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Indiana State Police Acknowledge Use of Cell Phone Tracking Device

timothy posted about a year ago | from the hoosier-friend-on-the-phone? dept.

Privacy 155

An anonymous reader writes "Indiana state police acknowledge use of cell phone tracking device 'Stingray', tricking all cellphones in a set distance into connecting to it as if it were a real cellphone tower. A joint USA Today and IndyStar investigation found earlier this month that the state police spent $373,995 on a device called a Stingray. Often installed in a surveillance vehicle, the suitcase-size Stingrays trick all cellphones in a set distance ('sometimes exceeding a mile, depending on the terrain and antennas') into connecting to it as if it were a real cellphone tower. That allows police agencies to capture location data and numbers dialed for calls and text messages from thousands of people at a time."

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My Question is (5, Insightful)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about a year ago | (#45691659)

Who controls the Data that is collected?

Re:My Question is (4, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45691681)

srsly, that's your question? the collection itself is no biggie, but who gets the records? I assume the police are inept to handle this firehose of real-time data, and are just trying to spend down 9-11 anti-terrorist cash that US gives to agencies at every level. this is why the sheriff's dept in Wasilla, AK has an armored weaponized SWAT vehicle.

I see a few important questions here, but tbh I'm feeling pretty weary to list them all.

I just have one question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691717)

Who the fuck do these people think they are?

UnAmerican scumbags, that's who.

Re:I just have one question. (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#45691955)

They're "Peace keepers". You'd do well to remember that, citizen.

Re: I just have one question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692007)

That's what they think. Which is ironic, considering they aren't thinking much. They're sowing more seeds of dissent than capturing criminals.

At what point does the majority of society deem this unacceptable andand start acting to fix this?

This is wholly unbelievable!

Re:My Question is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691731)

I assume the police are inept to handle this firehose of real-time data, and are just trying to spend down 9-11 anti-terrorist cash that US gives to agencies at every level. this is why the sheriff's dept in Wasilla, AK has an armored weaponized SWAT vehicle.

One of those northern drunks could go nuts, you know. They do have a lot of guns.

Re:My Question is (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691773)

I assume the police are inept to handle this firehose of real-time data, and are just trying to spend down 9-11 anti-terrorist cash that US gives to agencies at every level. this is why the sheriff's dept in Wasilla, AK has an armored weaponized SWAT vehicle.

One of those northern drunks could go nuts, you know. They do have a lot of guns.

easy joke: they need something to drive over their bridge to nowhere.

Re:My Question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691779)

How did you miss what his question was? It's a straightforward question. Let's try this at a 1st grade level. "Who". Which person or entity. "Controls". Gets to decide what happens with. "The". You must be really stupid. "Data". The stuff that they collect (or is that too hard for you?)

Re:My Question is (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692205)

I think you missed the point in that the police should not be in possession of this information without probable cause and a warrant in the first place. Asking who has access or control of the data skips that first step as if it isn't important when it is probably the most important.

Re:My Question is (4, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#45692487)

To put it simply, there are things which should not be allowed at all by free men and women, and asking what safeguards are in place implies that there potentially exists some set of safeguards that should make those things allowable. Gathering evidence without both a warrant and probable cause is one of those things, as the U.S. Constitution says, that should NEVER be allowed.
          If you're going to ask a question that assumes there is some way around the Constitution, OR SHOULD BE, you're the person who has to defend your position. You're the person who might want to be more honest and admit you are implicity asking for the Constitution to be set aside. If you really feel that way, how about saying so explicity? Talking down to people who take exception to that point isn't clever, or adult, or enlightened, especially when it's an attempt to deflect that you are the one with the extreme, radical, and generally un-thought-out position you're scared to express openly. I say un-thought-out because if you are consiously supporting just ignoring that 'little' question of the large scale violation of fundamental human rights, you are something much worse than a person who needs things at the 1st grade level.

Re:My Question is (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692593)

To put it simply, there are things which should not be allowed at all by free men and women, and asking what safeguards are in place implies that there potentially exists some set of safeguards that should make those things allowable. Gathering evidence without both a warrant and probable cause is one of those things, as the U.S. Constitution says, that should NEVER be allowed.

