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View Diary: Police violate Fourth Amendment in order to get their hands on nifty gadgets (305 comments)

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  •  What do these devices actually DO? (14+ / 0-)

    Do they they merely capture device ID, location and other meta data, and if so in real time? Or do they also capture the actual data being transmitted, e.g. a phone call, and if so can they do real-time decryption, or at least store the data for later decryption on more powerful devices? And for how many devices can they do this simultaneously? Do they need to target one or two devices in the immediate vicinity, or can they do broad sweeps of all devices in the area for later narrowing down to the devices they're interested in? And if so for what kind of data, meta, or content? There's so much vagueness and imprecision in discussions of these devices' capabilities and usage.

    Obviously they've been "tapping" into peoples' communications, but to what degrees of sophistication and extent? Not just the NSA, which can probably capture and decrypt nearly anything (and most likely is doing so), but other agencies, including the CIA, FBI and state and local authorities, which lack the former's budgets and power (to violate the constitution).

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:02:45 AM PST

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    •  Kovie.... (9+ / 0-)

      ...this is a perfect example where metadata IS the data so please give up that distinction.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:18:08 AM PST

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    •  The Stingray is a portable cellphone tower. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, Joy of Fishes

      Your cell phone connects to telephone network by way of the nearest tower. But if a Stingray is closer than the nearest tower, your phone connects to the Stingray instead. Then the Stingray can collect EVERYTHING that your phone sends and receives... metadata, conversations, text messages, web browsing, GPS navigation, email, everything.

    •  It acts as it's own cell tower which means (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, Joy of Fishes

      they get everything.  Now, they may choose to discard voice, text, and internet data (or the Stringray might do it automatically) but they get all data.  Though you can bet they are collecting everything they can including the actual content of voice calls and storing it in their police database after running it through speech recognition software.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:48:31 AM PST

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      •  As I understand it (0+ / 0-)

        Calls and data are not collected or stored.  Real time decryption is also not happening.  What is being captured is the data "wrapper" that includes the cell phone ID, location and likely to-from call information.  

        To me the disturbing part is that getting a warrant for using one of these would be pretty easy.  That they choose not to make me think they are shielding something more sinister.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:34:51 AM PST

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        •  Well see my posts about the Verizon network (0+ / 0-)

          range extender (femtocell) above and how it was modified to allow full eavesdropping/wiretapping.  This device is no different.  Of course, the police could choose to configure it not to collect that data (or the manufacturer could simply not include that option) but since it does act as it's own cell tower it would need to have the decryption software built in.  So yes, real time decryption has to happen otherwise the device won't work at all (or more accurately, it will work as a jammer since none of the calls/texts/data will be forwarded to the phone company).

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:49:21 AM PST

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          •  Not quite (0+ / 0-)

            two things,

            If the device is the type I am familiar with, it spoofs a cell tower, it doesnt act as one.  Any call you try to place through it will fail.  

            Second, the wrapper is not encrypted.  Only the data inside is encrypted

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:24:28 AM PST

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