×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the not-even-in-the-sunshine-state dept.

Privacy 272

An anonymous reader writes 'A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them. "This is consistent with what we've seen around the country with federal agencies trying to meddle with public requests for stingray information," Wessler said, noting that federal authorities have in other cases invoked the Homeland Security Act to prevent the release of such records. "The feds are working very hard to block any release of this information to the public." ... "We've seen our fair share of federal government attempts to keep records about stingrays secret, but we've never seen an actual physical raid on state records in order to conceal them from public view," the ACLU wrote in a blog post today.'

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Ha! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175285)

Just another example of the "open administration"!

Re:Ha! (5, Funny)

jc42 (318812) | about 6 months ago | (#47175313)

Just another example of the "open administration"!

All Your Doors are Open to US.

The US gov has turned rogue ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175993)

""This is consistent with what we've seen around the country with federal agencies trying to meddle with public requests for stingray information"

Another word, the US government is becoming more and more fascist and more and more the citizens of the United States of America are losing control of their own so-called Democratically elected government

Re:The US gov has turned rogue ! (0)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 6 months ago | (#47176261)

Another word, the US government is becoming more and more fascist and more and more the citizens of the United States of America are losing control of their own so-called Democratically elected government

And yet, I'll bet you hate the ACLU with a purple passion.

Re:Ha! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175605)

IOW, "Thanks Obama."

Re:Ha! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176175)

In America only the government have a right to be forgotten.

Obama's police state? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175309)

Orwell was just 30 years late on his predictions...

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#47175353)

Orwell was just 30 years late on his predictions...

What I wonder every time I see this: do the law enforcement officers involved ever think something like, "wow, by doing this I become one of the jack-booted thugs working hard to bring tyranny and corruption to this nation!" Are they complete myrmidons? Are they "true believers" who really managed to convince themselves this is all for some kind of nebulous greater good? Are they simply sociopaths with no conscience? Are they somehow brave enough to take on an armed criminal yet too cowardly to refuse bullshit orders?

What exactly goes through their minds? That's what I wonder.

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175403)

> What exactly goes through their minds?
"I'm just doing my job." Just like you they have families too that need to be fed.

Whether it's being a jack booted thug violating laws in order to spy on everyone or escorting prisoners to the gas^H^H^Hshower chamber and then disposing of the bodies in an oven, these people are merely doing their job and getting paid for it.

Why ask beyond that?

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175455)

Just another "just following orders" excuse. As usual, it's utterly invalid.

Re:Obama's police state? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176169)

Just another "just following orders" excuse. As usual, it's utterly invalid.

It might not work as an excuse, but it can still be the honest reason.

Re:Obama's police state? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#47175501)

Why ask beyond that?

Because the police state apparatus could not function if these people remembered their humanity.

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Insightful)

ah.clem (147626) | about 6 months ago | (#47175745)

Because the police state apparatus could not function if these people remembered their humanity.

I have known several police officers in my lifetime - almost to a person, they had the attitude that the world was made up of two kinds of folks - them and the "perps" - and we're all the perps. To paraphrase Bryant in "Blade Runner", "You now the score, pal; if you're not cop, you're 'little people'".

An interesting aside from an ex-LEO in the town I live in; according to him, they figure it's about 7 years from rookie to bad cap. Not sure if that is true all over, but it seems reasonable; they're average HS grad/CJ AAs to start out with, and they see the worst of humanity on daily basis - pretty easy to lump everyone together after a while, I bet.

Re:Obama's police state? (2)

msauve (701917) | about 6 months ago | (#47175999)

" they figure it's about 7 years from rookie to bad cap"

Power corrupts...

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47176089)

Just like it is to lump them all in with the bad cops. And if I get you right, it's not even wrong to do so. Provided they've been in the force for 7 years or longer.

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176191)

Each and every single cop is a 'bad cop' when they refuse to apply the law to their peers.

The LAPD shot at a truck full of old women because "it matched the description of Dorner's truck" (except that it didn't, and don't they have these things called license plates?). What happened there? Cops watched other cops fire on a vehicle with no indication of the occupants posing an imminent threat to anyone. What was the aftermath? It certainly wasn't placing cops in jail and removing their special cop status which makes them above the law. How many times do incidents like this occur in the United States? Probably so many that it would make you sick.