          If you're going to ask a question that assumes there is some way around the Constitution, OR SHOULD BE, you're the person who has to defend your position. You're the person who might want to be more honest and admit you are implicity asking for the Constitution to be set aside. If you really feel that way, how about saying so explicity? Talking down to people who take exception to that point isn't clever, or adult, or enlightened, especially when it's an attempt to deflect that you are the one with the extreme, radical, and generally un-thought-out position you're scared to express openly. I say un-thought-out because if you are consiously supporting just ignoring that 'little' question of the large scale violation of fundamental human rights, you are something much worse than a person who needs things at the 1st grade level.

I really hope that you clicked on the wrong post to reply to, because the one you DID reply to just said what you did. Albeit in a much shorter and less assholish fashion.

Re:My Question is (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45691891)

.... but who gets the records?

That is a big question, especially since various state governments in the US have passed data privacy laws, and they aren't always complied with by state agencies. This was in the news about six months ago. I have little doubt there are many more instances of illegal or abusive data transfers out there at the state or local level. Bureaucratic overreach is hardly confined to the Federal government, and often occurs in conjunction with it.

Highway Patrol Handed Concealed Carry Information To Feds [cbslocal.com] - April 11, 2013

It was revealed in Missouri Senate testimony Thursday morning that the Missouri State Highway Patrol has twice handed over to federal officials information regarding concealed carry permits in the state.

The revelation validates the concerns of many Republican state legislators who have warned of the “gun list” for longer than a month.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) has led the charge against the Missouri Department of Revenue and others over the list. He said in a press release that the Highway Patrol “asked for and received the full list from the state Division of Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing.”

According to Schaefer, the list contains 185,000 names and “had been put online in one instance and given to the patrol on a disc in January.” ....

Col. Ron Replogle with the Highway Patrol underwent nearly an hour of testimony Thursday morning in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. Replogle testified that a Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General agent received the discs but was not able to read encrypted data and then destroyed the discs.

“They said no names were retrieved,” Replogle told the committee this morning, according to the Columbia Tribune. “ ...

The gun list issue was first raised in early March when Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder told KMOX News that the Missouri Department of Revenue was illegally sharing information on concealed gun permit applicants with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Re:My Question is (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692189)

I'm going to hang up my hat. Cold is being reasonable and citing sources. The world must be ending. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Re:My Question is (1)

symbolic (11752) | about a year ago | (#45692643)

> Bureaucratic overreach is hardly confined to the Federal government, and often occurs in conjunction with it.

Especially if it's funded *by* the federal government. It wouldn't come as a bit of a surprise if the acquisition of this Stingray device was funded by one of many federal grants the the national government has been handing out in an effort to militarize local law enforcement agencies.

Re:My Question is (0)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about a year ago | (#45691989)

How the fuck did the asshole troll get modded insightful?

Good question (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#45691735)

I wonder about internal security first and foremost on this stuff.

Who in the **Indiana State Police** is monitoring the usage of this data? Some IT dude? State Police are especially 'bro' types b/c they have an inferiority complex.

What's keeping them from just parking outside a popular youth area on a Friday night and lurk when things are slow down at the precinct?

I"m saying, I question whether the people who approved this system even **know** what it is capable of and how the cops out in the field are using it on a daily basis.

We already know the NSA used their system to check in on former lovers and other such tawdry stuff..

Re:My Question is (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45691879)

More significantly - cell phone frequencies are licensed, and some have been "sold" to cell providers. Methinks there's a felony here by some within the Indiana State Police, regarding theft of services, or something similar regarding use of frequencies they're not licensed to use. Who watches the watchers?

This is a recurring issue - what makes law enforcement think they can break the law in order to enforce it (this, and simpler things like speeding while on patrol).

Re:My Question is (0)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45692069)

Who in the cell phone provider chain of managemet is going to file that complaint?

Cop pulls exec's Mercedes over. "Looks like you've got a broken taillight there, buddy." [Smash, tinkle, tinkle.]

And its surprising how easy it is to mistakenly enter "Wanted for killing two state patrol officers in cold blood" into the NCIC database instead of "defective equipment".

