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Help Crowd-FOIA Stingray Usage Across America

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the muckrock-reclassified-as-terrorist-threat dept.

Privacy 89

v3rgEz (125380) writes "Collaborative investigative news site MuckRock is trying to take a national look at Stingray usage across America, and is looking for people to submit contact information for their local police departments and other law enforcement groups for a mass FOIA campaign. The submissions are free, but the site is also running a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of stamps, etc. on Beacon Reader." This comes after news broke that the federal government has been pushing for local police to avoid disclosing their use of Stringray devices.

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Do not support this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251369)

This is anti-American and anyone that participates in this will probably wind up in a prison. Do not support.

Re:Do not support this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251399)

This is anti-American and anyone that participates in this will probably wind up in a prison. Do not support.

I can usually tell the difference between someone being a troll, or just stupid... In this case, I'm really not sure.

Re:Do not support this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251507)

He's being American.

Re:Do not support this (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#47251835)

A stupid American troll I presume :P

Haters be hatin son! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252005)

Haters gonna hate
Lovers gonna love
I don't even want, none of the above
I wanna piss on you, yes I do, I'll peeee on you

Gonna give you some poo poo
Gonna give you some pee pee
Gonna give you some doo doo
Wash it down with some wee wee

This is the remix edition of the song about pissing
Got that peeing, leaking, reeking, and there's juice in the kitchen.....

I sip Cris, you drink piss
I'm serious I really do want to piss on you....

Re:Do not support this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47257527)

I can usually tell the difference between someone being a troll, or just stupid... In this case, I'm really not sure.

He's being American.

So "stupid" then. ;)

Re:Do not support this (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47251465)

You might end up on a fusion center list.
You might end up with a chat down by locals under a federal task force.
You might end up with a real federal chat down.

Re:Do not support this (4, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 5 months ago | (#47251583)

You might end up on a fusion center list.

You might end up with a chat down by locals under a federal task force.

You might end up with a real federal chat down.

If your aren't on at least one watchlist your doing it wrong.

Re:Do not support this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252021)

If you aren't using the variations of you and are correctly, you're doing it wrong.

Re:Do not support this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252951)

If your aren't on at least one watchlist your doing it wrong.

Your [sic] doing contractions wrong.

The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the 4th (4, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47251375)

I know a lot of people whom like to put on their tinfoil hats and cry about government surveillance at every chance, but the reality is that we have never actually defined what is or isn't private in the digital age. The Internet is an amazingly complicated set of patents, protocols, technologies, and developments over the past 30-40 years of computing.

All of this is boiling over to what exactly is considered "YOUR" information in the digital age? Nobody seems to be asking this question. What information on your digital phone device belongs to you? And what information can the company/provider share with whomever they want?

Tracking your IMEI, Wifi MAC Address, and other tools is considered part of the network operations. The providers routinely keep logs of all of this information and use it to track you for a whole host of reasons. It's correlated across the organizations that control the hot spots. Companies do this all of the time, in perhaps significantly more intrusive ways than LEO using their "stingray" system, which no doubt is something that is a targeted-type application. Whereas the LEO will utilize these systems to target specific groups, events, or behaviors--marketing companies will track you and your device until the end of time. And, at the behest of a warrant, will provide as much information on your whereabouts, shopping habits, and intimate information as quickly as they can.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251461)

But the Stingray enables unrestrained fishing by LEO (however immoral or legally questionable), as opposed to targeted access that requires specific cooperation, and thus expenses, by the cooperating commercial entity, unlikely to be done en mass.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1, Redundant)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47251597)

Do you really think there are expenses?

A single entity can gain the contract for wireless in all of a particular operator's malls. Say, the Mills malls. That's say, 4 malls in the Maryland region for which one operator could potentially connect. The wireless operator scores a contract to install wifi. They can work out a deal where the wireless operator can work with the mall to provide coupons for various stores inside of the mall and work as a central mall hub. They can make it appear like it's helping the shopper out! "Sign up for a Mills Account to earn great deals during your shopping experience today!"

Next thing you know, this vendor is keeping tabs on your authentication to MAC address storage. Even when you visit other malls where you might not have an account in that mall, they can still track your whereabouts because hey--they have your MAC on file. Got a different phone? No big deal. As soon as you sign back in to your "Mills Account" from the new phone, the tracking starts anew with a new device.

