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US Pushing Local Police To Keep Quiet On Cell-Phone Surveillance Technology

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the all-you-debaters-are-welcome dept.

Government 253

schwit1 (797399) writes with this story from the Associated Press, as carried by Yahoo News: The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned. Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment. Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.

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Oh my ... (4, Insightful)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 8 months ago | (#47225421)

...and the police state gears up ...

Re:Oh my ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225545)

...and the police state gears up ...

This is nothing compared to Gitmo and the phoney wars we had because of George W Bush.

Re:Oh my ... (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#47225583)

>> compared to Gitmo and the phoney wars we had because of George W Bush

I hope you realize Gitmo is Obama's mess now. He's had six years now to clean it up - in fact ran on a platform to clean it up - and has done little there except release some pretty evil dudes back into the wild.

Re:Oh my ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225779)

I hope you realize Gitmo is Obama's mess now. He's had six years now to clean it up - in fact ran on a platform to clean it up - and has done little there except release some pretty evil dudes back into the wild.

Unfortunately, the children on the Republican side of Congress are doing everything they can to stop any sort of progress, though it means screwing their own party and the American people, in the misguided delusion that it makes the other side look bad. Let's not pretend otherwise. It's so transparenetly true that the vast majority of people will never consider voting for a Republican, ever again.

Re:Oh my ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225911)

In case you needed any more proof that Obama has had the power to close Gitmo all along, he just traded five detainees for Bergdahl. (the "illegal" portion of his actions was that he didn't inform Congress far enough in advance as required by law)

I think you'll find that a huge number of people will continue to vote for the terrible Republicans, just as a huge number of people will vote for Democrats even when they act little better than the Republicans. And even if Obama hadn't just openly stated that he can release detainees without anyone else's consent, he has always had a massive amount of influence on policy through the bully pulpit. He's not getting crappy results because we have lots of useless and obstructionist Republicans and some useless Democrats, he's getting crappy results because he really doesn't care about the moral positions he previously advocated. To suggest that things are largely the Republicans' fault simply isn't rational, after the willful continuation of virtually all the existing War on Terror policies, and the weakest possible healthcare reform that could still be argued to be a "victory."

I don't want to believe that Obama and the Democrats are useless, since it makes improvement solely through the electoral system (as opposed to through large scale strikes or serious economic problems) seem far off and unlikely, but it's certainly not helping to make excuses for politicians' bad behavior.

Re:Oh my ... (3, Insightful)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226187)

Of course, you ignore the fact that President Obama's party had complete control of Congress, with the Supermajority of the Senate, yet did nothing to shut down Gitmo. Now he gets to blame those damn Republicans, just as you do, for all his failings.

Re:Oh my ... (4, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 8 months ago | (#47226343)

Unfortunately for the democrats they are not as "United" as the republicans. They don't vote in lockstep with each other nor do they judge each other by some RINO like measure where it's a bad thing not to vote in lock step with what the party says regardless of their constituents. As a result even though the bill to close gitmo was brought up several times the bill never passed nor really ever had a chance to beat the 60 vote fillibuster threshold needed to advance in the Senate.

Instead was was passed in it's stead was a requirement that he not close, it that he not spend a DIME studying closing, discussing closing or even thinking about closing it. This basically bared the president from doing any sort of research that would convince congress it could be done. This was the work of people like John McCain, rather ironically a former POW, working concert with the republican party and a handful of cooperative blue dog democrats.

Anyone that can argue Obama didn't try to close Gitmo is a blind partisan liar. And anyone that argues Obama is responsible for that atrocity is a fucking idiot. The republican party has responsibility for that prison. Even today the Republican parties official platform includes support for perpetual detention at Gitmo. I'll never understand people that think it's a good idea to waste our soldiers time playing guard duty in what is pretty close to a paradise. It's a waste of money and valuable resources. Those people should have long ago been transferred to a special federal prison such as the recently closed super-max in Illinois that tried very hard to become the site. But people not unlike you insisted without reason that those guys remain in Cuba and the taxpayers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to house them in the most expensive military base the US has.

Re:Oh my ... (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#47226413)

If you think Gitmo is a paradise you're the idiot. It's not a hell hole but it's still a prison. You can blather on about the Republicans all you want but the people that dangle the Republican puppets by their strings dangle the Democratic puppets too. You partisan fools that still believe the smoke and mirror show that is the US political two party mafia system astound me. What little shred of doubt I had about it is gone after the last six years. Obama looks like Bush version 2.0

Re:Oh my ... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225789)

Pretty much this.

Obama hasn't been scary as a Black President at all.

He doesn't rock the boat any more than his melanin-challenged predecessors.