Re:My Question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692239)

I doubt the cell company's execs will be too heartbroken over a $100 tail light. They wipe their asses with $100 bills...

Re:My Question is (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#45692585)

That kilo of cocaine they claim they found in the CEO's trunk might be another story...

Re:My Question is (0)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#45692663)

Until the FBI took over and started investigating the cops. Your talking a CEO of say Verizon, like he ever has to worry about any criminal law.

Re:My Question is (2)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#45692659)

You really think the cops are going to pull that low rent shit on someone who probably could easily have them fired/transferred. You may suffer a broken tail light but they won't. And you think attempting to frame someone by entering such a fabrication in a national database (especially against a telecom ceo) wouldn't be met by the full power of the US Government. In the end the cop wouldn't even know where he was, and his family would have to deal with multimillion dollar cell phone bills for some curious reason.

Re:My Question is (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#45692699)

Don't worry, they only capture the phone meta data of foreigners...

Excellent! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691671)

I have nothing to hide. If this helps catch bad guys, I'm all for it!

Re:Excellent! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691723)

yes you do, fucking liar. It is called your dick. Go out in public and show it off and see if you get arrested.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692119)

In his case, its a minor offense.

Re:Excellent! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691759)

They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
                                                          -- Benjamin Franklin

Re:Excellent! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692231)

They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Benjamin Franklin

Yes, and he clearly meant that LIBERTY = ASSAULT RIFLES.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692447)

This is an article about cell phones you idiot. Your post should read:

Yes, and he clearly meant that LIBERTY = No cell tower man in the middle attacks.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#45692669)

And your comment comes from where. If your going to yell reactionary comments its best to be on topic.

Re:Excellent! (4, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about a year ago | (#45691763)

I have nothing to hide, and if this helps catch bad guys, it's still a tremendous invasion of privacy and morally wrong under just about any definition of "moral" you want to use (aside from the "moral = whatever the hell I say it is" definition that seems to be increasingly more prevalent).

If I spend my spare time doing the most boring, non-threatening things imaginable, that is nobody's business but my own. If I spend my spare time doing unusual or asinine things, that's still nobody's business but my own. If I spend my spare time hurting other people and committing crimes that result in damage... then hey, maybe it's time to look into what I'm doing, not before.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691833)

You may have nothing to hide today, but tomorrow, what was acceptable yesterday, may not be. This is not to disparage your point, (which is the same as I'm arguing for), just to clarify for the coming trolls.

Re:Excellent! (4, Interesting)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#45692243)

I have nothing to hide, and if this helps catch bad guys, it's still a tremendous invasion of privacy and morally wrong under just about any definition of "moral" you want to use (aside from the "moral = whatever the hell I say it is" definition that seems to be increasingly more prevalent).

If I spend my spare time doing the most boring, non-threatening things imaginable, that is nobody's business but my own. If I spend my spare time doing unusual or asinine things, that's still nobody's business but my own. If I spend my spare time hurting other people and committing crimes that result in damage... then hey, maybe it's time to look into what I'm doing, not before.

Moxie Marlinspike had a great article/journal entry/essay on this topic. I'm not saying he's the next hemmingway, but I'd rather let him explain why we should all have something to hide [thoughtcrime.org] .

TL;DR - Lots of good things were illegal, once. Big things, like equality (smaller things, too).

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692609)

I have nothing to hide. If this helps catch bad guys, I'm all for it!

If you have nothing to hide, then obviously they don't need to track your cellphone.

Re:Excellent! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692631)

I have nothing to hide. If this helps catch bad guys, I'm all for it!

There have been over 2,000 people sentenced to life in prison or death, who have been exonerated after it's been proven they did not actually commit the crime.