Then start using some of those coupons...

Before you know it, they've collected a massive database of your shopping habits. AT the very least, location tracking. At worst, intimate knowledge of which stores you like to purchase from.

Let's not forget what can then be done by analysts with access to that data. Like to shop at Spencer's and Victoria's Secret? I bet you're a freaky girl in touch with her sexuality, not conservative.

Think the UNICRU test that Best Buy employed for personality-based hiring to the extreme. A complete profile that you've built for yourself through all of the websites you have visited with "SHARE THIS!" links (Even if you don't actually share it, they're tracking.)

What the hell do you think "big data" is?

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2)

plover (150551) | about 5 months ago | (#47253119)

Generally, this tracking is justified as "non-identifying". To be valuable to the mall owners and retailers, they track IDs as they move around, so they can provide insight like "people who shop at the Dizzknee store are more likely to cross the mall for a cookie", and "72% of shoppers walked past location X, place advertising there." And state DOTs are using such systems to track traffic flows and speeds. The data does have legitimate uses.

But what they don't generally advertise is that a single act of correlation to an ID identifies all that person's past behavior. While it may not matter much to my privacy if they send me a coupon for The Cookie Shop, it will matter greatly if that ID is used elsewhere. "Hi, I'm from LIZARD insurance, and we see you drive through tough neighborhoods on the way to work every day. Here's your high-risk rate hike."

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

AntiSol (1329733) | about 5 months ago | (#47269069)

I was against this whole surveilance state thing until you pointed out that it could be used to find freaky girls...

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (5, Insightful)

saloomy (2817221) | about 5 months ago | (#47251499)

But that means this is a chance for the nation (and by nation I mean the public), to stand up for what they believe to be right and true in this regard. As an American, you can ask yourself what the freedoms and "spirits" of the founding laws intended, and fight to make it so. So often on slashdot, there are comments that ring with "it can't ever happen, the MAN is too powerful for us peons to do anything to change this". I always feel like I should (but seldom do) remind those folks of the Civil Rights movement. A group of citizens rose up and stood in the face of so many gov't entities and achieved their goal. I also feel that happened when President Obama ran in 2008. The results have been a little underwhelming vs. what the youth of the day thought they would get, but they did achieve it. I think the Civil Rights movement of my generation (30's) and the one that follows will be digital rights, privacy, and freedom to conduct your business without the watchful eye of big brother giving you a second glance, or a nod of approval.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47251549)

Well, I don't necessarily separate tracking for LEO purposes (and by extension, government agencies from top to bottom) and privatized tracking for "marketing" when I think of how we should proceed with privacy laws. More importantly, it's hard to apply the "spirit" of the law when there was never really a precedent for which the laws could have even begun to apply.

If you limit the scope of your privacy arguments to Constitutional protections, you may find at one point in the next 10-20 years your employer may know every bit of your shopping, browsing, buying, and daily habits at the request of a "background check". We're not too far off from this reality, credit bureaus are already using the credit reports of your Facebook connections to adjust your credit score.

So yes, LEO may be prevented from listening to your conversation--but every person in your HR organization knows exactly the type of person you are and can build a personality profile on you, and keep track of that. And if you think "privacy settings" on Facebook mean jack shit, I've got a mean boat in the desert to sell you.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2)

saloomy (2817221) | about 5 months ago | (#47251785)

You make a few good points Maga. What I meant to say is that the "spirit" of the founding laws that coincide with American ideals against unlawful, unwarranted search and seizure are defined to protect the public, and the individual from a questioning government. Basically, the government can not come into your home, and search for without a warrant showing just cause.

The fact that our digital culture has mechanized mass-surveilance, the likes of which were surely unimaginable when the founding laws were laid down, does not change the intent of the law. The government has to show just cause before it can search your effects or your person. Mass surveillance is specifically counter to that intent. There is no just cause for searching people at random, and that again is specifically what the law is written to keep from occurring.

However, if you post on FB, thats information you are choosing to share with a corporate entity. If they in turn share that data, its either in accordance with their policies, the law, or in violation of them, which means you have cause to lay a claim. Just like you can not kiss someone in public and expect privacy, you can not expect to post information to FB and expect privacy. If your friends can see it, they too can share it, which is not in violation of any contract or law.