Re:Oh my ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226143)

Obama hasn't been scary as a Black President at all.

He's more or less just as worthless as any other "diversity candidate".

Re:Oh my ... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225849)

The sad truth about the travesty of Gitmo is that it was attempted to be closed but was blocked via procedural means. Only certain penitentiaries can accept prisoners from outside of US soil and in order to do so they must have authorization from the Governor of that region. Sadly all of the penitentiaries that were able to take the prisoners had Republican governors. All of them were asked in turn by the administration, and all of them said no.

It is disturbing how so many actively chose to allow that human rights fiasco to continue just to make one man look bad. Not that you care, considering you think all those people that did not get a trial, that have no evidence against them are "pretty evil dudes".

Re:Oh my ... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226049)

Sadly all of the penitentiaries that were able to take the prisoners had Republican governors. All of them were asked in turn by the administration, and all of them said no.

It is disturbing how so many actively chose to allow that human rights fiasco to continue just to make one man look bad. .

Right. It can't possibly be that they thought having high ranking members of terrorist groups in their prisons was an open invitation to having their prisons attacked to free those people.

It always has to be about the black man in the white house for you, doesn't it.

Re:Oh my ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226193)

You've been reading too much Tom Clancy.

Re:Oh my ... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226245)

If one book twenty years ago count as "too much", then you may be right.

I do like his movies, though.

Re:Oh my ... (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#47226397)

and in order to do so they must have authorization from the Governor of that region.

It may not have been intentional but you illustrate a big part of the problem with this surveillance: with very few exceptions, the Federal government has no jurisdiction OR other authority to be involved in local/state criminal matters. The only time the Feds are legally allowed to be involved is if it involves interstate or international crime.

If I were someone who was a victim of this illegal surveillance (according to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, as another story mentioned just today, it *IS* a 4th Amendment violation), and I had evidence that the Federal government was involved, I think I'd press charges under 18 USC 242, "Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law".

Now that a Federal court (even if it's not my circuit) has ruled that it IS a 4th Amendment violation, there is probably a pretty good chance of making it stick.

Re:Oh my ... (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 8 months ago | (#47225883)

Graham warns of Republican impeachment push over Gitmo [thehill.com]

Congress tried to build in a safeguard against Obama making unilateral decisions on releasing terrorist detainees by including language in the National Defense Authorization Act requiring the administration to alert Congress of such moves at least 30 days in advance.

Obama did not follow that law when he swapped five senior Taliban commanders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Sen. Carl Levin (Mich.), the Democratic chairman of the Armed Services panel, said Obama had a plausible legal argument for ignoring the law.

“The White House did not comply with the requirement of the 30-day provision. However, the White House said it had power under Article II of the Constitution to do what it did,” Levin said. “I’m not a court that’s going to decide whether or not under Article II the commander in chief has the power to move this quickly even though Congress said you’ve got to give 30 days notice.”

So in order for Obama to close Guantanamo, not only does he have to determine that the concentration camp is bullshit, but he also has to determine that Congress's impertinence on the matter is also bullshit.

Re:Oh my ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226367)

That the National Defense Authorization Act requires a 30 day notification of releasing terrorism related prisoners does not in any way shape or form preclude Obama taking action to close Gitmo. He could have "closed" Gitmo by relocating everyone to, say, Diego Garcia. He could have fulfilled his promise in his first 30 days in office in truth, if not for intent. Not a fan of Obama, but I doubt he ever intended his stated goal of closing down Gitmo to imply releasing everyone (or even anyone) held there.

I think the biggest objection to how Obama originally wanted to close Gitmo was to pull the people imprisoned there into the US criminal court system, which is absolutely inappropriate. These are non-US citizens (generally) & non-uniformed combatants. As such, they are afforded protection from neither the US Constitution nor the Geneva Convention. (Any US Citizens captured should enter the US criminal court system or possibly the Military court system and be charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, treason, etc. and face an appropriate trial). Additionally, most countries where the detainees originate are not signatories to the Geneva Convention, and thus the protections further do not apply to them.

Re: Oh my ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225589)

If you mean that now the whole country is like gitmo and that the current phony war is against anyone who thinks our government is out of control, then I guess I agree with that.

Re:Oh my ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225607)

This is nothing compared to Gitmo and the phoney wars we had because of George W Bush.

Ahhhh, it seems pretty much along the lines of the status quo. Nothing to see here move along.

Re:Oh my ... (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225615)

Bush is history. Obama runs Gitmo now, and the wars. So you can stop with that tired old crap.

Re:Oh my ... (2)

johnsie (1158363) | about 8 months ago | (#47225621)

They are both idiots. And the people who voted for them are also idiots too.