Each and every single cop will never protect you or your family, ever, under any circumstances. Each and every single cop is out to harass you, detain you, steal from you, beat you or shoot you. The only interaction you can ever, EVER have with a cop winds up with you on the losing end. Even if you are in a coma and can pose no danger whatsoever, a cop will get away with shooting you due to 'officer safety'.

Yes, it really, REALLY has gotten this bad with police misbehavior.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176045)

Why ask beyond that?

Because the police state apparatus could not function if these people remembered their humanity.

Since we are talking about the government of the United States of America it has nothing to do with "humanity" but rather, it has everything to do with one's knowledge of what the country of the United States of America stands for

Very unfortunately most of those motherfucking jackboots do not understand - and/or do not care about - the spirit of FREEDOM , of LIBERTY , of " Of the people, By the people, For the people " that were embedded with the Constitution of the United States of America !

Cops aren't supreme court justices (4, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 6 months ago | (#47175897)

A majority of people in society aren't deep philosophical thinkers. They want to do their 40 hours, and go have a beer and watch football. Police are a fair cross section of society, so most cops aren't going to stop and ask if what they are doing is a fundamental violation of a person's constitutional rights, unless it is a pretty sever deviation for normal behavior. (Ex: beheading perps caught in the act)

I don't think most cops think too much about it, they have plenty of more immediate problems to keep busy with.

Re: Cops aren't supreme court justices (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176215)

Right, like violating people's civil rights. That's a full time job.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175413)

Don't piss off the boss.

That's what goes through their minds.

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Insightful)

amxcoder (1466081) | about 6 months ago | (#47175419)

They are union workers, making good union pay, with an awesome retirement package, and are granted power and authority over everyone else, including the ability to be armed at all times. My guess is they don't want to give that up, for any price. I would re-write your last sentence, and say most are "have the 'adrenalin junky' need (and life insurance) to take on an armed criminal and too enticed by their job benefits to refuse orders and loose it."

Re:Obama's police state? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175677)

Can't resist union bashing at all costs, huh? That's the ONLY reason anybody ever does anything like this, even in jobs or states where unions don't really exist or have bargaining power?

Idiot.

Re:Obama's police state? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175767)

Blame the government employee cartels with conflating themselves with the labor movement, when they certainly are not. Even the lowest government employee a member of the rentier class exploiting the taxpayer proletariat.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175823)

You the idiot.

I read it as "when a cop does something bad, even really bad, the strong union makes it almost impossible to fire his ass even though it is the right thing to do."

The good pay, ret. pkg., high authority, paid to play with guns ... are all fantastic incentives. And what good are incentives if you don't use them and push their limits, especially if you never get fired for it?

I see no union bashing here. amxcoder might despise unions, but here he was making a legitimate point.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175863)

I read it as "when a cop does something bad, even really bad, the strong union makes it almost impossible to fire his ass even though it is the right thing to do."
---
If that's what you read then your computer is hacked because being protected by their union isn't even hinted at in the text that everyone else read.

Re:Obama's police state? (4, Interesting)

amxcoder (1466081) | about 6 months ago | (#47175955)

There is a difference between a normal union, and public employee union. Police are members of "Public employee Unions", which do not have anyone at the public's side of the table negotiating for the public. It's basically other government workers approving the government workers pay increases when the public employee union demands more pay. It is a 1 sided bargaining agreement, where no one that represents the taxpayers are there to negotiate on our behalf.

Re:Obama's police state? (3, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#47175423)

I'm waiting for the police to begin wearing actual jackboots again!

In a sense they are though. In the 40s, the boots cavalry officers wore were seen as how elite troops dressed, so police who would never ride a horse wore jackboots and black uniforms and the rest of it to look as intimidating as possible. Now we have militarized police in the US with armored cars, assault rifles, body armor, and sure enough black uniforms on raids. Sigh.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about 6 months ago | (#47175557)

They still do - particularly motorcycle cops.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 6 months ago | (#47175735)

Jackboots probably don't make much sense to wear if you're not riding a horse or a motorcycle, and probably make it harder to walk. Infantry troops don't wear them after all.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#47175771)

What does sense have to do with it [wikipedia.org] . But since it's not how elite soldiers dress today, I doubt the cops will be either (well, except motorcycle cops, but they actually have an excuse).

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 6 months ago | (#47175833)

That's a military dress uniform, not a combat uniform. It was never meant to be used in battle, and doesn't make sense to. It's no different than modern dress uniforms in the US military, except that the Germans back then did have a pretty good sense of style you have to admit (thought I'm not so sure about the pants). Dress uniforms have no bearing on combat clothing.