The chance now is for people to rise up and assert when the information intended to be secure (such as encrypted data to another person), is syphoned and decrypted en masse; the government is in violation of both the "spirit" and the letter of the law.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252101)

I didn't read all of your comment, but doing this FOIA en masse does one very important thing. It eliminates the Feds from going around to law enforcement departments and police precincts and removing any and all available materials on this 'StingRay' bullshit.

Slashdot has articles on here and just about a week ago (I'm terrible with timelines) about a FIOA request to a police department but the Feds swooped in and grabbed any all information, and probably threatened any officers with prison time, destroyed careers, ect, if they talk. And that's been the problem, having one group targeting one department, allows the feds to go in and take or destroy any materials on this Stingray program.

I'm sure glad we live in a free country, and not a leader in how to be a silent government of neo-communists. (sarcasm)

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252121)

But that means this is a chance for the nation (and by nation I mean the public), to stand up for what they believe to be right and true in this regard. As an American, you can ask yourself what the freedoms and "spirits" of the founding laws intended, and fight to make it so.

Unfortunately, the first requirement is to find somebody with charisma to serve as a figurehead and actually get people to do something. People with negative charisma like myself have already tried, and just been denied by everyone. Without charisma, defiant actions will just land you in a jail cell by yourself, rather than serving as some kind of martyr to get things kickstarted.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

operagost (62405) | about 5 months ago | (#47254239)

I also feel that happened when President Obama ran in 2008.

HAHAHAno. He's just another member of the ruling elite. Is there any question, after having dispatched Hilary Clinton (of the "old" ruling elite), yet bringing her on board as SoS? And now the proles are clamoring for Hilary in 2016. How about his refusal to admit mistakes-- personified by the continued presence of Holder as AG?

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251517)

I'd personally feel a lot better about all of it if the government wasn't working so hard to hide it. That's the stickler to me.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251519)

I know a lot of people whom like to put on their tinfoil hats and cry about government surveillance at every chance, but the reality is that we have never actually defined what is or isn't private in the digital age. The Internet is an amazingly complicated set of patents, protocols, technologies, and developments over the past 30-40 years of computing.

When interpreting the US constitution, its 'spirit' is often taken into account. It's rarely taken 100% literally. For instance, given historical evidence, how would the founding fathers have reacted to issue X? Well, if NSA-style or this type of surveillance were used against them, it would likely have been explicitly mentioned in the 4th, or efforts would have been taken to stop the government from doing such things.

There's also the issue of the constitution being a whitelist of things the government can do, not a blacklist of things it can't.

All of this is boiling over to what exactly is considered "YOUR" information in the digital age? Nobody seems to be asking this question.

Lots of people have asked and answered this question, or deemed it irrelevant. We can put whatever restriction on the government that we want, regardless of what is 'ours.' It's just an irrelevancy.

And what information can the company/provider share with whomever they want?

We don't actually need to restrict the companies all that much. We can just make any information the government collects from companies under certain circumstances inadmissible in court, or punish government agents who get information they shouldn't, etc.

Companies do this all of the time, in perhaps significantly more intrusive ways than LEO using their "stingray" system, which no doubt is something that is a targeted-type application.

Just because people allow companies to do it does not mean that we should make the problem *worse* by allowing the government to get its grubby little hands on the information, too. This "X does really bad things, so when Y does less bad things, it doesn't matter" logic isn't really relevant to anything.

Whereas the LEO will utilize these systems to target specific groups, events, or behaviors

And they're much more effective at destroying lives and oppressing the populace.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (-1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47251619)

For what it's worth, the government has yet to use any of the information to actually destroy lives, at least lives of people that it wasn't coming to. At least nobody I know has ever been negatively affected by these systems. In fact, most people around where I live, where the DOD and US Government are primary IT employers, benefit from the existence of these programs and the careers they provide in "Cyber Security" and "Information Systems".

I think you're unduly putting a lot of weight to the 'government' argument when in reality the most pressing issue for a good 80% of the populace is what can private organizations do with this data?

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251705)

For what it's worth, the government has yet to use any of the information to actually destroy lives

Really? I'm not so sure. You wouldn't know if they did, especially with parallel construction.