You might not think you have anything to hide, but you WERE the only cell phone in the vicinity of a grisly murder last week. And hey, you don't have a solid alibi, the cops don't have any other leads, and the Prosecutor is up for an election soon. So you can either spend the next 10 years of your life trying to fight through the courts, and get a death penalty for raping and murdering that child, or you can agree to life in prison without parole you twisted fucking piece of shit.

put it in my butt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691675)

all that RF pissing in my butt, i love it
i don't care - i love it
i don't care - i love it
i don't care - i love it
gotta use duct tape so the wifey won't know
i don't care - i love it
i don't care - i love it
i don't care - i love it
just like an eel twisting in my rectum
i don't care - i love it
i don't care - i love it
i don't care - i love it
they call me a beaner until they taste my wiener

I'll answer all questions now (1, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#45691683)

Because fuck you, that's why.

Re:I'll answer all questions now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691703)

You are a cunt. Go back to watching African American Ass Fucking in your mom's basement.

Re:I'll answer all questions now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691775)

No, you're a cunt!

Re:I'll answer all questions now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691855)

No, you're a cunt!

Re:I'll answer all questions now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691973)

.... And that is how those two sad people came to an unpleasant end, deadlocked in mutual loathing and unwilling to be the last to call the other an insulting name. But there was a bright side of it - with their passing the human race become both smarter and more polite.

Re:I'll answer all questions now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692077)

...but only after someone tossed in the giant two-sided 4' long pneumatic dildo known as "the duocunterator". But at least they both died with (somewhat bizarre) smiles on their faces...

Pussies. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691709)

Why is the most armed nation such pussies? Scared of any and every damn thing.

Fuck the government.errr....my bad...FUCK the citizens!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps....fuck your karma, slashdot.

Gun owners as a rule (-1, Offtopic)

Hellstrom Carbunkle (3463733) | about a year ago | (#45692389)

are cowardly. They arm themselves to the teeth as defense against the 'coming black insurrection' but they love prisons and police, since these people keep them 'safe' from those black 'hordes'. And that is why there will never be a revolt of the White Middle Class, just as it was not the White Middle Class that fought the revolutionary war on the side of the Congress. It was wealthy men interested in more wealth, the people they could buy and the poor dross paid by the hour.

Is this legal? (5, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#45691715)

Doesn't the FCC regulate the frequencies used by cell phone towers? Do state police have the authority to use them as well? Do they have a special license from the FCC?

Re:Is this legal? (4, Interesting)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about a year ago | (#45691769)

Even if it is technically illegal, and I don't know whether it is or not, who is going to arrest them?

Do police have a tendency to be held accountable for their abuse of power in your jurisdiction?

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692051)

Do police have a tendency to be held accountable for their abuse of power in your jurisdiction?

They do here, but it's a bit hit and miss. Judges are independent of police and able to hold them to account, so you are able to take them to court. How hard it is to win depends on how cut-and-shut the case is, and how large you are (treat it as taking any large company to court).

Re:Is this legal? (3, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#45692675)

Even if it is technically illegal, and I don't know whether it is or not, who is going to arrest them?

Do police have a tendency to be held accountable for their abuse of power in your jurisdiction?

I think the point here is that these laws are federal laws and these are state police. I'm not sure how much deference the FCC pays to state police.

Re:Is this legal? (4, Informative)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#45691819)

Cell phone bands are licensed to providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) They paid big bucks for the licenses. Nobody else is legally allowed to use those frequencies. A "tower in a suitcase" would be a major violation of the rights of license holders.

I do not know if FCC allows the law enforcement to violate FCC's own rules and regulations. (Those are not laws, as I understand - if you run a pirate radio station you will be fined, but not imprisoned.) But why the police should care? Nobody is going to arrest them. The police can raid your home at 3am, kick your door in, shoot your dog and perhaps you, and nobody (except you) will be in trouble.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45691993)

Why do you focus on freqs? That involves copporations, after all. I.e. money.
Fuck them. Did you ever expect those to march to your tune?

Come on, get some sense of reality.
What I mean to say: Have you submitted to the idea that you have no rights yourself ?

Re:Is this legal? (2)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#45692089)

What I mean to say: Have you submitted to the idea that you have no rights yourself ?

Having rights, and having those rights respected by others, logically are two different things. Technically, however, the only thing that matters is what men with guns tell you.

Re:Is this legal? (4, Insightful)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about a year ago | (#45692529)

> Nobody is going to arrest them.

