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DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,21 days | from the bending-the-rules dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

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TITLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43306853)

Seriously now, the first sentence even says it right and that's all you added. The title should read "... WithOUT Explicit Warrants"

CAPTCHA: wiretaps

stingray phone tracking device (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,21 days | (#43306891)

I have never heard of this device before, and doing a quick search online, I was unable to find details about it. Who manufacturers it? What are the restrictions for purchasing it?

Re:stingray phone tracking device (4, Informative)

cyrano.mac (916276) | 1 year,21 days | (#43306939)

There are no limits to what a DIY-er kan buy in China. And with SDR (software defined radio) and open source GSM software, it takes relatively little effort to build one yourself. There's even a small GSM router (20-30 euros on evilbay) that's very popular for that sort of projects. It holds the GSM modem and Wifi, so you can easily control it from a laptop.

MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (5, Informative)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,21 days | (#43306997)

Harris makes them. The devices are supposedly only sold to law-enforcement agencies and government agencies. Disambiguate "stingray" to find a little info:
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stingray_phone_tracker [wikipedia.org]
2 - Wall Street Journal article [wsj.com] "'Stingray' Phone Tracker Fuels Constitutional Clash"
3 - another WSJ article [wsj.com] about "Judge Questions Tools That Grab Cellphone Data on Innocent People"

Essentially, the "Stingray" sends out a signal pretending to be a cell-phone tower. Your cellphone thinks it's found a great super-strong tower nearby, detaches from the real cell-phone towers and bonds to the Stingray and attempts to communicate through it. Now, the DOJ (or whomever) has performed a Man in the Middle (a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-in-the-middle_attack MITM ) attack on your cell phone's communication with it's cellular service company. It impersonates a cellular tower.
.
Here's an interesting point from the WSJ article:

... Stingray equipment can be carried by hand or mounted on vehicles or even drones.
... The best known stingray maker is Florida-based defense contractor Harris Corp. A spokesman for Harris declined to comment.
... Harris holds trademarks registered between 2002 and 2008 on several devices, including the StingRay, StingRay II, AmberJack, KingFish, TriggerFish and LoggerHead. Similar devices are available from other manufacturers. According to a Harris document, its devices are sold only to law-enforcement and government agencies.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307319)

"law-enforcement and government agencies" -- this is a common phrase in American English, but is it a legal term with precise meaning? IE, are there "law-enforcement" agents that are not "government"; like does it include bounty hunters for instance? renta-cops? school security guards? Seems far too broad.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307755)

It has no legal bearing. It just means the company won't sell one to you. You can't get one without contacts.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308537)

There are government agencies that are not "law enforcement" agencies, such as the NSA.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (4, Insightful)

morcego (260031) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307365)

The devices are supposedly only sold to law-enforcement agencies and government agencies.

Gosh, I feel so much safer now :(

Can't these guys get that this kind of stuff, in the hands of the government, is EXACTLY the problem?

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307415)

Now if we could only get people to understand that the same is even more true of firearms, there would be a lot less stupidity in the world.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307581)

Durn dertee librul! dat's kommy towk, boy! Yew kneed tu git owt uf uhmerika!

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307683)

The real enemy is the TV set. People don't feel safe, but they don't realize why. People are constantly screaming at each other, stuff is blowing up. If you watch the nightly news in any city you will think that everyone is a potential threat. If you switch stations after it is over, you will probably find a movie where the hero saved everyone by shooting people and/or blowing shit up.

Conclusion? They rapin errybody! You better get a gun and start making things right.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (3, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | 1 year,21 days | (#43309547)

Yeah, and it feels like crime is worse now more than ever, because somebody, somewhere around the world is doing some atrocity to somebody else. And that's what leads. The news you get on TV has slowly expanded from local to international 'news'. So the frequency of these reported 'incidents' have slowly gone up, but it doesn't really register that primary reason for the increase is that the area being covered has increased even faster.

That's why I've stopped watching the 'news'. It's too much of "here's the worst 5 thing's that happened to somebody around the world".

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308515)

Can't these guys get that this kind of stuff, in the hands of the government, is EXACTLY the problem?