Police uniforms aren't quite as utterly utilitarian as BDUs, but they do have to be utilitarian to a good degree because cops really do wear them while chasing down suspects. And the uniforms they wear during, for instance, riot deployments, are I believe not the same as what they might wear while doing speeding patrols.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47176121)

Considering that the legend says "Dienstuniform der Allgemeinen SS", which means "Duty uniform of the common SS", I'd guess that this WAS actually the service uniform, not the dress uniform.

And unless my history knowledge serves me wrong, that was actually the "ordinary" uniform of the SS.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

youngone (975102) | about 6 months ago | (#47176251)

Designed and made by Hugo Boss.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#47176273)

The SS cared not for logic, rationality, nor utility. It was all about the murder, and the nifty uniforms.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 6 months ago | (#47175961)

I'm waiting for the police to begin wearing actual jackboots again!

In a sense they are though.

At this point, I won't be surprised when they get out the nail polish remover and the Kragl.

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Insightful)

BoberFett (127537) | about 6 months ago | (#47175433)

It's us vs them. They're the good guys, and everybody out there is a bad guy.

Why let red tape get in the way of taking down the bad guy?

Re:Obama's police state? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47176129)

Because it's still illegal to shoot cops on sight?

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 6 months ago | (#47175451)

Are they "true believers" who really managed to convince themselves this is all for some kind of nebulous greater good?

Pretty much.

There's a degree of self-serving included. They work for the government so any attempt to reveal what they do and how they do it is an attack on them.

And if you're attacking them, that makes you the "bad guy". And they have to stop the "bad guys".

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 6 months ago | (#47175479)

I imagine the following stream of un-consciousness:

  "Crap! That's not what I signed up for! But if it stops terrorists then I guess it's OK. Times aren't what they used to be. Things change. Somebody smarter than me probably has this all figured out to make sure we don't fall into tyranny. Oh, it's time for my 'No Hesitation' target practice. Last week was armed pregnant women. I hope we get armed children this time. Those are my favorite - probably because they are so disturbing. Good times."

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | about 6 months ago | (#47175599)

They are probably more Pollyannas than Myrmidons. Either way, not good. Hopefully something will break this seeming juggernaut of government action suppressing information that people should have available to them.

Re:Obama's police state? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175611)

You ask a complex question. Much too complex for much of what passes for insight on /. these days, but I'll try to chime in.

I worked in law enforcement for several years. I was not with the federal government, but my state agency did quite a few joint operations with various federal agencies including FBI, DHS, ICE, EPA, and others. I've sat through the briefings and been part of the planning as well as the execution of many warrants. Here's my take on it -

Federal agents are a different breed. They are largely self-selected into the ranks and definitely fall into the category of "true believer". Their personal mandate varies, though it sometimes falls in line with the agency mandate (i.e., EPA is definitely about the environment and collects staff with a very dogmatic mindset). One thing holds true - by and large, federal agents have a personality of a soldier in the field. They follow orders without question and largely without independent thought. If it's not in the procedure manual or passed on a memo, it does not exist. These are the people that will, without fail, always walk only on the sidewalk in designated spots. The exceptions to this rule generally do not make a career in federal law enforcement service. You will see them get in and get out as soon as the resume is adequately seasoned.

So, if you want to know how this stuff happens, here's the break down. From on-high, some agency director or even the President sets out a mandate. Nothing too specific, but just a pet project or vision. It then filters down to the chiefs and assistant chiefs who begin to craft policy. Eventually, it winds its way through the machinations of the organization until it hits some SAC or ASAC's desk and then they issue a memo to their staff about the marching orders. From there, you get special agents who execute the orders. This can often be initiated because of a lead or other process, but it often happens with a phone call from some other agency that could use the assistance of a friendly. From there, the forms get filed, cases opened, and things escalate. Before you know it, it's on slashdot and people are asking WTF?

In the end, the lower ranks execute the orders to try and be good soldiers and get the next promotion, raise, and favorable posting. The middle managers take a bow, but remain safe behind their desk. The senior managers build plausible deniability. No one ever really gets in trouble, because after all is said and done, what US Attorney or AUSA is going to go balls to the wall probing one of their own agencies?

