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Big (And Little) Brother: Listening To You




|| By FITSNEWS ||  What’s more secret than “double secret probation?”  Cell site simulation: A.k.a. the government’s preferred method of hacking into your cell phone.

The subject of an expansive story in Sunday’s editions of The New York Times, cell site simulation is the process by which small, portable, suitcase size devices are used by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to trick your not-so-smart phones into believing they are communicating with a cell phone tower.

Once intercepted, your gullible cell phone signal lets the police rife through your phone’s calls, emails, text messages and other data.

Scary, huh?  Of course its is … not to mention totally unconstitutional.  Or at least should be seeing as these interception devices – commonly known as Stingrays – not only gather cell phone information from the individual “suspect,” but from thousands of other mobile devices in the area.

What’s also scary?  The mandated secrecy surrounding the program …

According to the Times, law enforcement agencies which utilize Stingrays are forbidden from even discussing the devices.  In fact they must sign nondisclosure agreements prior to purchasing them – which has led to local governments approving costly contracts without even knowing what they are purchasing.

Another layer of hypocrisy, right?

Indeed … not to mention the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) oversees the program (and often provides funding for the devices via grants from the Department of Homeland Security).

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), use of these devices is rampant … even though most states (including South Carolina) refuse to provide information on which agencies are using them.

“Federal and local law enforcement agencies are actively trying to conceal their use from public scrutiny, and we are continuing to push for transparency and reform,” the organization states on its webpage.

Good for them …

Americans have a right to be secure in their electronic communications … and devices which secretly collect their data without their consent (and without a warrant based on probable cause) are prima facie violations of their Fourth Amendment rights.

It’s as simple as that … or at least it should be.  Sadly, in the “land of the free” our freedoms have gone out the window as big government habitually abuses new technologies in an effort to spy on its citizens.