Don't be a moron. If such a thing didn't exist, governments would just require that towers be tappable through legislation.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (3, Interesting)

Thruen (753567) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307735)

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like this device doesn't work on just one phone, it'll intercept every phone in the area. Is there anything stopping everyone who was around it at the time from trying to take legal action for the illegal search of all of their phones? I am asking without even knowing if there's anything to do about illegal searches in any other case. A quick google has turned up plenty on what constitutes a legal search, nothing on what to do if you're searched illegally aside from getting the evidence thrown out. Any lawyers around?

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (4, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307817)

You can place a filter on the IME but you have to know it first, in theory they would. chris Paget did a talk on this that was VERY informative that I found while researching SDR -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU8hg4FTm0g [youtube.com]

What he did was actually legal but if he had wanted to he could've intercepted FAR more and his comments about jamming were also pretty interesting. It's not just voice you can grab either but text and data. Very interesting to see how it works but scary that it's apparently not as secure as it could be...

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43309059)

If an individual did this on his own it would be a serious cluster of felonies. However when the state does it we can bet the state will not arrest itself and sovereign immunity might block civil actions as well. But supposing that a civil suit might go forward only those with a huge amount of money could try it and the outcome might be really lousy. I can just hear the testimony filled with terms such as " I can not confirm whether the investigation is ongoing nor can I comment on any active investigation.". That might be followed by a fluffing where the old national security red herring is dragged into the court room.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43309617)

Is there anything stopping everyone who was around it at the time from trying to take legal action for the illegal search of all of their phones?

Yes. Remember the NSA wiretapping case? The thing which prevents you from taking legal action is called "standing" and it went all the way to SCOTUS and got a "Catch-22" type ruling.

You have to prove you were harmed. If you can do that, then you can sue to get records to prove you were harmed. But then, you won't need to. And if you can't already prove it, then you can't make the government cough up the proof.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307993)

Hmm... Would this throw off GPS location reported on the phone when indoors (triangulating off the towers instead of the satellites)? Especially on drones? If it was constantly updating its broadcasted coordinates, one could possibly have an app to detect that.

Re:MITM attack: impersonates a cellular tower (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308383)

I'm safe as I've programmed my iPhone to drop the call if it goes to 3 or 4 bars.
As Jobs once said, "Fool - you're holding it wrong!"

Re:stingray phone tracking device (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308453)

Aren't radio-wave-emitting devices pretty tightly regulated and controlled, considering the chaos you could cause by being able to broadcast at arbitrary frequencies despite not being recognized as having rights to that part of the spectrum?

Hosts file corollary (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43306913)

Wouldn't it be nice if the user had some visibility and control over what tower their own phone connects to. A sort of "hosts file" white-list except not for IP addresses.

Re:Hosts file corollary (4, Insightful)

tqk (413719) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307123)

Wouldn't it be nice if the user had some visibility and control over what tower their own phone connects to.

Wouldn't it be nice if the system had some security built into it to exert control over what tower their subscribers' phone connects to.

It's not like this is a brand new problem that's just popped up in the age of cell-phone connectivity. Those who refuse to learn from history ...

Re:Hosts file corollary (5, Interesting)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307749)

GSM has no network authentication (only user authenticates to the network, network doesnt authenticate to the user).
3G/UMTS has authentication both ways and is mitm secure (in theory = if your phone is not broken)

Just force phone to only talk 3G and you will be secure.

Re:Hosts file corollary (4, Interesting)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307237)

The $10,000 question, though, is whether the cell companies would simply hand over the full cryptographic keys to the government snoops, so the fake towers would be indistinguishable from the true. When your phone resolves 4 towers simultaneously with the same 1 identity, how does it choose the true one?

Re:Hosts file corollary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307461)

MyCleanPC will optimize your phone and reject the evil impostor towers.

Re:Hosts file corollary (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307417)

Jesus Christ! When I saw "Host File", I thought you were THE guy>

Re:Hosts file corollary (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307565)

Jesus Christ is THE Host File guy?
I guess that explains all those hymns to the "Lord of Hosts."

APK Lord of Hosts (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307777)

you can never kill me I am
All Powerful King Lord of Hosts

simultaneous 3 persons in 1 godhead
God FROM God Light FROM Light True God FROM True God: Begotten, not Made;; of 1 BEING with the Father through him all THINGS are made

46 calendar DAYS in 40 DAYS Lent
Sundays are 0 days = 0 DAY EXPLOIT EASTER jailbreak RESURRXION life

Re:APK Lord of Hosts (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43309311)

Oh c'mon, 'sif mod down. That one was awesome.

