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Thread: Privacy Alert! Big Brother is watching and listening, UPDATED

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  1. #581
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
    Exclusive: Mystery of Rogue Cell Towers Discovered

    Feds attempt to downplay growing spy grid

    Image Credits: M.O. Stevens / Wiki

    by Mikael Thalen | | September 4, 2014

    Recent reports on rogue cell phone towers being used across the country to intercept mobile cell phone data is drawing a response from federal agents who claim the towers are not being used by law enforcement groups.

    “I doubt that they are installed by law enforcement as they require a warrant to intercept conversations or data and since the cell providers are ordered by the court to cooperate with the intercept, there really would be no need for this,” former FBI agent Ross Rice told CBS Chicago. “Most likely, they are installed and operated by hackers, trying to steal personal identification and passwords.”
    Law enforcement’s fight to keep these systems in place is likely rooted in one thing: parallel construction.
    Used to conceal how a law enforcement investigation began, parallel construction allows police to create a criminal case while concealing how the evidence, often obtained illegally, was acquired.
    Speaking exclusively with Infowars, NSA whistleblower Kirk Wiebe, who helped develop the data processing system ThinThread, broke down the danger of surveillance and parallel construction.
    “Now we have NSA collaborating with FBI and DEA doing something called ‘Parallel Construction.’ In such a scenario, NSA sends information to a law enforcement agency, such as Drug Enforcement Agency and that agency uses the information secretly to investigate individuals, circumventing the law. No warrants,” Wiebe said.
    “In fact, the agency actively covers up the source of the information to make it look like the information came out of classical law enforcement investigatory techniques. DEA has a special unit called the ‘SOD’ – Special Operations Division that does the cover up work. The legal consequence of doing this kind of surreptitious collaboration between intelligence and law enforcement is to deny an accused person their legal rights under the Constitution,” Wiebe added. “They are denied the opportunity to face their accuser because the source of the information is kept under wraps/hidden.”
    Despite the CBS article’s attempt to claim that law enforcement does not have access to stationary cell phone interception devices, exclusive documents provided to Infowars last year by a source within the Seattle government revealed an expansive “mesh network” throughout the city capable of intercepting cell information in real-time.
    The mesh network system, funded with a $2.6 million “Port of Seattle” grant from the Department of Homeland Security, allows several groups within Seattle to communicate outside of normal cellular channels via “mesh network nodes” attached to utility poles while collecting vast amounts of information from the city’s many surveillance systems.
    One page from the document clearly details law enforcement’s involvement with federal agencies such as the local Fusion Center, a DHS-run group where FBI and police collect data on Americans deemed “extremist” for such engaging in such crimes as “loving liberty.”

    Page 65 of the document details the Network Mesh System’s (NMS) ability to collect identifying data on anyone “accessing the network.” A public user guide from the network’s designer, Aruba Software, openly admits that “a wealth of information about unassociated devices” can be retrieve as well.
    “The NMS also collects information about every Wi‐Fi client accessing the network, including its MAC address, IP address, signal intensity, data rate and traffic status,” the document reads. “Additional NMS features include a fault management system for issuing alarms and logging events according to a set of customizable filtering rules, along with centralized and version‐controlled remote updating of the Aruba Mesh Operating System software.”
    Cell phone users walking within the vicinity of a network node could not only have their IP address grabbed, but even have the last 1,000 GPS locations taken as well.
    The document also reveals how the system controls several other surveillance technologies such as license plate readers, which gather and store information on millions of drivers per month.
    A seperate page within the document cache entitled “Police Video Diagram” shows how police vehicles even receive and control live-video feeds from the city’s expansive collection of surveillance cameras – also tied into the mesh network system.