 

Re: Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175741)

Check out this free eBook studying authoritarianism - the leaders and followers both, and what that might herald. http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Re:Obama's police state? (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#47175825)

Read Bob Altemeyers "The Authoritarians" http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~a... [umanitoba.ca]

These people literally do not understand the immeasurable damage they do. At the same time, they think whatever they do is good for society. It is a special, unfortunately widespread, mental disability and one that pushes people into law enforcement, law and government work.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175913)

Alternatively, it keeps people with the kind of personality that moderates institutional authoritarianism out of the organization.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#47176053)

That as well. They tend to feel not welcome there.

Re:Obama's police state? (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 6 months ago | (#47176285)

Read Bob Altemeyers "The Authoritarians" http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~a... [umanitoba.ca]

These people literally do not understand the immeasurable damage they do. At the same time, they think whatever they do is good for society. It is a special, unfortunately widespread, mental disability and one that pushes people into law enforcement, law and government work.

What a bunch of hyper-partisan clap-trap. All on one web page. I've never seen so many Democratic party talking points crammed into one paragraph as they have managed on that web site.

Sorry, but the issue is not attributable to one side of the 2-party duopoly coin, and, no, you can't blame Bush for 5 years of continuing down the same ruinous, tyrannical past. Republicans do not have an exclusive on authoritarianism, any more than Democrats have an exclusive on crony capitalism. If you're writing essays praising TARP and the 2009 Stimulus in one breath, and complaining about income inequality in the next, you obviously have a lot to learn about what the real issues are. Replacing all the Republicans with Democrats is not going to fix a single one of them.

Re:Obama's police state? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#47175831)

What goes through their mind is their training; official and unofficial. Their job in most law enforcement agencies is to catch bad guys, and that is the only focus. Issues such as preserving rights or avoiding mistakenly catching good guys is not included anywhere in their agenda. This is not a new thing, it's been around forever. Law enforcement people have a goal to catch the bad guy with whatever it takes and after awhile this becomes instinctual. And that's the thinking of the _good_ law enforcement people, there's also a subset that feels it's alright to break the law in the pursuit of the bad guys.

Therefore It takes additional training effort to overcome the natural inclination to catch bad guys as the one and only priority.

In this particular case, it's easy to imagine someone thinking that they must not let the bad guys know that they're being spied upon and how, and not destroy any ongoing expensive investigations, so the first impulse is to prevent the release of those records or to censor them (and it's hard to censor when the docs are someone else's hands).

Also remember that in many of these agency's minds, the ACLU are not the good guys. The ACLU to them is the annoying group that manages to let the bad guys go free. They probably don't have any mental connection between "ACLU" and "the American people we are sworn to protect".

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175871)

"What exactly goes through their minds?"

Extra spending money, raises, promotions, bills, etc. The usual things.

Re: Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175937)

Here's a nice book about it
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 6 months ago | (#47176155)

What I wonder every time I see this: do the law enforcement officers involved ever think something like, "wow, by doing this I become one of the jack-booted thugs working hard to bring tyranny and corruption to this nation!" Are they complete myrmidons?

Anyone with an IQ above 105-110 is barred from becoming a police officer.

Examples abound, in the US and elsewhere, so I'll let you find examples of this long-known fact.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#47176263)

What I wonder every time I see this: do the law enforcement officers involved ever think something like, "wow, by doing this I become one of the jack-booted thugs working hard to bring tyranny and corruption to this nation!" Are they complete myrmidons?

Anyone with an IQ above 105-110 is barred from becoming a police officer. Examples abound, in the US and elsewhere, so I'll let you find examples of this long-known fact.

I've met more than one person with a high IQ who possessed neither the emotional maturity to perform any sort of introspection nor the courage of character to think for themselves and question everything that someone else taught them to believe. People like this are shrewd and highly effective at getting what they want but have all the same unwise, shallow, and childish tendencies/priorities so common in the rest of the population.

But I'm really not surprised that the police departments find intellectual ability undesirable. I would assume that obedience is their favorite trait, followed by the belief that what is legal is always exactly the same thing as what is right.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 6 months ago | (#47175667)

You mean the president's police state. Nothing here is specific to one particular president, or even to a particular political party. Any president in power be the nominal head of the federal law enforcement agencies, and those agencies will be doing what ever they like anyway while sweet talking the president into accepting it. The only way this would change is if the president or AG disapprove of such measures, recognize that they have lost control of their agencies, and take active and firm steps to reel in the agencies and force them to comply with the law. This would most likely require taking away all ability for a lawyer working for the executive branch or agency to create a legal opinion that essentially acts as an excuse to avoid the law; any reinterpretation of the law must come from outside the executive branch.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175731)

Orwell was just 30 years late on his predictions...