And for what it's worth, governments have abused and/or murdered hundreds of millions of people throughout history. The US government is responsible for many abuses, too. Also, did you know that governments are made up of human beings, and not of infallible angels? To say that they can be trusted with these capabilities is not only to ignore history and foolishly trust the people currently in the government, but to trust all future people in the government with these capabilities that you're allowing to exist today.

At least nobody I know has ever been negatively affected by these systems.

And that's what matters.

In fact, most people around where I live, where the DOD and US Government are primary IT employers, benefit from the existence of these programs and the careers they provide in "Cyber Security" and "Information Systems".

You realize that freedom is more important than jobs, right? Seriously, what the hell does this have to do with anything? It provides jobs, so it's good?

I think you're unduly putting a lot of weight to the 'government' argument when in reality the most pressing issue for a good 80% of the populace is what can private organizations do with this data?

False dichotomy. Stop it. Both problems should be tackled, but in different ways.

As for putting too much weight on the issue of the government violating people's fundamental freedoms and the highest law of the land... I don't need to say anything more. You can't put too much weight on that, even if you ignore history completely.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251865)

For what it's worth, the government has yet to use any of the information to actually destroy lives, at least lives of people that it wasn't coming to.

So according to your world view it's OK that all the people whose lives were destroyed by the government had it coming to them? Here's hoping you don't have it coming to you.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 5 months ago | (#47251917)

For what it's worth, the government has yet to use any of the information to actually destroy lives, at least lives of people that it wasn't coming to.

The most obvious counter-examples being Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden. The "crimes" these people committed were that they told the truth. I guess we could argue semantics about whether or not their lives were "destroyed" or not but I think we can all agree that their mobility is severely restricted and their long prospects aren't looking so hot.

The lesson to be learned here is to never tell the truth when discussing the working of government. It's the highest crime you can commit. Nothing good can possibly come from it.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#47251967)

Julian Assange is wanted for questioning in regards to sexual assault.

Chelsea Manning forwarded classified documents en masse from an active warzone to an unknown foreign national.

Edward Snowden did the same.

None of these people are as innocent as you claim they are. You just liked some of the things they said and are happily turning a blind eye to the rest. And worse, you're doing it because they had good PR - nothing Edward Snowden revealed couldn't be reasonably inferred as happening beforehand, nor was expressly illegal due to the Patriot Act - a fact many people took issue with when that bill was created.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 5 months ago | (#47252025)

All I claimed is that they told the truth. Unless you are claiming otherwise, I'll assume we are in complete agreement.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#47256811)

You said they were punished for telling the truth.

That's not why they were punished.

Re:The eventual redefinition of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252257)

An active warzone, AKA the United States of America.

You Americans really need to calm down a bit, you're starting to look a bit crazy, and not in a charming way.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#47252363)

Assange is wanted for questioning in regards to a sexual assault investigation that was previously closed, the decision having been reached by police that there was no grounds for prosecution. An investigation that was reopened in November 2010 - only days after Wikileaks put out the diplomatic cables, the motherlode of leaks.

The timing of that is rather suspicious. It's quite plausible that some political pressure was applied by the US which lead to a re-opening of a previously closed case. One thing all these leaks should teach us is that sometimes, there really is a shadowy party behind the scenes manipulating events. Not all conspiracy theories are wrong. Some of the schemes revealed would have done a Bond villain proud, and seemed like the ramblings of the paranoid before supporting documents were revealed - calling in a political favor to get the case reopened is quite a minor act in comparison.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

jeIlomizer (3670951) | about 5 months ago | (#47259011)

nor was expressly illegal due to the Patriot Act

The Patriot Act does not override the highest law of the land in the US.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252501)

In fact, most people around where I live, where the DOD and US Government are primary IT employers, benefit from the existence of these programs and the careers they provide in "Cyber Security" and "Information Systems".

Concentration/death camps provided jobs, too — doesn't mean they're worth having around.

Rarely taken literally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252125)

...except if it involves a gun.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 5 months ago | (#47251525)

All of this is boiling over to what exactly is considered "YOUR" information in the digital age? Nobody seems to be asking this question.

As a minimum if you don't encrypt it before tossing it out onto unknown public and private networks you don't control, you've already said you don't care who sees / reads / hears / metabolizes your data.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47251561)

This is absolutely, technically true.