That's not necessary. The major phone companies can sue the Indiana State Police for whatever the corporate lawyers can come up with. And those lawyers don't live in Indiana, so they aren't subject to being pulled over in a traffic stop by the local cops. Alternately, independent lawyers can start a class action on behalf of the phone customers for violation of their civil rights. The cops may not go to jail, but their employers may face big financial settlements.

Re:Is this legal? (3, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#45691843)

Do state police have the authority to use them as well? Do they have a special license from the FCC?

Surly you jest! Are you not aware that laws do not apply to "LE"? Especially when tracking "terrorists"? Come on, dude, get out of the basement!

And if the Boston coppers were passing this all on to a Three Letter Agency, you can bet the FCC knew and turned a "blind eye".

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45691999)

So it is.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#45692687)

Boston, Indiana??

Re:Is this legal? (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about a year ago | (#45692003)

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up. Only because you are a balrog.

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692397)

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up. Only because you are a hotdog.

Doesn't matter (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#45692015)

Its already been proven the cops and the feds can do whatever they want without repercussions.

Re:Is this legal? (3, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45692023)

Doesn't the FCC regulate the frequencies used by cell phone towers? Do state police have the authority to use them as well? Do they have a special license from the FCC?

Two things to remember. First, each state police agency is already a licensed user of sophisticated radio equipment that will generally have state-wide reach, a law enforcement agency, increasingly automated with sophisticated equipment, and able to engage in surveillance. Second, Congress has passed laws that the FCC is involved with overseeing for the assistance of law enforcement.

Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [fcc.gov]

In response to concerns that emerging technologies such as digital and wireless communications were making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies to execute authorized surveillance, Congress enacted CALEA on October 25, 1994. CALEA requires a "telecommunications carrier," as defined by the Act, to ensure that equipment, facilities, or services that allow a customer or subscriber to "originate, terminate, or direct communications," enable law enforcement officials to conduct electronic surveillance pursuant to court order or other lawful authorization. CALEA was intended to preserve the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct electronic surveillance by requiring that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have the necessary surveillance capabilities as communications network technologies evolve

Re:Is this legal? (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45692277)

Where's the "court order?" Furthermore, there's nothing which would allow blanket surveillance of all users in an area, as opposed to individuals covered under a legitimate warrant.

Re:Is this legal? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45692417)

Where's the "court order?"

It's a normal part of the investigative process for police, so figure it out.

Furthermore, there's nothing which would allow blanket surveillance of all users in an area, as opposed to individuals covered under a legitimate warrant.

Do you think it might be possible that there is an imperfection in either your understanding of the methodology of use, or the law, given that these devices are in use and no doubt the combination has withstood legal challenges? But please, summon your facts if you have any, I'd love to see them.

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692499)

They haven't been legally challenged or that would be TFA...TFA as it is would be moot if there were anyone suing over this.
LOL, the police won't say how it is used because that would be "giving away our playbook." LAME!
DEFcon 18 [youtube.com] had a presentation about this kind of thing. All it does to get people to connect is lie and say it has max signal strength. Anyone can make a mini version of this for under $1000. The police spent a third of a million dollars, but then again they get some good range so... probably worth it.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#45692191)

You can get a license to "offer alternative cell phone connectivity"? Nice!

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692667)

You can get a license to "offer alternative cell phone connectivity"? Nice!

There is no connectivity.

It's basically like taking a regular wifi router with no password, setting it up to look normal, but not actually hooking it up to a network. You can still scrape a lot of data as people drive/walk past and their smartphones automatically connect to it.

This is the same type of thing.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#45692353)

Is this legal

When did they start giving a shit?

Captain Picard - So Sexy in That Chair! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691733)

RTFA (2)

avelyn (861334) | about a year ago | (#45691753)

I RTFA and got the first two words of the headline backwards, reading "Police State Acknowledge Use Of Cell Phone Tracking Device." Guess it's really the same either way, though.

Re:RTFA (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691803)

State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police
Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State
State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police
Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State
State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police State Police

Which do you see?

First seen at protests in Boston--in the 1980's.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692409)

I'm blind, you insensitive clod!

Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (4, Interesting)

Eggplant62 (120514) | about a year ago | (#45691789)

How is this not illegal wiretapping?

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691873)

the same exact way "parallel construction" isnt illegal.

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691953)

How is this not illegal wiretapping?

"We have guns'n'swat."

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692057)

Because it's just 'metadata' (unless they're recording the calls too, but likely they're encrypted end-to-end between the phone and MNO).

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692167)

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here: if the police actually have a warrant, then it isn't illegal.

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692407)

Warrant are issued by judges when the police have evidence to justify it. What kind of evidence would the police have to present to get a warrant that would cover recording all the metadata from everyone who just happens to be within range of this "tower"?

"Your honor, as part of an ongoing investigation, we need a warrant to perform cell phone surveillance on .... uh ... everyone."
"Everyone?"
"Yes, your honor. Everyone. Including you."
"Even me, huh? Well, what evidence do you have?"
"It's double-secret evidence, your honor. You'll have to take our word for it."
"Well, I can't argue with a double-secret. Single-secret? Yes, on a good day, yes, but not double-secret. Warrant issued."

What kind of clown show has the US justice system devolved into?

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#45692209)

No wires are involved. The law protecting you from wire tapping does not provide explicit language for non-wired communication and therefore does not apply.

Re:Explain it like I'm a 3 year old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692629)

Law is a funny thing. It only protects the other party. Always. It doesn't explicitly mention that I can't kill someone with a bottle either, but in that case you are expected to interpret it in a certain way. But not in this case? So if I happen to tap a phone of someone without using the actual wire, I'm safe, right? What a joke.

Possible countermeasure... (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year ago | (#45691793)

if GPS determines the phone hasn't moved, question this new "tower"...

Re:Possible countermeasure... (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#45691881)

The GPS reading on your phone may not change even if the calculation uses triangulation. The fake tower only needs to transmit its correct position.

And how would you "question" "that" tower? A cell phone does not tell you much about anything, and it has no controls to select one tower or another. Perhaps a criminal could turn the phone off; this would make this whole scheme even worse: only honest people would be spied upon.

Re:Possible countermeasure... (2)

C18H27NO3 (1282172) | about a year ago | (#45692153)

I have an app on my Android phone that logs cell tower locations and plots them on a map. I wonder if this Stingray device's ID would show up in multiple locations whenever it's moved. If so, that in itself would give it away in places that it's being used.

Re:Possible countermeasure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692237)

Not only that, if you could access your PRL tables, you might be able to completely lock the thing out if you could determine it's ID.

Re:Possible countermeasure... (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#45692599)

I am no expert on CDMA/GSM protocols, but it would seem to me that they spoof an existing nearby tower, then rebroadcast to it. Modifying your PRL or watching for bogus tower IDs would probably help little.

Re:Possible countermeasure... (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#45692235)

Someone finally got to the point. Know what cell towers you connect to so you know you are not connected to one that suddenly came into existence.

There is an app for that [opensignal.com]

Just keeps getting worse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691813)

Things like this are just going to get worse and worse until either someone in power does something drastic or else we wind up having a revolution / civil war, etc.The sad thing is that I understand the intentions behind it all (behind the things that place privacy in jeopardy, I mean), but we've reached such a fine-grained level of existence now with so many aspects of our everyday life that the gray areas separating privacy and security are no longer "minor inconveniences" but rather tragic infringements upon civil liberties, etc.

Long story short, if things like this keep happening (as well as continual unemployment increases, fraudulent laws being passed, etc.), sooner or later, something big is going to go down. There's only so much people can take.

should read "The Joke keeps getting worse" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691933)

It is a joke to the elitists in power, and the joke is on you. They have been in power for thousands of years, selectively inbreeding. They are psychopaths, they will destroy everything before they let us destroy them. Answer to the topic of this question, don't use a cell phone.

There is only so much people can take until you are taken away and executed for not behaving. Not standing in line, that is the end game of all of this. It happened in Germany not so long ago.

Unfortunately most don't get it. You think you can out gun these guys, you are fooling yourselves. They'll send the drones in with surgical strikes against the militias, it will be a fucking war zone if you think there will be revolution.