Re:Oh my ... (4, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225959)

They are both idiots.

Wrong! They are con men, who hit the jackpot. The voters are the only idiots here, and they are just as corrupt as those people they reelect. The corruption of the politician is a reflection.

Re:Oh my ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225813)

To be fair, the economic collapse 6 years into the Bush administration was "Clinton's fault" so just like all the other Bush stuff Obama keeps doing, we're just sticking to the standard that Bush established.

Re:Oh my ... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226191)

Actually, it was Carter's fault, but I hate Clinton more so will agree with you. :^P

Re:Oh my ... (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 8 months ago | (#47226315)

Bush and Obama are politically identical (middle of the road Republican) so you can't really blame people for confusing the two.

Re:Oh my ... (4, Funny)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 8 months ago | (#47225689)

Trollin, trollin, trollin
Keep those doggies trollin

Re:Oh my ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226129)

Gitmo holds religious nutjobs from pathetic 3rd world countries, but Obama wants to build more like it for people who dare to disagree with his royal asshattedness.

Re: Oh my ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225873)

My thought is that the database has already been compromised by china, russia, etc. and they don't want people to know how much was really lost.

"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (5, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | about 8 months ago | (#47225447)

Re:"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (5, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about 8 months ago | (#47225475)

Obama is a politician. By definition, when he opens his mouth, he's lying.*

* DISCLAIMER: This also applies to Boehner, Pelosi, Cantor, Reid, McConnell and any other politician.

Re:"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 8 months ago | (#47225493)

Which is why, if you continue to vote for either of the two incumbent parties, you're part of the problem. And why I am a Libertarian. I'm sure the Libertarian party will have similar issues at some point, if they get stronger, however the Libertarian are the best guidelines for why this stuff matters more than most people care about. So I am not worried about Libertarian party getting corrupt any time soon.

Re:"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (2, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 8 months ago | (#47225663)

If everyone starts to vote for Libertarian the problem will just be extended. Look at how the "insiders" have taken over groups like the "Tea Party" and moved them from grass roots "People" back to "Career Politicians with new branding.

I certainly appreciate the motivation, but if you are not addressing the right problem then the solution will also be incorrect. The real problem is that corrupt politicians have become entrenched in every possible political office. In order to fix things, the entrenched political power needs to be removed from every political office.

That is not to say 100% of the people in politics are bad, any more than to say 100% of the NSA's employees are bad. Consider it a farm where enough plants are diseased and festering that we have to remove the crop and burn it all, or risk immediate contamination to new plants sown. The farm is fine, the founders did a great job building it where we could do exactly what needs to be done and still be a farm.

Nope, it's not the only problem to deal with but it's at the root. In order to get rid of the people bribing and coercing politicians, new people with hopefully better morals need to expose them after a swap. It took a long time to break the system and it will take a while to clean it up and heal.

Re:"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225881)

Until first-past-the-post voting is eliminated, there is no point voting for third parties because history shows inductively that a two-party dichotomy is the only stable state of such a system.

There have been three national-scale exceptions since 1900: Roosevelt's Bull Moose run in 1912, Wallace's segregation forever run in 1968, and Perot's run in 1992. All three were cause du jour events, proved to be flashes in the pan, and split their original party, effectively handing those elections to Wilson, Nixon and Clinton on a silver platter.

Within the context of FPTP voting, the only way to affect a change is for a challenger platform to be absorbed by and thereby alter one of the 2 major parties: The absorbtion of the labor/progressive movement by both parties (Starting with the GOP in 1902), the seismic realignment of both parties after the Civil Rights movement, the absorbtion of the religious right by the GOP in the 1980s. We're probably in the early stages of the next realignment now: Most likely within/over the next 20 years we will see the Democrats absorb the new progressive movement. Either the GOP will expel the social regressive crazies and move back towards center, or it will be slowly marginalized out of existence and the Democrats will splinter into the liberals and what we used to call Republicans.

Re:"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225975)

The problem is that the system is likely to corrupt anyone who gets into power. And if we did somehow find 535 incorruptible people, plus some incorruptible executive officers, they would likely be ousted by ~600 people willing to play ball who would receive ten to a hundred times more campaign funding.

So while I'm sure there are some very good people in the Libertarian and Green parties, there are also probably bad people who'd be willing to take their places. The Democrats, for example, have gone so far towards the right that the poor Republicans either have to take absolutely crazy positions or distinguish themselves solely on social wedge issues. I'm pretty sure most people who traditionally voted Democrat didn't want that, but it happened nonetheless. Now I would expect some improvements if we had three or four entirely viable parties, but I don't see that happening without serious campaign finance reform, followed by some sort of electoral reform. Merely replacing the Democratic or Republican party with the Libertarian party would probably just lead to the Libertarian party slowly morphing into something like our current crop of almost useless Democrats.

