, 2 2014 @ 02:13 PM
There's a cell tower near me disguised as a palm tree. One night I had mucho connection trouble and called around to eventually discover that one of the cell phone outfits had put up the tower but had never placed it into service. It gets regular maintenance but is not used as a cell tower. It's not close to a military base but is close to a satellite police station. Maybe to nip an 'Assault on Precinct 13' type of scenario?

posted on Sep, 2 2014 @ 02:33 PM
And some people on ATS feel that TPTB don't have the power to access our cell devices through law enforcement agencies. Look back at my article about California passes Kill Switch Bill. Sounds like to me these towers are for that purpose.

posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 02:53 AM
Las Vegas has a history of hosting experimental cellular networks. The FCC database indicates that the town of Mercury was the test site of the "public service" LTE system. Mercury is on the Nevada Test Site, so it is essentially a company town.

The license in question is WX9FCI. It was assigned to Northrop Grumman. Coordinates of 36° 39' 38" N, 115° 59' 40".

Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation (NGSC) requires an STA to demonstrate deployable 4G mobile communication solutions at two locations within the Nevada Test Range to the U.S. Military. Expedited consideration is requested to permit these demonstrations to be initiated as soon as possible. Before initiating tests, NGSC will coordinate with existing and adjacent licensees and the federal spectrum coordinator, as appropriate.

They were testing equipment from this company.
Xiphos Oceus Networks

The application is a bit messy. They were granted testing on band 14 PS (presumably public service). They requested more bands, namely 1800+ (possibly LTE band 3), and CDMA band 15. They listed Fort Bliss New Mexico as another site.

Anyway, if I had to name a place where funny cellular games were happening as described in the article, Mercury would be on the list. The town is restricted, yet it can "sniff" nearby highway 95, so there are plenty of targets of opportunity. The highway is only 4 miles from Mercury.

edit on 3-9-2014 by gariac because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 09:46 PM
Wired has done a similar story, and being WIred, a bit more professional than Pop Sci.
Wired on the fake towers

It turns out this map is based on customers finding odd towers and sending the data back to EDS. It is not like someone trained in the art of tower sniffing investigated these sites. Also note Wired didn't use a stock photo of a cell tower, since these towers may or may not be permanently installed.

EDS has applied for a patent on the firewall used to detect these "security" issues. Good luck with trying to patent a firewall.

patent application

I forgot to mention in my initial post that some phones can be set up to never use a 2G tower. A recent article in Ars Technica pointed out that Stingrays can only produce a 2G signal, so what they do is locally jam 3G/4G/LTE, forcing your phone to use 2G, then associate with the fake tower.

Next generation Stingray

posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 10:30 PM
We have towers that look like Palm trees. What are they for?

posted on Sep, 3 2014 @ 10:58 PM
a reply to: AzDesertWatcher

T-mobile uses these. They wanted to put one in our yard that looked like a pine tree & we told them to get lost.

posted on Sep, 4 2014 @ 11:52 PM
I have a collection of Stingray documents that I pulled off the internet. They didn't vaporize.

Stingray in Fayetteville 1

Phoenix Global Support, the SIGINT instructors

Phoenix Global Support offers complete classes and curriculum for Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Electronic Warfare (E/W) spanning the spectrum of wireless communications.

Sounds innocent enough until you realize by wireless communications, they mean cellular.

FCC data

These guys have all the toys:

Martone Radio Technology Max-G 2 No
Martone Radio Technology Spartacus 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Spartacus-II 1 No
Harris Stingray-II 1 No Harris Stingray 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Max-C 1 No
Cellxion Optima 1 No Cellxion Quadra 1 No
Cellxion UGX-300 1 No Cellxion GX-200 1 No
Cellxion GX-Duo 1 No Cellxion GX-Solo 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Max-W 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Marcus 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Marcus-II 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Max-U 1 No
Martone Radio Technology Max-WiL 1 No
Harris Crossbow 1 No Harris KingFish Tact. 1 No

Oh, I see they trained the Navy. Probably China Lake.