However, since most people think of computing as the magic box with voodoo magic that makes my cell phone use wireless, they wrongfully assume that there's some sort of inherent "protection" of this data. What we are seeing on Internet forums everywhere are people kind of peeling back the onion layers of how the technology works and they're getting frightened by what they see.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#47251991)

The people who talk about what could happen live in a very specific kind of fantasy. They perceive all threats as coming from the government, and capable of being defended by technical measures. They ignore political and social realities, and construct a world in which he with the best encryption will totally be passed over then the tyrants come for their first born.

The reality is closer to "any delivery man could one day decide to just steal your mail, and this is pretty likely to happen actually". But why don't they? In fact why doesn't anyone with some control over your life use that position to screw you over and take what they want? It's the question never pondered.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#47252367)

I think the big mistake Orwell made in writing 1984 was to neglect the private sector. He imagined the dangers of a government spying on citizens to exercise and protect their power, but had no idea of the lengths to which businesses would spy on people in order to secure wealth - as well as power.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 5 months ago | (#47253053)

The reality is closer to "any delivery man could one day decide to just steal your mail, and this is pretty likely to happen actually". But why don't they? In fact why doesn't anyone with some control over your life use that position to screw you over and take what they want? It's the question never pondered.

There's not much need to ponder the question, because it *does* happen. [go.com] Not on a huge, sweeping scale (not including the NSA stuff, anyway), but it's enough to be concerned about.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47251575)

yes "Stingrays: The Biggest Technological Threat to Cell Phone Privacy You Don't Know About" recalling
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/... [eff.org]
You getting what federal/mil/security services would get over an area via a tame existing telco tower hardware/software at the local state and city level kit.

Re:The eventual redefinition of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251797)

They should have titled it - Stingrays: A big threat to cell phone privacy, a bigger threat to Steve Irwin

Not Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47253703)

The stingray is used only to target specific people or groups. The advertising companies are targeting everyone, everywhere, all the time, and deliberately intend to exploit you. The cops only intend to catch criminals. The marketing companies are much, much worse.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 5 months ago | (#47251979)

As a minimum if you don't encrypt it before tossing it out onto unknown public and private networks you don't control, you've already said you don't care who sees / reads / hears / metabolizes your data.

If you use an RF scanner to publish conversations overheard which are none of your business you can be held accountable under section 705 of communications act esp for "metabolization".

"No person not being authorized by the sender shall intercept any radio communication and divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such intercepted communication to any person. "

I don't accept the idea just because technical means to record conversation exists this somehow should automatically serve as a blanket grant for people to do whatever the hell they want just because they have the means.

I think parsing distinction between simply overhearing and using, profiting from or otherwise aggregating (stalking) is critically important.

However I much prefer technical solutions which deny undesirable capabilities vs reliance on legal regimes to enforce that which is guaranteed to ultimately be wielded by bottom feeders and or the state for less than noble reasons.

Most notably attempts by LEA to leverage "Wiretapping" statutes to prevent citizens from filming an arrest or other police actions.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251533)

. Companies do this all of the time, in perhaps significantly more intrusive ways than LEO using their "stingray" system, which no doubt is something that is a targeted-type application.

Except the 4th Amendment ot the U.S. Constitution requires that the government have a warrant/probable cause to engage in these kinds of intrusive searches and tracking, despite LEO protestations to the contrary. Yeah, private citizens and corporations are not bound by these strictures, but the policy concerns are different in both cases. I might not like it, but my wife has a lot more of an interest in going through my dresser drawer, and my doctor has a much greater interest in seeing my medical history than Law Enforcement has in either, absent some COMPELLING and PARTICULAR reason why they would need access.

captcha: "intimacy"

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (4, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47251633)

I think you're underestimating just how easily it is to collect data on you or how much data is actually collected.

You're assuming there are many hands in the pot, so to speak. That is, the information your wife and your doctor find can be different.

What if I told you that the wife and the doctor are storing the stuff they find in the same database, and are acting as both your wife AND your doctor?

Let me ask you this question: Can you list every single company that runs the rewards programs at various retail outlets? Grocery stores? Pharmacies? Who owns who? Who was purchased by who? etc.

You can't, you ignore it, it's too complex to figure out--but I guarantee you they have already shared every bit of data on you that is humanly possible to collect. And you do it all in the name of saving $0.10 on a box of cereal.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 5 months ago | (#47252359)

And you do it all in the name of saving $0.10 on a box of cereal.