Re:"Obama has said he blah balh blah" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225917)

Obama can lie without opening his mouth.

Re:"Obama has said he welcomes a debate " (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226207)

Notice at about 34 seconds, he's trying to figure out how to lie convincingly.

Thanks you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225465)

Thank you : http://webinyo.com/

Disgusting place (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225479)

The last nation on earth I would visit. Fucking HATE it.

Stingrays (4, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#47225481)

this is about Stingrays... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

more importantly, sources and methods

i think the Justice Dept. is trying to keep this tech out of the hands of the general public

they can't, of course

Re:Stingrays (5, Insightful)

Jody Williams (3688505) | about 8 months ago | (#47225491)

Perhaps as a secondary rationale. Primarily, they are trying to continue to circumvent privacy protections, warrant requirements, etc. and don't want people to know how they are doing such things so they can't put together a proper case against them.

"jody williams" is a paid commentor (-1, Offtopic)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#47225605)

you're a paid PR commentor, Jody Williams...

I saw your other "Jody Williams" account that uses a google plus login

I bet you feel pretty good when you get upmodded...

you're getting paid while all us tech professionals post our thoughts to /. for free!

we're such suckers!

Re:"jody williams" is a paid commentor (0)

Jody Williams (3688505) | about 8 months ago | (#47225743)

You're a liar, and an absolute idiot. I don't even have a Google+ account. Get outta here, nutjob.

Re:"jody williams" is a paid commentor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225945)

I don't even have a Google+ account.

Google+ disagrees, unless there is someone with your same name that happens to live in Texas too. Not that a shill has a need for integrity.

Get outta here, nutjob.

I have seen your writing. You may want to look up the term projection. [wikipedia.org]

Re:"jody williams" is a paid commentor (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225899)

I feel like a Late Show host who's just discovered Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin in the same afternoon.

Don't worry bro, your check is probably in the mail.