Tools (0)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,21 days | (#43306981)

Search warrants stipulate what the authorities are looking for and where they can look; not the tools they can use to get the job done. Do wiretap warrants stipulate the kind of recording devices that can be used? I doubt it very much.

There is still the point at to whether the order covers the police. I might be argued that the authorities were working as an agent for Verison to gather the information.

Re:Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307025)

I don't think comparisons to "wiretaps" are appropriate here at all.
They're only tracking the suspect's location, not intercepting any communications.

Re:Tools (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307823)

Umm no, an IME catcher emulates a cell tower and becomes a MITM for the phone's communications.

Re:Tools (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307075)

From the EFF article:

The Court therefore ORDERS, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(b); Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2703 and 3117; and Title 28, United States Code, Section 1651, that Verizon Wireless, within ten (10) days of the signing of this Order and for a period not to exceed 30 days, unless extended by the Court, shall provide to agents of the FBI data and information obtained from the monitoring of transmissions related to the location of the Target Broadband Access Card/Cellular Telephone...

What part of that do you think authorizes the DoJ to intercept everyone's calls while looking for the target device? It might be argued that the authorities were working as agents of Verizon, but it also might be argued that Pink Unicorns did the interceptions, and I don't think the court is going to accept either one.

Re:Tools (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307091)

It might be argued that the authorities were working as an agent for Verison to gather the information.

If the police have a warrant for Verizon, it tells Verizon what to do.
Otherwise, the police need a specific warrant for everything else they intend to do.

In other words, a warrant allows for [company] to act as an agent for the State.
It never(?) works the other way around.

Exactly, they overreached the what and the where (4, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307707)

Search warrants stipulate what the authorities are looking for and where they can look;

In this case the "what they are looking for" is information about the suspect's phone and the "where" is in Verizon's records. They instead peeked at other people's communications, by eavesdropping in the neighborhood. So they didn't stick to either the WHAT or the WHERE.

Additionally, they didn't get a search warrant as they should have, but rather a lower order telling Verizon to be cooperative insofar as technical assistance. They didn't even get an supeona for Verizon to turn over records, only an order to provide tech support.

It may be that they a request for a search warrant would have been granted, but that's for the judge to decide. The Texas judge mentioned clearly would not have signed a warrant without first adding specific limitations to reduce or eliminate having other people's phones intercepted. That seems to be the case fairly often - a judge will restrict a warrant to a very specific place, time etc., or ask for further evidence, rather than completely denying or approving the request as first presented.

Re:Tools (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,21 days | (#43309661)

The problem is that the Stingray inevitably captures more than just the target cellphone and they have no warrant for that.

Glad to know the judges are pissed (3, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,21 days | (#43306999)

I'm assuming "our office has been working closely with the magistrate judges in an effort to address their collective concerns" as a PC way of saying "a bunch of judges are PISSED!". That's good to know. I know that the two judges I know personally would be pissed if DOJ tried something like this with them, but it's good to know these judges are as well, and action is being taken.

Re:Glad to know the judges are pissed (2)

fafalone (633739) | 1 year,21 days | (#43309017)

By 'action is being taken' I presume you mean something along the lines of "Please don't do this again, or else... or else we'll send you an even more harshly worded letter!"

Read if carefully, it's not what you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43309355)

It's not quite what you think, the DOJ lawyers told them to be CONSISTENT and FORTHRIGHT in order to generate a set of pen register approvals that explicitly mentioned the Stingrays, to build a body of approvals they could use in any future argument!

"As some of you may be aware, our office has been working closely with the magistrate judges in an effort to address their collective concerns regarding whether a pen register is sufficient to authorize the use of law enforcement's WIT technology (a box that simulates a cell tower and can be placed inside a van to help pinpoint an individual's location with some specificity) to locate an individual. It has recently come to my attention that many agents are still using WIT technology in the field although the pen register application does not make that explicit."