First of all, the savings can be pretty significant if you shop smart. The thing is, before "loyalty cards," they were simply called "sale items" and had the same discounts. Nowadays though, they don't have to have a loyalty card to track you. They can track you by your credit/debit card. For example, Lowe's recently created the "My Lowe's" card, which doesn't give you any discounts but the supposed benefit is if you lose your receipt you can still return stuff. The thing is...even if you don't use your My Lowe's card, you can return stuff without a receipt because they can look it up based on your credit card number that you used to purchase the item. That shows that they're tracking your purchases even without a loyalty card. Wal-Mart doesn't have Loyalty cards, but you can bet your ass they're still tracking your purchases.

More importantly, even though these companies may be evil, they are not bound by the 4th amendment and their stated purpose is to make a profit for the benefit of their shareholders. The government, on the other hand, is bound by the constitution (even though they ignore it), and their stated purpose is for the people (even though it's now to benefit the profits of politicians' campaign contributors).

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252549)

People who value their privacy use cash. For grocery shoppers in Northeast US, Hannaford doesn't have a loyalty/tracking program; everyone can get sale items on sale anonymously (using cash).

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 5 months ago | (#47253065)

The same is true of Publix in the Southeast. Their normal pricing is higher than Walmart, but they run so many sales and BOGOs that it often ends up as a wash.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251539)

All of this is boiling over to what exactly is considered "YOUR" information in the digital age? Nobody seems to be asking this question. What information on your digital phone device belongs to you? And what information can the company/provider share with whomever they want?

Well we keep getting told by folks like RMS that sharing is good and that you shouldn't disallow sharing so all information is for everybody.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251555)

<grammar mode="nazi">I know a lot of people who ...</grammar>

That aside, there are recent rulings on the topic of the 4th amendment. One in note:

Federal Court Rules on One of the Major Outstanding Constitutional Privacy Questions of Our Time [aclu.org] -- 06/12/2014

Based on this event a couple weeks ago:

ACLU of Florida Files Emergency Motion Seeking Cell Phone Tracking Orders Hidden by Sarasota Police and U.S. Marshals [aclufl.org] -- June 3, 2014

And this is from the 11th circuit, no less.

Of course, your post is a lot of nonsense as well. Police putting up a fake mobile cell tower with the ability to intercept all calls within a geographical area really has most of nothing to do with the "amazingly complicated" internet.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251585)

Marketing companies aren't the government, and aren't bound by the 4th amendment. The 4th amendment *requires* that the government have specific, personalized, articulable suspicion to intercept your papers or effects -- and that includes your communications with other private persons or private companies. There's no ambiguity here, and suggesting there is does your continued future freedom a disservice.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 5 months ago | (#47251895)

I know a lot of people whom like to put on their tinfoil hats and cry about government surveillance at every chance, but the reality is that we have never actually defined what is or isn't private in the digital age.

Might be that we haven't defined if phone calls are private in the digital age because they were legally affirmed as private way back in the analog age. Re-reading your post, I'm not sure you understand what the stingray is for.

Warrant (1)

danheskett (178529) | about 5 months ago | (#47252029)

I don't care about how a private organization uses data about me, or generated by my devices. That a matter of contract law between me and a party that does not involve you or the government.

I do care that my papers and effects are protected. It is a God-given right to my papers and effects are secured against unreasonable searched and seizures, including against general warrants, and warrants that are not specific to the place and time to be searched. It matters not if the data comes directly from the police looking at my device, or installing something on my phone, or that they get it from a phone company.

Privacy for private's privates now! (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 5 months ago | (#47252233)

I know a lot of people whom like to put on their tinfoil hats and cry about government surveillance at every chance, but the reality is that we have never actually defined what is or isn't private in the digital age.

"Sir, I cannot define private information, but I know it when I see it..."