Re:should read "The Joke keeps getting worse" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692195)

Anything is still possible, though, and would likely begin with a surgical strike of the militia's own by trying something against the President in D.C. or something of that nature. With everything the way it is, I wouldn't be surprised if it would start with an internal power squabble of some sort between the various agencies / departments before it reached a militia level.

Re: should read "The Joke keeps getting worse" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692337)

The answer is peaceful non compliance.

Jammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691825)

So, how does one jam a mobile network? Since legal is out of the window anyway...

Re: Jammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691919)

Illegally

Re:Jammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692531)

You don't unless you want to be a pariah. Even if you are standing up for everyone's rights, they won't care when their smartphones don't work and they will blame only you and just to rub it in, they will vote into law that everyone should be bugged at all times just so you can't make your argument again in the future. Why? Because America. That's why.

DO ME CAPTAIN PICARD, MAKE IT SO!!!!!!!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45691841)

GAY Captain Picard grinds his chair with his ass

and he loves his blankey!

http://imgur.com/gallery/1tBxe [imgur.com]

What do you expect (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45691961)

in the apathic neck of the woods.

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#45692025)

... the police agencies of 49 other states express displeasure with Indiana for spilling the beans.

Not only is this entirely illegal, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692079)

...it is also entirely unconscionable. How does this not send Capt. Dave Bursten's head spinning with cognitive dissonance...

Indiana State Police Captain Dave Bursten said in a statement the department is working well within the bounds of the law.
[...]
USA Today and the IndyStar also sought records about what are known as âoetower dumps,â in which police seek court orders requiring cell phone companies to provide investigators with massive amounts of phone data.

So, 'tower dumps' require court orders (warrant?) for the police to gather the info - which presumably only includes the so-called metadata (yes, metadata is the important part), yet using this cell-tower-in-a-suitcase which has the potential to capture the actual content in addition to the metadata doesn't require a warrant? Even if they aren't gathering content, this is dragnet activity, which there are laws against.

Re:Not only is this entirely illegal, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692347)

When you are in a public place, such as a street or a shopping mall where one of these things may be deployed, you have ZERO expectation of privacy in anything you say or hear. Using this device out in public is simply equivalent to listening in as you talk to someone on the phone, which is perfectly legal in a public place.

The cops are well within the limits of the constitution and the Law.

Re:Not only is this entirely illegal, (2)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#45692695)

I think you are mistaken, We do have an expectation not to be tracked by the police. I believe when the police track you with out a warrant it is called harassment and is illegal.

After all what do you think meta-data is for.

In Soviet Russia, the Modem tracks THEM! (4, Informative)

Thor Ablestar (321949) | about a year ago | (#45692261)

Once upon a time, working for some Russian defense project I used there a Cellular Modem. The Modem has lots of AT commands that precisely informed about almost everything. As I know, CDMA modems have a similar set of functions.

Then, the second fact. The stingray does NOT use the same frequency as a real tower. It uses any free frequency and real credentials (If it uses the real frequency it will immediately cause lots of interference). And it should overpower the real tower since the phones connect to the most powerful tower. The Chinese cellular suppressors use the same tactic.

What does it mean: Any sufficiently opensource phone ( http://neo900.org/#main [neo900.org] for instance) can have a software that monitors the cellular connections for anything strange and immediately report it.

Also, the encoded GSM communications become trivial if you control your phone. It does NOT protect your metainfo but there are other means for it.

Indiana wants me... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#45692401)

Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there
Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there
I wish I had you to talk to

Red lights are flashing around me, good Lord, it looks like they found me

Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there
Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there
I wish I had you to talk to...

Indiana Resident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45692453)

This is so in-Amerocan. It's a gross invasion of privacy that seems to be the norm nowadays with the NSA. I'm pretty sure the foundering fathers would each take turns kicking all involved parties in the balls.

I thought the US Supreme Court.. (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about a year ago | (#45692535)

banned the use of tracking devices without a warrant. If they are tracking thousands at the same time they need thousands of warrants, one for each trackee. I doubt this happens. I hope the ACLU is on to the Indiana cops like fleas on a dog.
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