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posted by janrinok on Sunday March 23 2014, @05:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-we-have-to-be-able-track-everyone dept.

mrbluze writes:

"Columbia Tribune / AP reports of Police agencies' reluctance to divulge details about the Stingray cell-phone interception device, whose use has increased since a Supreme Court decision to prevent the use of GPS tracking devices without a warrant. The Stingray is reported to be a suitcase-sized device that pretends to be a mobile phone tower, tricking a cell phone to connect to it instead of the cellphone company's tower, but details on how this works are not revealed.

In one of the rare court cases involving the device, the FBI acknowledged in 2011 that so-called cell site simulator technology affects innocent users in the area where it's operated, not just a suspect police are seeking.

A December 2013 investigation by USA Today found roughly 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies it surveyed had performed tower dumps, and slightly fewer owned a Stingray.

However, a report by gives much greater detail, including photographs of the device:

When a suspect makes a phone call, the StingRay tricks the cell into sending its signal back to the police, thus preventing the signal from traveling back to the suspect's wireless carrier. But not only does StingRay track the targeted cell phone, it also extracts data off potentially thousands of other cell phone users in the area.

Although manufactured by a Germany and Britain-based firm, the StingRay devices are sold in the US by the Harris Corporation, an international telecommunications equipment company. It gets between $60,000 and $175,000 for each Stingray it sells to US law enforcement agencies."

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Bob9113 on Sunday March 23 2014, @05:58PM

    by Bob9113 (1967) on Sunday March 23 2014, @05:58PM (#19957)

    Although manufactured by a Germany and Britain-based firm, the StingRay devices are sold in the US by the Harris Corporation, an international telecommunications equipment company. It gets between $60,000 and $175,000 for each Stingray it sells to US law enforcement agencies."

    I have heard the more hot-headed among the civil libertarian crowd espouse the view that revolution is coming. When I hear of these US companies advancing what some would call unconstitutional surveillance, I wonder about those radicals and who they might think should be "first up against the wall." I wonder if there are lone nutjobs out there keeping lists of companies like Harris, and if at some point there will be a case of one of them being attacked, followed by a spate of "copycats" that really are more like dormant independently planned actions that get triggered in succession.

    Maybe not credible, but it might make a nice plot structure for a Jack Reacher style thriller. The FBI is blinded by its belief that it must be a coordinated series of attacks. Only Hunter Hardfist, whose wife gets killed in the first assault, knows that it is really a bunch of unconnected whackos. He hunts them with street-smarts and intimidation of their compatriots, and takes them down with his makeshift brand of vigilante justice. Maybe build it into a series of fifth-grade reader level paperbacks that you sell at truckstops next to the Jock Stone and Brad Hammer(*) novels. Each new book covers another segment of dissidents that latches on to low-brow pseudo-jingoist hatred; Earth First, anti-church, anti-military, whatever.

    * no relation to any existing ridiculous characters named Hunter Hardfist, Jock Stone, or Brad Hammer

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Yog-Yogguth on Monday March 24 2014, @01:32AM

    by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 24 2014, @01:32AM (#20033) Journal

    Revolution or not: for the most part what you're hearing are individuals moving from denial to anger (or so I think). Good for them (hopefully).

    Don't get me wrong: there's no rosy future in sight no matter what. There's plenty of violence already and it would be strange if it didn't increase for all sorts of reasons, including a future continued series of failed attempts at "wagging the dog" like Syria, Ukraine, and pretending they've got worse satellite coverage than China (are we all supposed to believe they turn these things [] off instead of running continuous global coverage?). The frenzied propaganda efforts tied into that kind of shit might just be the final nail in the coffin for the struggling "mainstream media", at least in Europe.

    I think the main question is whether or not the US implodes before the big shit actually finally hits the fan some time during the next decades. If it implodes humanity might possibly have some small chance of collectively realizing what an ludicrously bad idea all of this was this time around as well just like all the other times but I wouldn't bet on it lasting beyond a generation or two until someone fucks it up again.

    Or maybe this time will be the last, if it never ends.

    Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by mrchew1982 on Monday March 24 2014, @05:19AM

    by mrchew1982 (3565) on Monday March 24 2014, @05:19AM (#20088)

    What you have described is the "Stand Alone Complex" that Masamune wrote about in his Ghost in the Shell series. In essence a series of events transpire that appear to be orchestrated and connected but end up just being like minded individuals acting independently of each other towards an ideal that they share.

    It would be interesting to see it happen, but with the amount of control that is being exercised over every idea that crosses our lives and the disinformation being spread I doubt that it could happen anytime under the current power structure.

    Remember, Winston looses after all...