"While we continue work on a long term fix for this problem, it is important that we are consistent and forthright in our pen register requests to the magistrates "

So when bob the magistrates says, "hang on this needs pen registers", the DOJ can say, "well fred, john, and clive the magistrate accepted it so you should too". Even if fred, john and clive only accepted it as an interim measure while the problem was being discussed!

Once law enforcement overreaches, its very difficult to stop it. As UK knows only too well, Cameron stopped a lot of police-state reforms, even reversed some after the police chiefs started campaigning against him on TV.

No Respect At All (1)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307001)

cops, federales, et all these days just have no damn respect for anyone's privacy or rights in general these days, it seems.
anything or any new way they can exploit technology to spy on people is being used, to spy on the general public without probable cause, and at the cost of the taxpayers' money. we only find out about these things when the "good guys" get in trouble for breaking the law

All freedom-loving net users should coordinate in ways to return the favor to assholes doing stuff like this. Install cameras in your local police chief's bedroom, attach a GPS tracker to every squad car in town and put up a website to display their locations, and route the entire government's emails through a proxy that posts them to the web for total transparency.

That's just practicing equality, afterall

Re:No Respect At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307047)

Of course there's no respect. We're merely tax-paying livestock. There are the rulers, the ruled, and the ruled that are traitors to their kind of perform the bidding of the rulers.

Re:No Respect At All (1)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307699)

Well, how can you respect an animal that is not willing to fight for its own freedom, but willfully submits at the slightest threat? Even the sheep in the fields put up more of a struggle than this lot. "Of course our masters, who have screwed us at every turn, will have a sudden conviction of conscience, brought upon by, I don't know, the gods (because they've typically been the great centers of morality...), and not go through with whatever depravity is in the works this time. Yeah, that'll happen."

But you know what the sad part is? That for a portion of the people out there, it's not that they're being ruled, rightly or wrongly that they're complaining about. It's that they're not the ones doing the ruling! How many people would give up being able to tell others how to live their lives, if it meant getting them to give up telling them how to live their lives in return? Like a dog with two bones...

 

Re:No Respect At All (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307187)

cops, federales, et all these days just have no damn respect for anyone's privacy or rights in general these days, it seems.

What do you mean "these days?" When was there more respect? Hoover was notorious for illegal surveillance. I'm sure you could find older examples if you looked. By all means, lets try to make things better moving forward, but lets cut the "good old days" crap.

Re:No Respect At All (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,21 days | (#43309671)

More to the point, more and more law enforcement agencies are proving that they have no respect for the law.

Shocking news (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307037)

US agencies more corrupt and out of control than previously thought!

I for one am shocked! Shocked I tell you!

Re:Shocking news (1)

lightknight (213164) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307781)

'Tis quite alright. In the typical predator / prey co-evolution style way of doing things, for every new right the government (the predator) wanders off with, the people (the prey) will develop something new. In a few millenia, the people of the past would, if revived, die of a heart-attack within 5 minutes of being told the current state of worldly affairs. "Good news, we've traveled to the other side of the galaxy, and found sentient alien life! Even created some of our own! But the bad news is that you are not allowed to have more than 3 minutes of 'alone' time, sex is now mandatory, and not only did Jesus come back to rule us, but He wants you to know He hates every one of us personally! All education is now public and free...but no one attends classes because they're too busy trying to win a seat on the latest game show, which only happens if you watch for some random string of characters displayed randomly, and text it immediately! Robots basically run everything, and the AIs are totally psychopathic, but since no one values their life much, and the police don't investigate missing persons, the AIs inevitably end up being really depressed. As for the aliens...well, some say they got it the worst. They come to Earth because, for all its problems, it's better than what's going on on their home planets..." -> like that kind of bad.

Boulder CO Police use one on their building (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307181)

If you have ever visited boulder county jail you should "cdma fieldtest" and map tower to see if they hacked your PST like they did mine

Re:Boulder CO Police use one on their building (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | 1 year,21 days | (#43309103)

Not defending the Bouldet cops but more likely a garden variety repeater not a stingray. You will find repeaters in most large office buildings just to give decent coverage. Time to remove the tinfoil.

no repercussions, this won't stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307203)

And nobody will be held responsible for these violations and there will be no repercussions, so guess what. This shit will continue to happen, over and over and over again, in one manner or another.

Until perpetrators of this shit start regularly taking it up the ass (from their new "roommate"s) this will continue to happen.

