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Local police spying on your cellphone calls?

Posted: , by Alan F.

Local police spying on your cellphone calls?
A published report this weekend says that besides the NSA, local police are also spying on your cellphone calls. According to the report, local and state police are using new technologies to snoop in realtime. This allows the authorities to capture information on people even if they are not the subject of an investigation. Based on a study of 124 police agencies in 33 states, 25% of police agencies employ a method known as a "tower dump" that provides law-enforcement with information including the location, identity and activity of any cellphone that connects to a particular cell tower.

The technology used by the police should be scary to those who guard their privacy. A device called the Stingray, which is the size of a suitcase, is placed inside a car that is driven around local neighborhoods. Basically a portable cell tower, Stingray tricks your cellphone into believing that it is a real tower and connects to it, giving the cops information and data. This equipment costs as much as $400,000, but is funded by the federal government thanks to anti-terror grants.

"When this technology disseminates down to local government and local police, there are not the same accountability mechanisms in place. You can see incredible potential for abuses."-Catherine Crump, Attorney, ACLU

While organizations like the ACLU are worried about the amount of data being collected by police without a warrant, the cops say that they need to mine this information to track criminals, terrorists and kidnappers. The fear is that in the course of sifting through data, the police will stumble on other illegal activities not listed in the court order. But most police officials say that they are interested only in the information generated by a targeted criminal or a victim.

Once a tower dump reveals information, the police can refine the data by asking the courts to force the carrier's to release more information like addresses, call logs and texts. Any information that violates a person's constitutional rights will not be allowed to be used by the courts. The problem is that with the recent worry about NSA spying, most Americans are greatly concerned about what is being done with all of the data generated by their cellphone.

source: USAToday

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posted on 08 Dec 2013, 13:54 3

1. DaNTRoN (Posts: 135; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

Got to love police states. Oh well right, our "freedom" is worth it. I don't think I've ever met a terrorist who doesn't wear a blue suit.

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 13:56

2. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

There's a typo all over this article. Shouldn't "local police" read "the Stasi police"?

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 15:09 2

3. goojman (Posts: 56; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

And it took the gov how long to catch Bin Laden??

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 19:26

10. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

He was off the net. But he ultimately got caught by virtue of his courier using a cell phone.

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 15:37

4. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Anyone knows how to block those idiots? my phone keep ringing every other week non stop or a one a month

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 16:04 4

5. maherk (Posts: 4820; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

People gets paranoid easily these days. Not just in the states, in every single country there is phone tapping. I wouldn't give a damn about it, I'd rather lose a bit of my freedom than lose my life or someone I love and care about. I bet they don't have much fun listening to others.
Fyi, this is coming from a muslim arab.

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 16:50 6

6. mr.techdude (Posts: 571; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Please stop with the bin laden comments, how do we know that they actually killed him why didn't they show us the body and also they said they killed laden even 10 years before they recently killed him. American government and American police are corrupted.

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 17:32 1

7. bibekpachhai (unregistered)

Every government is corrupted so don't just blame US government. I wouldn't mind the federal government listening but giving the same power to local government is going too far.

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 18:21

9. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

We all know about what really happened to Osama's body:http://youtu.be/3QICnOVL48g :-)

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 17:59 1

8. tiburonpineda (Posts: 40; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

This sick! How many cops will be listening to a private couples conversation. Not good.

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 19:33 1

11. PBXtech (Posts: 1032; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


posted on 08 Dec 2013, 21:05

12. hurrycanger (Posts: 1624; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)

Next time I'm on the phone with someone speaking English, I will talk craps about the phone-spying policemen to that other person on the phone. If I get spied then, it would be fun xD

posted on 08 Dec 2013, 22:31

13. Aplusk (Posts: 120; Member since: 10 Nov 2013)

and how can you be sure that your phone is getting tapped out of millions at that time. haha. . .

If and only if NSA or government tap or spy citizen for security reasons, terrorist activities, underworld links. . . . . . . then its okie with me.

posted on 09 Dec 2013, 09:06 2

14. linaresx (Posts: 101; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)

Thank God I'm still using two tin cans and string. Privacy retained.

posted on 09 Dec 2013, 14:44

15. ZeroCide (Posts: 785; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)

the gov't has tapped into your string. You better check it out!

posted on 09 Dec 2013, 16:00

16. linaresx (Posts: 101; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)

Man and I just upgraded from twine UTP to 25lb fluorocarbon filament for faster download speeds.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 04:22

17. andynaija (Posts: 968; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)

Lol 25 lbs sounds a kind of heavy.

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