Re:Stingrays (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226115)

~~~~Anyone who thinks there are political solutions to any of the more than 8 billion major problems with the world today is an idiot.

What secret are they trying to keep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225599)

GSM, LTE, etc are all well defined standards and the equipment (by in large) is made in a host of other countries, some times by companies with presence in the US at all. There are few, if any, "secrets" about the cellular infrastructure and the capability to do this type of thing has been known for years.

The real secret is the frequency, duration and breadth of these operations. More importantly, who are they really targeting? That's what they don't want the US public finding out because warrants, due process, etc are such inconvenient things.

Re:What secret are they trying to keep? (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 8 months ago | (#47226105)

" who are they really targeting?" Let's just assume everyone until we confirm otherwise.

Re:Stingrays (1)

tquasar (1405457) | about 8 months ago | (#47225725)

That's using a very large broom to sweep up our lives. I would like to know teh number of cases won or terrists in custody from this program. A quick search returns 327,577,529 mobile phones in The US, with a population of 317,874,628 persons. Care to comment Mr. Snowden?

Re:Stingrays (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225791)

> i think the Justice Dept. is trying to keep this tech out of the hands of the general public

I expect it is really about the fact that if people know how it works, it becomes easy to avoid.

It should be super simple to write an app that will detect them and warn you about it. They all work by putting up a "microcell" and convincing your phone to connect to their microcell and then on the back-end they route your calls back through the regular cell network. The thing is, they have to use a tower-id that does not conflict with the real towers in the area else they would cause random failures on any phone trying to talk to the real tower (something like when two computers have the same IP address on the same subnet). So, an app that just records the tower-ids your phone sees along with the GPS coordinates would quickly notice if a new "tower" popped up in your neighborhood.

I'm surprised there isn't such an app already (maybe there is, I haven't checked since I first heard about stingray like 2 years ago).

Re: Stingrays (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225905)

RF Signal tracker will notify you of contacts with new microcells. It is very draining battery-wise though.

Re:Stingrays (3, Interesting)

Thruen (753567) | about 8 months ago | (#47225991)

It's already in the hands of the public, really. Someone used one as part of a demonstration at Defcon in 2010. [venturebeat.com] What I imagine they don't want is to show the public how capable they are of collecting all the information they want without anyone else needing to know, like any business providing any sort of transparency report.

What did you expect would happen? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225497)

The smartphone: a general purpose computational device with a GPS, camera and microphone, typically carried around on one's person or in one's general vicinity at all times. Most smartphones have built-in functionality below the operating system layer that allows the carrier to execute arbitrary code on the device.

It's the ultimate tracking tool.

Very curious (2)

blackiner (2787381) | about 8 months ago | (#47225505)

The more I hear about them trying to quell discussion about these things the more interested I get. What in the world is so important about them? What are they hiding? I saw a strange object on a power pole when I was out for a run the other day, it looked like tree roots laid out horizontally... I can only assume it was an antenna of some sort. Was gone the very next day, and wasn't there the day before either... I wonder if it was one of these things?

Re:Very curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225657)

The more I hear about them trying to quell discussion about these things the more interested I get. What in the world is so important about them? What are they hiding?


If they have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to fear by disclosing the details to the courts.

Speculation: there are a lot more of these things deployed than we're aware of. Suppose everyone's tracked by these things and we just don't know it. How many innocent citizens rot in jail because a Police departments and a DA are convinced of their guilt, but are wrong? How embarassing and expensive it would be for the local constabulary if there were terabytes of exculpatory evidence that could free hundreds, maybe thousands, of innocent people, and the cops/DA were kn owingly withholding this evidence from the defendant's counsel? For every terrist or mobster caught, there might be dozens of million-dollar lawsuits from the wrongfully-convicted - who were guilty only of being in the wrong time and without anyone to back up their alibi. An alibi that would have matched perfectly with the government's tracking of their location, had they only been able to bring that evidence before the court?

Re:Very curious (3, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#47225815)

Interestingly, a federal court just rules that the coppers need a warrant to get cellphone location data as it is assumed to be confidential and falls within the 4th amendment scope.

http://www.cnet.com/news/court... [cnet.com]

Re: Very curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225923)

Nothing to fear? Like the guy who was just exonerated of murder after spending 22 years in prison because the investigator hid evidence from the prosecution and the defense? Nothing to fear at all.

Re:Very curious (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 8 months ago | (#47226357)

Re What in the world is so important about them? What are they hiding?
The tech is now very cheap (down from federal/mil/spy/nation only funding) . You are getting a lot of info about people, movements and their devices in a region for state/city funding.
Done with other tech you can get: passenger, driver faces, all the unique data about a phone, data use, location, duration, who is around you. Over time the next step is the voice print.
The legality question is that: fishing for 'anyone' or 'anything', entrapment, parallel construction vs needing limited roving warrant that has to show real legal results to a court over time.
The antenna you saw might just be for city wifi, a trail or any other cost saving network. Some cities police have used mesh networks in the past:
"Seattle police have a wireless network that can track your every move" (Nov. 7, 2013)
http://www.kirotv.com/news/new... [kirotv.com]
Long term what is wanted at a federal and city level is voice prints on file making any (and all) communication trackable as in the UK.
MI5 uses Army helicopters to track terror suspects (21 February 2010)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new... [dailymail.co.uk]