The dates are incorrect (5, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307315)

The emails are dated "2011".........impossible. Bush left office in January 2009. Please backdate the emails to 2007.

Thank you

Re:The dates are incorrect (2, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307361)

This expansion of federal authority started under the Bush administration and has continued under the Obama administration. Like all Federal power expansions no future administration will argue they don't need the power as this is an issue that is without party bounds. Both parties seek expansion of federal powers and any argument that one party doesn't is window dressing to convince rubes.

Democrat or Republican, it matters not as both parties want more power and more control over the populace. Too many people spend far too much time in either parties echo chamber to understand that.

Re:The dates are incorrect (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307371)

Too many people spend far too much time in either parties echo chamber to understand that.

The Republicans didn't promise unicorns were going to come dancing out my ass.

Re:The dates are incorrect (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307501)

nor did the Democrats; they just stayed quiet and let the Republicans make everyone assume that whatever replaced Bush would be an assload of unicorns by comparison.

Re:The dates are incorrect (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307571)

This expansion of federal authority started under the Washington administration and has continued under the Adams administration.

There, fixed that for 'ya. To think that every thing bad the government does started with Bush is just lunacy.

Re:The dates are incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307897)

Incorrect, Washington was offered to be king of America, which he refused, because Washington was a small government kind of guy. He also stepped down after two terms and told us not to have dealings with the rest of the world. As we very well shouldn't. But what does our founding father know?

The expansion of power started with Adams and continued with Jefferson. Don't get it twisted.

Re:The dates are incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308079)

Washington was a terrible military general, a slave owner, a politician, and he loved to murder the natives.

Re:The dates are incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308727)

A politician?! Washington wanted nothing more than to stay home.

Re:The dates are incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307869)

The expansion of the Federal Government started long before either Bush took office. It has been an on going creep from the very start of the nation.

Government doubled 2005-2001 (0)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308071)

There was creep for 200 years, with the size government increasing a few percent most years. Then the size of federal government DOUBLED from 1995 to 2001. It's increased another 50% in the last few years. That unsustainable growth in the nanny state is new in the since the mid nineties.

(The doubling of government size is evident in the federal budget, which approximately doubled in constant dollars.)

Re:Government doubled 2005-2001 (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308211)

Huh?

Federal employment actually decreased during the Clinton administration.

And 50% during the past few years? I don't think so. Federal employment has increased a total of 6.2% under Obama.

WTF?! (0, Offtopic)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307321)

Last year I submitted an "Ask Slashdot" question about cellphone security and my android phone, and I got ripped a new a***ole by the commenters (except for one who agreed it sure does exist) for it, even lost some 'karma' points over it. "Can't happen!" Cell/ bluetooth signals are secure." Now, the comments are all " Of course, anyone with a few bucks can build one from Radio Shack parts." WTF!! Did something suddenly change since a few months ago? This tech has been around for years.

I knew I was right! And Slashdot editors, I demand my karma point back! Or I'll..., I'll..., .... I'll start mad spamposting like that APK guy, I swear I will! (He hasn't posted lately, what, did he finally fall asleep or something?)

Ok, I really wouldn't do that. ;^)

Re:WTF?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307407)

I'll start mad spamposting like that APK guy, I swear I will! (He hasn't posted lately, what, did he finally fall asleep or something?)

What we witnessed between APK and his counter-troll was a rare troll courtship mating display. Now that the courtship has been accepted, the pair has slunk off under a bridge to begin "making goatse" --- all part of the beautiful cycle of life through which a new brood of tad-trolls are spawned.

Re:WTF?! (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307579)

What we witnessed between APK and his counter-troll was a rare troll courtship mating display. Now that the courtship has been accepted, the pair has slunk off under a bridge to begin "making goatse" --- all part of the beautiful cycle of life through which a new brood of tad-trolls are spawned.

That's nice, I'd like to wish the new couple many happy years together, fighting their war on mental health.

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307585)

Mr. Hicks, is that you?

None too pleased? (1)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307343)

Unless the judges are prepared to punish the attorneys in question with actual jail time, their pleasure is irrelevant.

Harris Corp CEO (4, Interesting)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307351)

My, my, my........

"Harris Corp. President and CEO William M. Brown was appointed to President Barack Obama's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee on Tuesday, Florida Today reports."