Ok, I am trolling you with the quote, but your statement is bullshit and I think you know it. Law enforcement agencies shouldn't be collecting ANY information on anyone until they have a crime report in their sweaty little hands or enough evidence to go get a real warrant. Anything more is just the first step on the slippery slope to police state.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252395)

at the behest of a warrant

If there is a legitimate need, a warrant is quick and easy to get, and it's not a secret. There is no warrant with the use of a stingray device, hence no legal permission for a search, no accountability, no paper trail, and no recourse.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 5 months ago | (#47253099)

There is no warrant with the use of a stingray device, hence no legal permission for a search

Not to mention the various FCC-related issues.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 5 months ago | (#47253323)

How stupid do you think we are with this post? I cannot believe that the government goes to the trouble to astroturf Slashdot, but this post proves it.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 5 months ago | (#47253355)

The standard is reasonable expectation of privacy. Would a reasonable person think they are not being spied upon, when doing stuff.

Re: The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | about 5 months ago | (#47253415)

That depends. What is the definition of "reasonable". In this day and age we are massively Internet connected with a great many software developers . Software dev is one of the highest paid professions today. "Big data", "cloud", "Hadoop", all are used for correlating this data.

It's reasonable to assume a LOT of people not only know they're being spied upon but are actively participating in this process.

So to me, a "reasonable" person should be able to infer they're being tracked by every thing they do online. Google and Facebook have made no attempt to hide it.

Re: The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47253561)

That depends. What is the definition of "reasonable".

In the case of personal information, I would say the definition is "anything I don't actively and knowingly make public."

Facebook post? Not private.

Text message history? Totally private.

It's really not all that complex, the problem is that people who want access to your private information pretend that it is in an attempt to confuse us into giving up more than we should.

Re:The eventual redefinition of "privacy" and the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47257635)

the reality is that we have never actually defined what is or isn't private in the digital age.

Sure we have, to some degree at least.
Is it encrypted? Then it is private, because according to the DMCA, breaking encryption is illegal.

Stingray or Stringray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251565)

Also, for those of us not living in a martial law country, WTF is a stingray?

is RTFA the correct reply? (2)

rewindustry (3401253) | about 5 months ago | (#47251589)

quote[ A stingray is a controversial[1] electronic surveillance device for remotely capturing data from mobile telephones.[2] It is designed to mimic a cell tower so all the mobile phones in the area communicate with it and provide information, including location data. This can be done even when the phone is not being used to make a call.[2][3] Critics have called the use of the devices by government agencies warrantless cell phone tracking, as they have frequently been used without informing the court system or obtaining a warrant.[1] The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called the devices “an unconstitutional, all-you-can-eat data buffet.”[4] A stingray can be carried by hand or mounted on a vehicle, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle.[3] The devices are also referred to as “cell site simulators” and “IMSI catchers.” ]

from the wiki, first link in the article.

Re:is RTFA the correct reply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251859)

Lovely how alarmistic wiki articles are.

[1] Can be said of any bloody base station. Did ya know most base stations have ports where you can just plug stuff in and grab whatever data you wanted?
[2] It doesn't mimic one. It is one. Your phone sends out ALL sorts of stuff for channel estimation, identification when you're doing squat.
[3] How does one propose to identify what signal belongs to which phone without looking at it? It's about as stupid of a request as asking someone to find a package for you but they're not allowed to look at the shipping label or any identifying information on the package.
[4] Pretty much any pico/femto cell base station that cell network operators buy from vendors can be hand carried or mounted.

Yawn... lots of dick waving from EFF and people who don't understand cellular technology / RF on this one.

Burn those witches, how dare they look at the smoke signals we're throwing up into the air.

Re:is RTFA the correct reply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251867)

And by EFF, I meant ACLU.

Re:is RTFA the correct reply? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47252047)

re AC and the '[1] Can be said of any bloody base station. Did ya know most base stations have ports where you can just plug stuff in and grab whatever data you wanted?"
A telco's tech staff and legal department may want real local court paperwork on one person before they allow access to their complex, over subscribed tower.

Re:is RTFA the correct reply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47264549)

You would trust individuals from one entity more than individuals from another entity because...?

Re:Stingray or Stringray? (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 5 months ago | (#47251617)

It's what killed Steve Irwin, man.

Re:Stingray or Stringray? (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47251639)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
Think of it as a small cell phone tower like kit that is cheap for a state, city and can offer remotely capturing data from mobile telephones.
Drive it into an area of interest and you become a cell phone tower like hardware to surround telco equipment.
In the distant past you would have to talk to the telco for logs or get access to the real telco hardware ie a mil/federal like tech task.
What local law enforcement want is logs like what a cell tower would for voice, messages, telco data (position) over an area.
Every powered phone in that area eg protest event, one person talking to the press, two people meeting face to face but been tracked.
If the phone is in use you get text messages, emails, cell/telco like information, may have an option for voice communications, position.