Spy-in-sky patrols over British cities in hunt for Taliban fighters (3 August 2008)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new... [dailymail.co.uk]
"They are attempting to identify suspects using ‘voice prints’"
"recently they have been fitted with equipment capable of picking up signals from wi-fi computer networks."
ie what gov/mil did a years ago over cities is now at a low cost and been slowly rolled out into suburbia at a police level.
Expect a lot more of the chat down option - one state officer hinting that their role in a federal task force is now a talk with federal law enfacement at a persons door. No court paperwork needed and a lot of tracking tech in the area. The hide part is parallel construction vs a real warrant and what any good legal team would find.

His true colors.... (3, Insightful)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 8 months ago | (#47225509)

Those spoofed Obama posters that replaced HOPE with OBEY seem more and more appropriate.

Re:His true colors.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225587)

Don't you CIA plants ever get bored with talking about how horrible Obama is?

Re:His true colors.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225651)

Don't you NSA plants ever get bored with talking about how great Obama is?

Re:His true colors.... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 8 months ago | (#47225731)

How about this one? [knowyourmeme.com]

Re:His true colors.... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 8 months ago | (#47225803)

I like it.

snitch infestation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225527)

hey. I dont mind the police cleaning up neighborhood s from meth dealers. it nearly as ubiquitous as cell phones. but please put them behind bars without leniency for collaboration with law enforcment. if however using them a snitches then the pol8ce itself will quickly fall for meth abuse in its own ranks. this shit is just to good at helping people get work done. over and out

it will be leaked soon (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 months ago | (#47225529)

the federal government cant keep any secrets they are too clumsy, stupid and corrupt to garner loyalty from that many police officers

Re:it will be leaked soon (2)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#47226033)

Already done. Local cops are morons. Nobody told them not to sit around and bullshit about all their cool tech with the local riff-raff.

opposite land? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#47225543)

It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.

It's pretty easy to welcome "debate" when you've already determined the outcome before a single word has been spoken. It also looks like "transparency" now means the opposite of its traditional meaning. Kind of like how literally can mean figuratively, bad is good, etc.

If only... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#47225557)

...the words coming out of these politician's mouths were what they were putting onto paper with their pens, the world would be a much better place. Instead, we have them insisting one thing publicly, while working against that idea in every way possible behind closed doors.

Re:If only... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225973)

We get what we are willing to settle for.

Politicians are to voters what teen-aged boys are to the teen-aged girls they'd like to procreate with.

They say what they need to in order to get erected, er, elected.

It all means nothing (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225565)

98% of you will still vote democrat or republican, thinking this time things will change. You're right. Things will change... for the worse. And then you will STILL vote democrat or republican again. You have the government you asked for. And quit your bellyaching about lack of choice. I ain't listening. It's bullshit. You decide who is on the ballot.

Re:It all means nothing (3, Informative)

rossz (67331) | about 8 months ago | (#47225593)

Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

If every single person who said they would vote third party if it wasn't throwing away their vote actually voted third party, we'd see some serious changes. Just accept that it doesn't matter one bit whether a democrat or a republican wins the election. The results will be the same. Once you accept this simple truth, you are free. Now you can vote for a third party candidate without that fear of letting "the other guy" win. Vote third party. Always. I don't care which third party. Just don't vote for the status quo.

Re:It all means nothing (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#47225903)

Third parties will never be a force in American politics until they stop trying only for the big names seats and actually start from the bottom up and take city, state, and county seats first. Until then, it is just a waste of vote- even if they do get elected.

This is how the democrats and republicans became so entrenched. And a lot of times, the local politicians do not even act like the national ones which gives a false impression of the parties. There was a poll a while back in which the majority of Americans saw their senator or representative as not being part of the problem, it was all the others in Washington.

But back to third parties, if one gets elected president, all he can do is veto what congress sends him and make speeches. Congress can ignore most of it like they did to Carter in the 70s (what an abysmal president who turned out to be better outside of office than in). But the majority of bills sent to be signed will include something important and vetos will end up with everyone calling for impeachment. If a third party gets elected to the senate or house of representatives, they will have to caucus with one of the parties or no one would support anything they attempt to bring to the table.

Voting third party is a waste of a vote pure and simple. That is until they go grass roots and start having a bottom up support structure. They would be better off infiltrating the existing parties like the TEA party does and stand their ground that way.

Re:It all means nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225957)

Screw you. There is no such thing as a wasted vote. You are part of the problem.

Re:It all means nothing (1, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#47226083)

I particularly like how you disassembled the comment and pointed to every place in which it possibly could be wrong. Tell me, do you have a news letter I can subscribe to?

PS, the next time you threaten me with a good time, could you at least use a nick that isn't so over used like Anonymous Coward so I can pick you from a crowd? It's like you said you will be the one in red and green at the Christmas party.

Re:It all means nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226333)

Shut up.

Re:It all means nothing (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 8 months ago | (#47226379)