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/morning_call/2012/11/harris-corp-ceo-appointed-to-obama.html [bizjournals.com]

Re:Harris Corp CEO (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307673)

So with Republicans, we get to be irradiated every time we fly for the illusion of safety while companies get rich thanks to Chertoff going off and starting a company.

With Democrats, we get to have the government listen to all our calls while companies get rich and the CEO gets into the government.

We could call this the Reverse Chertoff Maneuver. As a sexual move, it'd be down somewhere around the dirty sanchez and sucking up Santorum.

Re:Harris Corp CEO (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307903)

I don't understand the issue here. Harris makes this tool just like Stanley makes screwdrivers. If some asshat stabs someone with a screwdriver we're not pissed at Stanley so why is someone from Harris, a company that obviously understands how this shit works, not a good choice? Maybe they will actually help them make things better?

Re:Harris Corp CEO (2)

anagama (611277) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308305)

Screwdrivers have tons of legitimate uses and a few "off label" illegitimate ones, like stabbing somebody. Stingray type devices have one purpose only, and that is to enable someone to perform a man in the middle attack and enable spying.

Obama's appointment of this guy to a committee clearly dealing with domestic surveillance makes sense -- evil CEO for an evil Federal program. In that light, it is a big deal because it highlights one of the small details in the many that foreshadow our future, one where the Feds are essentially concerned only with the well being of a certain subset of the business world (usually the largest corps and banks, but lets not leave out those who make their weapons and equipment), extreme pride in the military and the glorification of those who participate in military action, is repressive toward common people in general, and absolutely brutal to any who would challenge it.

You can see these things playing out: more people in prison than any other nation (per capita and absolute basis), militarization of the police force, rampant domestic surveillance, due process free detention, due process free execution, harsh sentences for the minor crimes of some, ridiculously light treatment for the serious crimes of others (*), privatizing profits and socializing losses (bailouts), and so forth. It is pretty obvious that the greatest threat we face to the liberties our country was founded on, comes from the US Federal Government as controlled by Republicans and Democrats with the aid of enabling creeps like Brown. And rather than suffer the rightful indignation their actions deserve, Brown(nosers) get promoted to presidential committees -- but of course they do, considering what the Feds are.

(*) http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213 [rollingstone.com]
Wow. So the executives who spent a decade laundering billions of dollars [for terrorists and drug kingpins] will have to partially defer their bonuses during the five-year deferred prosecution agreement? Are you fucking kidding me? That's the punishment? The government's negotiators couldn't hold firm on forcing HSBC officials to completely wait to receive their ill-gotten bonuses? They had to settle on making them "partially" wait? ... What was the Justice Department's opening offer -- asking executives to restrict their Caribbean vacation time to nine weeks a year?

Re:Harris Corp CEO (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308569)

Wow how many strawmen in foil hats are you going to throw up? Yes, there ARE legit uses for these devices just as there are wiretaps when due process is followed. Yes the GSM system is WEAK, you or I could BUILD one of these ourselves if we wanted - it's been done and documented. They should put someone in that post that has no clue of capabilities?

HSBC? That has fuckall what to do with this? I understand you didn't like that situation, few did, but stop frothing at the mouth long enough to focus on the point or take some meds geez.

Re:Harris Corp CEO (1)

anagama (611277) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308585)

Yep -- just keep ignoring things and pretending nothing is going on. Be sure to insult anyone who points out the obvious.

Where is the FCC in all of this? (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307377)

Presumably, I would hope regulators at the FCC would like to have a word with the prosecutors as well.

Then again, I have this crazy belief that law enforcement officers who drive their cruisers 25+ over the speed limit with their lights off should be thrown in jail, like any other criminal.

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307479)

You don't get thrown in jail for speeding.

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307983)

25+ over? Yeah actually you can get thrown in jail for that. Reckless driving, reckless endangerment, they can dream up all sorts of things to tack on...

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307533)

Gee, wouldn't it be far more appropriate if the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES had a conversation with his ATTORNEY GENERAL?

But no, that would shatter far too many illusions.

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307919)

Actually there's a Youtube video of a woman cop pulling over another cop doing just that WITH his lights on. Cuffed his ass and arrested him too!