Funny (4, Insightful)

agm (467017) | about 5 months ago | (#47251703)

Your government forces you to pay for the police system and the many spy systems in place, and you have to pay *again* to find out how they've been using your money to spy on you.

Land of the free indeed. How did you let your government gain so much control?

Re:Funny (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 5 months ago | (#47251775)

Freedom is not free, and it never has been.

Re:Funny (1)

agm (467017) | about 5 months ago | (#47251855)

You cannot have freedom if the means to acquire it to remove some freedoms. That makes no sense.

Re:Funny (0)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#47251995)

You're not free to yell fire in a crowded theater.

Re:Funny (1)

agm (467017) | about 5 months ago | (#47252629)

Of course, because one of the conditions of entry is that such dangerous things are not done. That's called property rights and is a core part of freedom.

Re:Funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47253471)

Actually, you are. Absent any resulting harm *caused* by said yell, you haven't broken a single law.

The whole "can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater" meme is based on an old Supreme Court decision, which was later recognized as unconstitutional prior restraint, and *OVERTURNED*.

Re:Funny (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47253575)

You're not free to yell fire in a crowded theater.

You are if the theater is, in fact, on fire.

Wut wud u doo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252037)

That's right dude! Like the old classic song says, Freedom costs a $1.05!

Re:Funny (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47253113)

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. - Abraham Lincoln

Re:Funny (1)

odie5533 (989896) | about 5 months ago | (#47251863)

The crowdfunding is to pay for stamps. I managed to get through the entire summary, so I'm here to share my wisdom.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251881)

It depends who you mean by we.

Mostly it has been the baby boomber generation. The people who are 60-80ish now. This happened while they were the most empowered voting block, and by their own generation. They are a generation that is not technically savvy, has low tolerance of others, has a high religiosity and little care for societal well-being. We have to clean up their mess, or I guess continue to fuck over the world and our country, but they are still in power.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47252943)

Herpa derp. I'd love to know which 'free' country you're from. Mostly likely one we protect from the rest of the world.

Civilization separates Man from Men (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 months ago | (#47251743)

The fundamental discussion is what's appropriate for the State to do in preservation of public order.

Why not just crowdsource stingray detection? (3, Insightful)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 5 months ago | (#47251889)

Just create an app to aggregate tower data and funnel it thru a comparator to flag changes over time. For added bonus collect signal metrics with GPS location for flagged ID's to figure out exactly where these suckers are.

From previous disclosures usage had been sloppy with the same devices/identifiers reused as they are shipped all over the country. Detecting same stingray being moved from place to place should be cake with enough participants.

Stingrays would not be necessary if LEA's did their jobs and got a proper warrant. Dumber still use of these things cannot be concealed by the very nature of their operation... when you deploy this shit you unnecessarily run the risk of tipping off your adversaries.

In short LEAs who think stingrays are a good idea are idiots.

Re:Why not just crowdsource stingray detection? (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47251939)

Like the app called SpideyApp for Android?
"ACLU + The Guardian Project"
http://codesign.mit.edu/2014/0... [mit.edu]
http://codesign.mit.edu/2014/0... [mit.edu]
"An Android-based Stingray detector that uses scan differentials to detect anomalous cell towers."
My guess the local network changes would be a new weak or strong local "tower"?

Much obliged! (2)

Zynder (2773551) | about 5 months ago | (#47252049)

It's the little tidbits like this that keep me here on Slashdot. I'm gonna research this app and probably give it a try. THANKS!

Re:Much obliged! (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47252051)

Hi Zynder, Yes I saw that project link a few day ago via https://docs.google.com/presen... [google.com]
Glad I could help you with your research :)

Arizona use of Stingray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251899)

Found this article:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20131203arizona-police-agencies-tracking-cellphones.html?nclick_check=1

Triangulate them with an app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47251931)

Tower locations are known, no?

And don't cellphone show signal strength?

If so then how about an app to notify when signal is too strong for distance from tower? Might be STINGRAY...

Then play marco polo to get closer. Finally you find your STINGRAY.

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