Predictions? Ha! The Republicans that rule this country are using it as a guidebook. They don't want the poor and minorities to have any rights. That is why they are working so hard to take the right to earn money from us. We will starve after they make us homeless. Just go to any homeless shelter, and you will see 90+% of the victims there are minorities. That is their way. They want everyone that isn't an old rich white person to die. Obama has done a little to slow them down, but he is only one person fighting their control of the government.

Re:Obama's police state? (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 6 months ago | (#47176039)

you know, you're an idiot troll and you pollute just about every single thread on slashdot.. but I'll bite.
spend much time in shelters? see many panhandlers? citation please.

How are the evil republicans singling out minorities and starving them for work/jobs/housing exactly?

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176229)

> you know, you're an idiot troll and you pollute just about every single thread on slashdot...

Yeahhhhhhh... The guy who thinks "anonymous coward" is one guy trolling every single thread on slashdot is the guy with the better grip on reality.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176217)

You know Barry O who is certainly not a republican, has been running the show for the past several years right? He's certainly has expanded upon the work of GWB that's for certain.

At least the Republicans are honest about fucking you, the Democrats act like they're taking you out on a dinner date then they roofie you.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176239)

Oh please. The Democrats are the least worse party so they deserve our support.

Re:Obama's police state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176091)

Yep. This definitely means that the government does not work for the good of the people. Isn't it time you start shooting these guys with the guns that you have for this specific purpose? How much more proof do you need? When is the right time to form that militia? I'm starting to believe that those guns are pretty useless and that amendment maybe is not necessary.

because... terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175327)

9/11

Re:because... terrorists (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47176141)

Does anyone still believe that shit? I mean, even INSIDE the building? Or has "terrorists" become the new Santa Claus? Where the kids pretend they believe in it because it makes the parents happy...

Get used to it. (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#47175333)

These kinds of shenanigans are going to continue until the American public puts a stop to it.
Note, I said the public. Not the government.
The government, and it's various tentacles, simply don't WANT it to stop. Even if diverse individuals composing said tentacles do.
It is simply one more way of maintaining some form of leverage against an increasingly interconnected population that can make it's own decisions and plans without a bunch of stuffed shirts and their ridiculous budgets.
It will continue until they are physically restricted from doing these things.

"Physically restricted"? Get real. (4, Insightful)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 6 months ago | (#47175481)

It will continue until they are physically restricted from doing these things.

Get real. Putting the Green or Libertarian parties in charge of the presidency and both houses of congress, with an overwhelming mandate to fix these issues, would be much, much easier and more successful than waging a successful war of violence on the federal government. "Grab your rifles and rise up" only works when you have the public at large passionately on your side. When that is the case in a modern republic, there are better tools available.

Re:"Physically restricted"? Get real. (2)

praxis (19962) | about 6 months ago | (#47175621)

Putting the Green or Libertarian parties in charge of the presidency and both houses of congress, with an overwhelming mandate to fix these issues, would be much, much easier and more successful than waging a successful war of violence on the federal government

How do you know what the Green or Libertarians will do when they have that kind of power?

Re:"Physically restricted"? Get real. (4, Insightful)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 6 months ago | (#47175655)

How do you know what the revolutionary army capable of defeating the US federal government will do when it seizes control? How is that any better? How is it not, in fact, far less predictable?

Re:"Physically restricted"? Get real. (2)

praxis (19962) | about 6 months ago | (#47175927)

How do you know what the revolutionary army capable of defeating the US federal government will do when it seizes control? How is that any better? How is it not, in fact, far less predictable?

I never said it was better. There are more than those two options.

Re:Get used to it. (1)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#47175527)

These kinds of shenanigans are going to continue until the American public puts a stop to it. Note, I said the public. Not the government.

The nation is full of people who cannot even control their own waistlines, let alone something with a will of its own like this.

I really hope people are waking up and deciding to stop being so passive and unwilling to take a little responsibility. I really do hope so. If that is happening, it's not the sort of thing that would get reported by the mainstream corporate media. After all, that might encourage it.