Voting 3rd party isn't throwing your vote away. Most elections are only won by a few percent. When politicians see votes going to 3rd party candidates they ask how they can take those votes, and if borrowing a few ideas from the 3rd party is cheap enough they will do it. So voting 3rd party will shift the politics of the major candidates.

Re:It all means nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225597)

You decide who is on the ballot.

Actually, people who disagree with you and me decide who is on the ballot.

Re:It all means nothing (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 8 months ago | (#47225747)

I don't believe that the federal government can change. It's corrupt at all levels. It's too far removed from the people. We need to push control back to the states where the power is more local and the people have more ability to ensure that their representatives actually represent them.

Re:It all means nothing (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#47225933)

Read your history, and learn how corrupt the local authorities are. The country has already endured all that "state's rights" crap. I would prefer not to repeat that fiasco. The voters enable the corruption. Let's shitcan the blame game.

Re:It all means nothing (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 8 months ago | (#47226099)

Local corruption doesn't affect 300M+ people.

Re:It all means nothing (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226123)

To be fair though, if you're equating "state's rights" with slavery, slavery was there first, and isn't there anymore. Jim Crow laws that replaced slavery are also gone. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and people of other minority groups have a much larger political voice than they did a few decades ago. That isn't going to change if states insist on their sovereignty again.

How can we? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225869)

When Ralph Nader was running in 2000, he was barred from the debates. [washingtonpost.com]

The Democrats and Republicans have a oligarchy here in the States when it comes to political candidates.

We also have a populace that has been programmed by propaganda to fear the "other side" soooo bad, that they'll vote for the "lesser evil".

There are plenty of BS reasons and rationals that people use - "throwing your vote away" is the most idiotic one of all.

So, people, the parent is right. And we DO have the government that reflects the people. And the people are lazy, easily manipulated cows.

But the thing is, just try to go against the flow of mindless walking cows.

I will continue to throw my vote away and listen to people who bitch about how things never change with disgust.

Obama is Bush term 3 &4? WTF did you expect?! That's his campaign rhetoric was the truth?

And if you think Romney would have been better, you are just as delusional and just as much of a sheep as everyone else.

Pathetic sheepeople - ALL of you!

Re:It all means nothing (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 8 months ago | (#47226131)

That's why I chose my sig carefully.

The Question To Ask... (2)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 8 months ago | (#47225625)

Is why does the Federal government care? That they do begs the question, what are they trying to hide? Are the Stingrays (which are useful as a law enforcement tool -- assuming proper warrants are obtained and appropriate restrictions adhered to) just a smokescreen for other spy technologies being used by the Feds (think parallel construction here) and shared with local LEO? If so, that's a big problem.

If not, I'm guessing that Hanlon's Razor [wikipedia.org] applies here in spades.

You keep using that word... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 8 months ago | (#47225667)

This must be that "transparency" I've been hearing so much about.

Re:You keep using that word... (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#47226013)

Well, you did see through the charade pretty easily didn't you? How much more transparent do you expect it to be?

"Transparency" = Cloaked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225675)

When the Obama (and previous) administrations say "transparency," what they really mean is "invisible."

Hollywood co-operates with NSA (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225681)

The USA was the first nation to mandate BY LAW that every cell phone sold in the USA had to constantly provide location tracking information, and the laughable excuse given by Congress is that this facility would help locate some 911 callers. This functionality became a requirement MANY years ago, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with GPS.

After the new law, Hollywood modified the plots of its TV dramas to account for the fact that anyone with a powered mobile phone was locatable to within several meters using the cell tower triangulation methods that actually track the position of every cell phone owner in the USA. If the plot required a person to be 'lost', an excuse had to be found for the lack of a cell phone, or the inability of the cell phone to work properly (exhausted battery- not within the range of a cell tower). BUT THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED.

The US Justice Department contacted every major entertainment company, and asked them to STOP informing ordinary Americans that their mobile phones were constantly location tracked. And Hollywood complied- so now TV dramas constantly inform naive viewers that most mobile phones CANNOT be location tracked unless
1) special software has been installed on the phone
2) the phone has a GPS chip
3) AND the phone network company has been informed, and currently has a Human operator attempting to locate the phone.

Hollywood TV shows and films can actually have plots revolving around the use of a mobile phone, and at the same time absolutely denying that the phone has ANY location tracking facility. The US remake of 'Shameless' had a 'genius' 'hacker' character attempting to locate a person trapped in a container on a moving truck, and despite the fact that the 'lost' individual was in the USA, and communicating with the 'genius' 'hacker' by mobile phone, not once did the 'genius' 'hacker' suggest that the phone itself provided the location.

You see the same thing with 'crime' plots, where Hollywood agrees to NEVER show effective criminal procedures, even to the extent of NEVER accurately depicting something as trivial as lock-picking. But extending this dubious principle to general public knowledge about the true functionality of their electronic devices is despicable- and straight out of 1984.

Such NSA inspired programs join other NSA FUD like:
-the NSA FUD attack against Truecrypt
-the NSA FUD attack against the validity of properly erasing files by over-writing them with new, random data that the OS cannot distinguish from other, valid data. The NSA pays shills to hit forums like these with garbage about 'magic' forensic technology that directly recovers such deleted data from the surface of the HDD platter. The intention is to drive the sheeple to use subverted, corporate deletion tools that actually leave most of the data untouched, making it likely the NSA and others can recover it.