    Although the city has claimed that its cameras do not have facial recognition capabilities, the Seattle government secretly participation in the 2012 TrapWire program which used sophisticated facial recognition software, ran through city’s surveillance cameras, to gather intelligence for federal agencies. Only two years later, the Seattle Police Department announced its plan to purchase a facial recognition program with a DHS grant to allegedly scan and compare surveillance video to the city’s mugshot database.
    Although the mesh network was deactivated “until further notice” following public outcry in 2013, a civil liberties advocate testing the police department’s promise found an active network node just last month. Police explained the “rogue” device away as a simple mistake.
    While some hackers do abuse similar technologies, the vast majority of surveillance abuses are carried out by local governments armed to the teeth with federally provided spy tech.
    Unfortunately, rogue cell towers are only one piece of the “smart” surveillance grid currently suffocating the country. Despite claims that police need warrants to intercept people’s cell information, the deployment of Stingrays, a suitcase-sized device that mimics a cell tower, proves otherwise.
    A report in Wired Magazine from last March discovered that the Tallahassee Police Department had used a Stringray as many as 200 times since 2010 without ever acquiring a warrant. The department argued that a non-disclosure agreement signed with the device’s manufacturer prevented them from obtaining warrants beforehand.
    Emails uncovered last June showed how the U.S. Marshals Service purposely taught police how to deceive judges when trying to acquire Stringrays. In fact, when a public records request threatened to further expose the illegal activity, U.S. Marshals stormed a Florida police department and seized all Stingray documents.
    A report by the Tacoma News Tribune last month revealed that a Washington state police department similarly used a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI to keep their 2008 Stingray transaction private.
    Countless other technologies such as “Intellistreets” light fixtures, capable of recording audio and video of pedestrians passing by, have begun popping up in major cities such as Las Vegas.
    Meanwhile, as the media focuses on malicious hackers stealing nude photographs from celebrities, the fact that police regularly use the same software remains almost completely overlooked.
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  2. #582
    Edward Snowden: Supreme Court Will Strike Down NSA Spying Programs

    Dustin Volz 2 hrs ago

    Provided by National Journal Edward Snowden
    Fugitive leaker Edward Snowden said Saturday he believes the Supreme Court will review the legality of the U.S. government's mass surveillance programs and ultimately find them unconstitutional.

    "These programs themselves are unconstitutional," Snowden said during a video-streamed interview with journalist Jane Mayer at the New Yorker festival in New York City. "I am confident that the Supreme Court will agree these programs went too far."

    Snowden cited a ruling by a federal judge last year that found the National Security Agency's bulk collection of American phone records likely unconstitutional as one reason for his confidence. He also noted that two presidential advisory panels have raised concerns about the lack of judicial oversight of the agency's programs.

    Snowden, appearing via a video stream, was responding to a question from journalist Mayer, who asserted that the dragnet programs Snowden exposed last summer were legal. Most whistleblowers, Mayer said, have come forward to shed light on illegal activity, making Snowden's situation different.

    Snowden disagreed, saying he "would dispute that no crimes have been shown." He pointed to government officials who he claims appear to have lied to Congress under oath, and said the programs have been routinely abused by employees.

    "We have had serial abuse from NSA agents spying on exes, lovers … never prosecuted. That's a felony," he said.

    Snowden also addressed recent moves by both Apple and Google to ensure tighter encryption protections on their phones, saying the measures only go so far. Spies and law enforcement officials can still obtain records from phone companies, and encryption does not protect data uploaded to cloud services, such as iCloud, he said.

    "Even if encryption were this unbreakable, impenetrable shield, we live in the cloud era," Snowden said. "That data [in the cloud] is not encrypted."

    He blasted concerns raised by some officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, that such safeguards could impede criminal or national security investigations. That complaint is "not only ridiculous, it's offensive," Snowden said.

    Snowden's interview came a day after the screening premiere of a new documentary that provides an intimate look at Snowden's rendezvous with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras in the days leading up to the publication of documents revealing intimate details of the NSA's sweeping phone and Internet surveillance programs. The film, Citizenfour, is directed by Poitras and reveals that Snowden's girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, is now living with him in Moscow, where Snowden remains in exile.

    "She was not entirely pleased," Snowden joked to Mayer when asked to describe the reunion after more than a year apart. "Although she had a very, very challenging year, and I'll leave that to her to discuss, it was a meeting I'll never forget," he added, while apparently wiping a tear from his eye.

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