Re:Get used to it. We are not unique (2)

X-Ray Artist (1784416) | about 6 months ago | (#47175727)

Government is a leaving, breathing thing. It subsists on liberties. The more liberties it consumes, the bigger it gets. The bigger it gets, the more liberties it needs. It has no sense of moderation and will consume liberties until there no more. Then it will die. Then, like the Phoenix, another will rise from the ashes and start the whole process again.

Re:Get used to it. (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#47175875)

I completely agree. However it will likely require another global totalitarian catastrophe first (WW3 was the last one and we narrowly avoided one during the cold war). I predict the death count accumulated in WW2 will look insignificant when the US (and the UK) have clawed their way back to being free countries. Freedom always has to be won with blood and unless people that are willing to pay more blood for it defend freedom, it always goes away again in a few generations.

Re:Get used to it. (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 6 months ago | (#47176003)

The government, and it's various tentacles, simply don't WANT it to stop. Even if diverse individuals composing said tentacles do.

Oooohhhh, now I understand what they mean when they say tentacle r--

Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (5, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 months ago | (#47175347)

There could be a number of reasons why they don't want the info public

1) It doesn't work that well, or there is an obvious defense against it they don't want public.

2) They've been abusing their power some how by collecting info on people not really suspects, and don't want to be hit up by every divorce lawyer in the country. ( not sure if that's really illegal).

3) They're idiotic power tripping jerks that think its an ultra secret thing that will cause all law enforcement to lose its effectiveness if more people know about it.

4) It contains evidence of alien life forms visits to our planet, and their preference for blackberry cell phones.

Re:Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175453)

Consider me placated. I'm sure they (every last one of them) will use this huge power responsibly and I don't need to worry about overreach, exploitation, or any sort of misuse, not with the sparkling track record behind THIS country's federal powers.

-AC.Falos

Re:Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175513)

5) The NSA is a gigantic scam that's ripping off the public. Free money for contractors with zero accountability. Sunlight is the enemy of those who steal in the dark and they'll do anything to hold on to their free paycheck.

Don't go off the deep end with conspiracy theories about power and shadow governments. It's about money. It's always about money. It's only ever been about money and will only every be about money in the future.

Re:Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 6 months ago | (#47175681)

There could be a number of reasons why they don't want the info public

1) It doesn't work that well, or there is an obvious defense against it they don't want public.

2) They've been abusing their power some how by collecting info on people not really suspects, and don't want to be hit up by every divorce lawyer in the country. ( not sure if that's really illegal).

3) They're idiotic power tripping jerks that think its an ultra secret thing that will cause all law enforcement to lose its effectiveness if more people know about it.

4) It contains evidence of alien life forms visits to our planet, and their preference for blackberry cell phones.

5) They've been using it to track some for-real bad guys, and the release of the documents would compromise an ongoing investigation or investigations.

I suspect it's a combination of mostly (2), some (5), and a sprinkling of (3).

Re:Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 6 months ago | (#47176057)

I suspect data related to ongoing investigtions would be excluded from an FIOA request and as such would not require censorship by the feds.

Re:Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 6 months ago | (#47175785)

5) The device works great but if the bad guys get the info, it will tell the bad guys how to tell if they are being monitored/tracked/etc by it (so they can make sure they dont do anything incriminating in a way that it would be captured with these devices)

Re:Embarrassing info, or are the feds just idiots? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47176055)

The answer is, all of the above... and more.

Hard copy? (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 6 months ago | (#47175359)

Well, I'd just ask them to email the document. Then if some "federal agency" demand the documents, they can simply email them to that federal agency. Saves everyone time, and everyone's got what they want.

Actually, I'm surprised they didn't handle it this way from the start. That way the "private citizen" wouldn't even know that another department had "seized" their documents.

But maybe I've just been working on the Internet too long. I tend to be surprised when someone wants to deal with hard copy.

Re:Hard copy? (4, Funny)

amxcoder (1466081) | about 6 months ago | (#47175463)

I wonder if the Feds went all out like they do to us civilians when they performed the raid. Did they perform a typical 'no knock' raid, at like 3AM, and knock the doors in and smash the windows, and toss 'Flash Bangs' in the room and enter the premises with a small military unit in order to perform the records seizure?

That is how it's done with normal folks now days, for small stuff even.

Re:Hard copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175683)

My guess is that at some point over the past few days, there were some phone calls made between senior people in the local department and some decision-makers in the federal agency. They arrived at some agreement and at a prescheduled time a couple special agents showed up, picked up a box with the material, and off they went. I'm sure this was about as contentious as a summer party.