-The Bill Gates/NSA home spy project called Kinect 2. Due to the complete failure of the Xbox One in the marketplace, Microsoft has reversed every Gates/NSA requirement for the original Xbox One launch. No great loss to the NSA, since the Kinect2 was just a tiny part of the NSA grooming project to get sheeple accepting of NSA cameras, microphones and associated computer processing in their own homes. Almost every brand of smart TV has cameras and microphones that CANNOT be disabled, and continuously stream data from these to NSA servers in the so-called 'cloud', if people are dumb enough to connect these TVs to the internet.

Re:Hollywood co-operates with NSA (3, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#47225877)

Hollywood uses phone tracking when it's convenient to the plot, and discards it when it's not. The biggest procedural crime drama on TV (NCIS) had phones being instantly trackable as recently as this season, with people specifically removing their batteries for exactly that reason. That same show ignores that ability when it makes the storyline more interesting without it.

No secret conspiracy to show it one way or the other.

Take off your tinfoil hat and go out side, dolt.

I don't think most people care, but they should (1)

X-Ray Artist (1784416) | about 8 months ago | (#47225721)

Liberties have always been sacrificed to presumably enhance security. Every day we are bombarded with news about how vulnerable we are. Government takes advantage of this. They sell us on sacrificing (what seems to be) trivial liberties to make us safer. Look at how our children don't think twice about being behind a locked fence at school. That is supposed to make them safer. I think that environment will make them quite comfortable in prison camps. I think we need to take security seriously, but not rely on the government (at any level) to provide it. No matter what measures we take, bad things will happen and people will get hurt and killed.
I remember my dad telling me that locks only keep the honest people out. Come to think about it, maybe that is why the government is always able to get in...Even when measures are taken to keep them out.

Then they learned nothing from Snowden (2)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | about 8 months ago | (#47225727)

This is going to come out. Not if, just when.
When it does - lots of local heads will roll. Politically, not literally.

The scope is very large. The level of participation is very large. The value of a leak is huge, so the first leaker wins the lottery - made for life. Do police get paid enough for that to make economic sense? nope.

The blowback for those who administer this outside of "required to cooperate" is huge. The only response of the leaders that gets them off the hook is to pass that buck upward. "The law made me do it" or "the feds made me do it" will save their careers, some.

Eventually it has to break. How is it handled at that point?
Look at the NSA/Cisco/IBM related consequences of Snowden and imagine that at a local level.

That or those who rule by consent of the governed would want to educate and train the people (not serfs) under them so that there is sustainable rule of law AND good quality of freedom enjoyed in the land of the free, home of the brave, place where justice wears a blindfold. Too bad those way up in power are less interested in that quality - they are the ones with the greatest ability to support it.

Spidey: Stingray Detector App for Android (5, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 months ago | (#47225763)

Spidey [mit.edu] is a stingray detector app developed by the ACLU and MIT. This page [spideyapp.com] is a page to get notified when it goes live. The source code is on GitHub [github.com] . It works by comparing the towers you can see at any given moment against what you've seen before and data from the OpenCellID Project [opencellid.org] .

Who watches the watchers? I do.

Dont' worry America we right... (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 8 months ago | (#47225783)

behind your Canadian brothers will not leave you behind http://www.michaelgeist.ca/con... [michaelgeist.ca]

Well I was sharpening my pitch fork last night but my neighbors think that I'm crazy.

Hope and change ? (2)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 8 months ago | (#47225843)

Not that his opposition was any better but really people were acting like he was the second coming.
Turns out it was the second coming of Richard Nixon.

Anyway it shouldn't surprise anyone that this came out of a big government establishment administration.

Re:Hope and change ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225919)

Turns out it was the second coming of Richard Nixon

I'm still amazed to discover that Nixon was a liberal socialist just like Obama. They both look like conservatives to me.

more and more depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47225893)

They lie, they kill, they run like little rats every time a cessna flies nearby. Our leaders are trash from start to finish.

Not Surprised (1)

finalcutmonstar (1862890) | about 8 months ago | (#47225969)

I am not surprised that any of this is going on and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone else. We let our governments conduct surveillance on us without any checks or balances. I encourage all of you to take measures to protect yourselves from such intrusions and unwarranted monitoring.

I guess by "debate", Obama really means... (1)

qeveren (318805) | about 8 months ago | (#47225983)

... you complaining while he plugs his ears and yells LA LA LA LA LA. XD

Obama Administration (1, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 8 months ago | (#47226017)

It's odd how the article keeps saying Obama Administration, especially when you know that the whitehouse isn't wasting it's time on local stuff like that.
They should specify which departments or people are actually making these demands for the locals to not release the info.
They do state specifically in one case, and that was the FBI. You know, one of those three letter agencies that happily lie to Congress, the Senate, and the Whitehouse.

Citizen's arrest the officers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47226209)

They're buying and operating illegal, even treasonous equipment, arrest the fuckers, push it all the way to the Supreme Court where they will be charged with treason during a time of war and executed when they are found guilty.

There are more of "us" than there are them. Use the laws as they were meant to be. That goes for the NSA / CIA / FBI / DHS / SCotUS and PotUS - they're all traitors to this country and it's constitution. Use the Constitution and the laws to make them pay for their crimes.

Typical Chicago Machine politician! (1)

Chas (5144) | about 8 months ago | (#47226253)

Talking out both sides of his mouth. Or delegating all the offensive stuff for cronies to pass on so he can pretend his hands are clean...

Not saying anyone else would be any better.

Just making an observation.

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