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308113)

You're confusing Youtube and Porntube again...

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (1)

russotto (537200) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308663)

Actually there's a Youtube video of a woman cop pulling over another cop doing just that WITH his lights on. Cuffed his ass and arrested him too!

Aww, that's just police courtship.

Re:Where is the FCC in all of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308233)

Presumably, I would hope regulators at the FCC would like to have a word with the prosecutors as well.

I would rather the judges charge the agents for running an illegal wiretapping operation and throw them in prison for 10+ years as an example to other overreaching prosecutors with delusions of making a political name for themselves.

Realtime voice encryption apps? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307427)

Smartphones are relatively powerful these days. So why aren't there any good realtime voice encryption apps? And if there are, why aren't more people using them?

A voice encryption app would make the kind of privacy invasion described in the original article a lot more difficult.

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307787)

I've been trying to do something similar with text messages as a fun project to learn mobile development. None of the mobile phone OSes let me intercept text messages, what makes you think they'll let you intercept their audio feed? The reason there aren't any such apps is because they don't let you make them.

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307915)

You can do it through VOIP with Voip One Click

http://www.voiponeclick.com/

It's a free open source application on Android/iphone/ipod/Windows

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43307929)

Just because you don't know how to do it, doesn't mean it's impossible.

That said, keep at it. Your intentions are in the right place, and we need more people willing to make an effort to claw back our freedom.

of course you can get the audio feed (1)

Chirs (87576) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307967)

otherwise it would not be possible to create something like skype. Basically take the audio portion of skype, add in public-key encryption, and you're done.

Now you may not be able to get access to the audio feed *while making a regular voice call*, but that's a different story.

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (1)

tibman (623933) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308981)

I don't think you've tried Android then. My girlfriend wrote an app that looks for "emergency" and "help" in an incoming text. Then it takes the phone off silent and maxes the volume. Took her two weekends and it's the first thing she's ever written in java. Give it a shot : )

Here's a good link from googling "android intercept text": http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6979540/how-can-i-intercept-an-incoming-sms-with-a-specific-text [stackoverflow.com]

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (1)

gknoy (899301) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308035)

Encrypting the communication will likely not encrypt the routing or connection information: the cell network has to know where to send your call. Signals intelligence can get a LOT of information about you from knowing to whom you are talking, even if they do not know what you are saying.

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43309803)

Signals intelligence can get a LOT of information about you from knowing to whom you are talking

Then call that a lost cause and get over it. Or put up with a bunch of jitter by using a randomly-delaying proxy, as if they didn't know you're calling your wife anyway, like you do every other damn day at the same time.

You can still protect the plaintext, though. The burglars need not know that you said you won't be home soon. "A LOT" is not everything and anything you deny to the adversary, counts as an advantage.

Re:Realtime voice encryption apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#43308109)

Redphone?

Enemy of the State (2)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,21 days | (#43307773)

We need some geeks with USRP to sloppily intercept few members of appropriation committee phones "Enemy of the State" style.
That will get the ball rolling on those DOJ scumbags.

And yet... (1)

shaitand (626655) | 1 year,21 days | (#43308473)

This is just the dirty act of government of the week. Dare to suggest our wonderful benign government illegally intercepting cell communications is doing any of the other things they do for a corrupt or improper reason and you are instantly branded a crackpot conspiracy theorist.

Dare to suggest we can't trust these guys to overreach in financial regulation or that they can't be trusted if we disarm the population or not to infringe on free speech if anonymity isn't preserved, or with latest constitution shredding government empowering anti"terror" rag and you are a nutter and conspiracy theorist.

After all so many people can't keep a secret! Even though most of it is no secret and requires only a few people knowing anything and the rest doing their part in ignorance or acting in self interest.

How many married people would favor dissolving state recognition of marriage across the board and treating them no differently than an unmarried couple living together? For the left it ends unequal state treatment of gay couples, for the right it settles that issue without infringing on their sacred view of marriage. Yet the answer is very very few would support it. Why? Married couples wouldn't want to lose their tax breaks and spouses wouldn't want to give up their "security" in the form of a stranglehold over the property of their partner and the potential alimony.

You can expect the same percentage of self interest based action out of government agents and representatives. Most are corrupt, greedy, and self interested because most people are.
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