Re:Hard copy? (3, Interesting)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | about 6 months ago | (#47175787)

I wonder if the Feds went all out like they do to us civilians when they performed the raid. Did they perform a typical 'no knock' raid, at like 3AM, and knock the doors in and smash the windows, and toss 'Flash Bangs' in the room and enter the premises with a small military unit in order to perform the records seizure?

There was no "raid" - what they did was deputize the detective in charge of the records as a U.S. Marshal, and then instruct him to transfer the records in question to other U.S. Marshals.

Pretty questionable, legally (basically, they completely sidestepped state public records laws using this trick), but I'm not sure that "raid" is the correct word to describe the processes.

Re:Hard copy? (1)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#47176207)

There was no "raid" - what they did was deputize the detective in charge of the records as a U.S. Marshal, and then instruct him to transfer the records in question to other U.S. Marshals.

Does that place him on their payroll? And, what happens if he immediately responds to that by resigning?

Re:Hard copy? (1)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#47175487)

Well, I'd just ask them to email the document. Then if some "federal agency" demand the documents, they can simply email them to that federal agency. Saves everyone time, and everyone's got what they want.

Actually, I'm surprised they didn't handle it this way from the start. That way the "private citizen" wouldn't even know that another department had "seized" their documents.

But maybe I've just been working on the Internet too long. I tend to be surprised when someone wants to deal with hard copy.

"Seized the records" probably means the same thing it means when individuals are raided for computer crimes: grab all hard copies, all hard drives, and all other electronic storage media believed to be holding said records.

Maybe the next Snowden works for one of these police departments.

Out of control (2, Insightful)

BobSwi (607571) | about 6 months ago | (#47175361)

This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Re:Out of control (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 6 months ago | (#47175873)

That's from "The Hunt for Red October," isn't it?

BASTARDS! (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#47175363)

Well, I don't know about you, but I feel safer knowing the NSA is keeping those filthy terrorists, the ACLU, away from information of high importance to national security. Why we don't jail anyone who even reads the Constitution is beyond me.

"the ACLU wrote in a blog post today." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175407)

06/03/2014 -- that was two (2) days ago.

#fail.

Re:"the ACLU wrote in a blog post today." (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 months ago | (#47175457)

Just because it was posted on 06/05/2014 doesn't mean that that was when it was submitted. It may well have taken two days to get to the front page.

Re:"the ACLU wrote in a blog post today." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47176137)

It took less than 10 minutes from submission.

Tim was on the ball this afternoon.

-AC

Preventing Stingray from working (5, Interesting)

NynexNinja (379583) | about 6 months ago | (#47175549)

So, I've been thinking of how could we prevent such a rogue device from operating on the cellular network? The way it is done is pretty easy actually:
* First you have to create a database of longitude / latitude coordinates of where we find cell tower sites at 100% signal strength.
* Next we allow Android's baseband processor to issue handoffs to cell towers that are within range of the GeoIP coordinate database
* So when a Stingray device pretends to be a cell tower, and it is not within range of the geoIP coordinates database, it will be rejected

This could be easily implemented in Android... and you could also add notifications when a cell tower was rejected due to being too far away from the known cell tower real location.

Re: Preventing Stingray from working (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175573)

And then when there's a disaster and telcos have to put up temporary emergency towers android phones become unusable to make calls.

Re: Preventing Stingray from working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175629)

If you are in a disaster area turn off your app

Re:Preventing Stingray from working (2)

dave562 (969951) | about 6 months ago | (#47175719)

Does it need to be that complicated with the signal strength readings? I am not up to speed on cellular technology, but don't cell towers have the equivalent of a MAC address? Surely there has to be some sort of hardware identifier that is visible. We are talking about TCP/IP here....

If so, it would be easy enough to develop a database of legit addresses and do a look up against that list every time a hand-off occurs. The list could be easily paired down by county / state / zip code.

Re:Preventing Stingray from working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175893)

Any broadcast address could be spoofed. Even if they used something cryptographic it could be hard to protect against.

Re:Preventing Stingray from working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175805)

So, I've been thinking of how could we prevent such a rogue device from operating on the cellular network? The way it is done is pretty easy actually:

    * First you have to create a database of longitude / latitude coordinates of where we find cell tower sites at 100% signal strength.

    * Next we allow Android's baseband processor to issue handoffs to cell towers that are within range of the GeoIP coordinate database

    * So when a Stingray device pretends to be a cell tower, and it is not within range of the geoIP coordinates database, it will be rejected

This could be easily implemented in Android... and you could also add notifications when a cell tower was rejected due to being too far away from the known cell tower real location.