Gov Agency: US Navy, NAVSPECWARCOM; POC: Jeffrey Milstead, Comm: 619 - 437 - 0811, email: [email protected] Contractor: WYLE LABORATORIES, INC., 900 HERITAGE DRIVE, SUITE C RIDGECREST, CA 9355 This is a rated order certified for national defense, emergency preparedness, and energy program use, and the Contractor shall follow all the requirements of the Defense Priorities and Allocations Syst em regulation (15 CFR 700) Contract Number: HC1047 - 05 - D - 4005 For (17) days of training for up to 12 students on GSM Cellular Theory, New Equipment Training, Applications and Lab training. Lecture/practical exercises instruction will be accomplished at t he Phoenix Global Support Training Facility located at 3139 Doc Bennett Rd, Suite 300 on the Fayetteville Airport. Each course includes eighty (80) hours of flight time to support lab training

posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 12:08 AM
This is from the Phoenix Global Support CEO's linkedin page:

Phoenix Global Support, LLC January 2008 – Present (6 years 9 months) Fayetteville, North Carolina Area Phoenix Global Support (PGS) is a financially sound, certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Small Business (SDVOSB) located in Fayetteville, NC. PGS offers specialized training on state-of-the-art technologies along with a wide range of training, management, and logistics support services for the most demanding customers. Formed as a Limited Liability Company in the state of North Carolina in 2007, PGS has grown to become the country’s premier provider of training for airborne and ground-based Precision Geo-Location capabilities and is the certifying company for the United States Special Operations Command as well as the National Security Agency in Precision Geo-Location capabilities. All PGS employees have a Special Operations background to include numerous deployments in our current theaters of conflict. PGS provides program management, extensive operational experience, logistical support, a highly skilled and certified training team(s), SME’s for developmental efforts to Tier One vendors, and state-of-the-art Top Secret rated facilities and classrooms to our customers. PGS currently teaches courses from the unclassified level and up to/including TS/SCI in our SCIF spaces. PGS operators are capable to meet any demanding need worldwide.

There is an aircraft on the PGS website. Either they fly and then deploy, or they can track cell phones from an aircraft.

Here is a line from one of their want ads:

Must be able to instruct in the classroom, in vehicles, aboard aircraft, or from backpack configurations of SIGINT systems

Full text:

Wireless Communications Instructor

We are searching for a Wireless Communications Instructor for our continuously growing organization.​ This position is based in our Fayetteville, NC Office.

Job Description: Provide instruction to learners through lecture, demonstration, hands-on activities, learner assessments and practical experience. Assist course assessments, rewrites and updates. Maintain technical proficiency with current and emerging technologies.

Provide instruction for establishing and following a course of instruction.
Provide New Equipment Training (NET)
Knowledgeable of all COT’s and GOT’s SIGINT PGL systems
Able to read/write English
Able to instruct in small groups (3-5) or in front of large lecture classrooms (30-50 students
Must be able to instruct in the classroom, in vehicles, aboard aircraft, or from backpack configurations of SIGINT systems Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds and stand on your feet for several hours at a time.
Provide tests and exhibit evaluation skills
Knowledgeable and skilled to install, operated and maintain SIGINT systems
Complete After Action and student evaluation reporting
Attend upgrade courses as needed to obtain advanced certifications.

Clearance: Current TS/SCI Required Experience and Education:

Current operational experience with utilizing Precision Geo-Location SIGINT systems

Prior military service in SOF desired
Associates degree preferred
Familiar with one or more of the following instructional standards; TRADOC, ISD, SAT and Reverse ADDIE process
Retired Military preferred with at least 7 years experience in SIGINT PGL applications or;
Military service with at least 9 years experience in tactical SIGINT PGL

It gets worse. They have their sniffer gear on drones.
Textron & Phoenix Support Group

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