The end of privacy in the United States was brought about as much by technology as intention. Those who claim there is little new here — the government read the mail of and wiretapped the calls and conversations of Americans under COINTELPRO from 1956 to at least 1971, for example – do not fully understand the impact of technology.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday October 23, 2014 11:30 am|
The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the People from their government. That’s quite literally becoming history today as new challenges, now from local law enforcement, chip away at the Fourth Amendment’s protections of privacy. New laws and devices spread spying on Americans to the local level.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday October 1, 2014 9:33 am|
In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to evade detection.
The ACLU in Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a lawsuit seeking documents on location tracking technology on July 31, 2012. The Justice Department has produced a few documents but has continued to insist that many of the documents requested are “work product” so they are protected from disclosure. The agency has also refused to search for documents that were requested.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday September 17, 2014 10:11 am|
The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the manufacturer of StingRay surveillance products of providing inaccurate information and possibly even lying to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the agency that is supposed to regulate communications over cable, radio, satellite, television and wire.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday September 4, 2014 1:10 pm|
A security researcher identified multiple “fake” cell phone towers around the United States, many near military bases, designed to intercept calls and texts without your knowledge, and to potentially inject spyware into your phone by defeating built-in encryption.
The researcher has located a number of towers; what he can’t figure out is who built them and who controls them.
|By: Peter Van Buren Saturday June 21, 2014 7:50 am|
We’ve heard variations on the phrase “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” from the government for quite some time. It appears this may be true, at least if you are the government.
In the case of Stingray, a cell phone spying device used against Americans, the government does have something to hide and they fear the release of more information. Meanwhile, the Fourth Amendment weeps quietly in the corner.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday June 20, 2014 8:52 am|
Local police in Florida are essentially conspiring with the US Marshal’s Service to keep details related to their use of cell phone tracking devices in criminal investigations secret, according to internal emails from the Sarasota Police Department released to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday June 18, 2014 10:22 am|
A city circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking applications to the Florida state court and the state court’s orders approving the use of “StingRay” devices capable of surveillance of entire communities. But the judge did not resolve the issue of the United States Marshal’s Service seizing copies of records from the Sarasota Police Department so the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would not be able to get them.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday June 3, 2014 3:05 pm|
US marshals in Florida seized copies of local cell phone tracking records from the Sarasota Police Department, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter in the state had requested. The extraordinarily brazen act was a clear violation of public records law. And the ACLU quickly pushed for a temporary injunction from a judge to stop this from happening again.
The ACLU chapter was seeking records on police use of “Stingray” surveillance devices, which can be used to locate cell phone by acting a like a fake cellphone tower. The technology enables the “electronic equivalent of dragnet ‘general searches’ prohibited by the Fourth Amendment,” the ACLU argues.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday March 25, 2014 5:20 pm|
More and more local law enforcement agencies in the United States are manipulating or abusing public records request laws in order to conceal whether they are using “Stingray” surveillance technology to collect data for law enforcement activities, even going so far as to pretend that records do not even exist.