And what about when a tower gets re-sectored for load management and the radios change power?
What about when picocells start showing up every other block for better urban coverage of cellular broadband services?
Lets also block out any cell space where people are likely to aggregate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_on_wheels.

I imagine the solutions to these problems is to use a fluid database check an answer from the phone to the DB - over cell broadband, which gets intercepted by the stingray which behaves just like a cell on wheels. or inject stingrays into the database as legit points. but then we can just secure the database to our ever so trusty and reliable communications carriers who have never been known to roll over for any secret orders.

the feedback loop here just keeps going on and on. if you don't want to be tracked, turn off your radios and put them in faraday cages, find a way to physically anonymize yourself (disguise) and spend a lot of time working on hiding in plain sight. or just give up and work on ways to troll the hell out of these platforms.

Re:Preventing Stingray from working (2)

Kernel Kurtz (182424) | about 6 months ago | (#47175981)

There are several projects based on mapping cell towers.

There are also projects looking to use network diagnostic info from the phone itself. Everything is still very alpha at this stage, but hopefully that will change.

The most well known is probably this one;

https://opensource.srlabs.de/p... [srlabs.de]

There is also a project on XDA that has attracted some attention;

http://forum.xda-developers.co... [xda-developers.com]

Unfortunately I don't think it is as easy as the parent suggests.

Fucking Bush! (4, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47175689)

That Haliburton, Enron, Koch Industries lackey!

If only this country would have elected a constitutional scholar, like Barack Obama...

Oh wait...

LK

If I was the Judge.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175721)

And this will end up in front of a judge, I'd be really, really, pissed.

I'd be throwing the book at everybody, the officers doing the seizing, their superiors for ordering it, everyone up the chain who even saw this happening. Anything and everything I think that applied I'd throw at them. Those documents were already subject to legal proceedings, I'd start with Obstruction and move up from there, finishing off with determining that their removal of these documents and irrational unwillingness to have them see the light of day in a court house demonstrates they prove criminal activity. After all, if you are the Department of Justice, but scared of your actions being examined in court something has gone very wrong.

If there really was a good reason to withhold them you file it with the Court and the Court orders them sealed, Law enforcement over stepping their authority and messing with Legal proceedings is something that would royally piss me off as a judge.

The NSA might get to hide behind National Security and their Classified Courts, but the DoJ just plain inst in that line of work, and that kind of 11th hour bullshit just doesn't fly.

Re:If I was the Judge.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175975)

And this will end up in front of a judge, I'd be really, really, pissed.

I'd be throwing the book at everybody, the officers doing the seizing, their superiors for ordering it, everyone up the chain who even saw this happening. Anything and everything I think that applied I'd throw at them. Those documents were already subject to legal proceedings, I'd start with Obstruction and move up from there, finishing off with determining that their removal of these documents and irrational unwillingness to have them see the light of day in a court house demonstrates they prove criminal activity. After all, if you are the Department of Justice, but scared of your actions being examined in court something has gone very wrong.

If there really was a good reason to withhold them you file it with the Court and the Court orders them sealed, Law enforcement over stepping their authority and messing with Legal proceedings is something that would royally piss me off as a judge.

The NSA might get to hide behind National Security and their Classified Courts, but the DoJ just plain inst in that line of work, and that kind of 11th hour bullshit just doesn't fly.

A Mississippi Judge just did that. The local paper tried to get some records from a state agency and they first denied them, then after an order to produce was issued they had a federal prosecutor take them under cover of darkness to a different part of the state. Eventually a federal judge ordered their return to the state court, where the state judge fined several people for contempt of court and open records law violations. The state attorney general was in on it along with several federal officers and prosecutors, the attorney general even went so far as to say "think of how this will look on your permanent record after you are reversed." I say through the bums in JAIL for 30 days at the time for each individual charge of contempt of court, especially when under color of law.

Re:If I was the Judge.. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 months ago | (#47176135)

the attorney general even went so far as to say "think of how this will look on your permanent record after you are reversed."

I do hope that that attorney general got to spend some time in jail for that because threatening the judge like that is clearly contempt of court, and a simple slap on the wrist, or a small fine just isn't enough to make the point clear.

Bunch of corrupt to the bone cunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47175867)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5gRIud57jQ

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?