Tag Archives: Spying

Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger on FBI vs Apple Controversy: ‘Do You Trust Our Government?’

In an exclusive interview with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger breaks down the issues surrounding the FBI/Apple controversy and explained what the media is missing as it relates to civil liberties in the U.S. and the safety of global activists.

One episode in Knappenberger’s series, Truth and Power, focuses on oppressive governments that target activists by spying on their cell phones and computers.

Cook noted that many of these activists are tortured, and some are even killed because these government use “backdoors” to spy on people’s cells phones and computers. Cook asked Knappenberger about how opening these “backdoors,” if Apple complies with the FBI, would affect the safety of global activists.

“Apple sells its products all over the world… and so if there exists this back door, this magic key that the government wants… I bet those regimes are salivating at the prospects of this,” said Knappenberger. 

Knappenberger discussed how the American government uses surveillance and other tactics to disrupt innocent protesters who seek social and political change. He believes that filming police officers and police abuse is making a positive difference and should be protected under the 1st Amendment.

On the FBI/Apple controversy Knappenberber poses this question: “Do you trust the government?”

Watch the entire interview below:

https://youtu.be/uVDexx-euCQ

Follow Joshua Cook on Facebook and Twitter.

Lawsuit Forces DEA to Destroy Millions of Americans’ Phone Calls

In December, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch celebrated a victory after their lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration led to the conclusion of a program monitoring Americans’ phone calls overseas. The DEA also told the court that a database storing millions of Americans’ collected phone records has been destroyed.

The EFF and Human Rights Watch filed suit in April after USA Today reported that the DEA had been secretly and illegally collecting billions of records from phone calls placed to hundreds of foreign nations. After an 8 month battle, HRW agreed to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit after the U.S. government assured the organization that the mass collection of data had ceased and the only database with billions of phone records had been purged. The DEA made the promise under penalty of perjury.

A federal judge previously forced the government to respond to questions from HRW regarding the data collection program. The government attempted to convince the judge that there was no reason to rule on the legality of the program since it had already ended and the data had been deleted.

New details about the program were released through the government’s discovery responses. The government’s responses show that the DEA’s database was allegedly only searched when the government had “reasonable articulable suspicion” that the number was associated with an ongoing criminal investigation.

The DEA also says that call records older than two years were regularly deleted and the program reportedly went “off-line” in August 2013. As of January 2015, the DEA claims that the bulk database had been deleted, including any temporary files.

Despite the destruction of this single database, the U.S. government continues to monitor the activity of innocent Americans through a host of other programs and agencies.

As the EFF notes, “the government still retains some illegally collected records, and they’ve admitted as much.” This data collection includes gathering of phone records by the NSA under Section 702 of the FAA and under EO 12,333. Still, the EFF sees the outcome of the lawsuit as a win for privacy.

“Nevertheless, the end of the NSA’s domestic bulk collection and now the confirmed end of the DEA’s program represents a significant step forward in curtailing some of these abuses.”

What are your thoughts? Do you believe the DEA has stopped monitoring calls to foreign nations? Leave your thoughts below.

Report: NSA Spied on Israel’s Private Talks with U.S. Lawmakers about Iran Nuclear Deal

The United States National Security Agency reportedly spied on Israeli lawmakers and ended up obtaining information from private conversations with U.S. lawmakers during negotiations about the Iran Nuclear Deal.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, President Obama monitored the activities of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it served a “compelling national security purpose,” which ultimately gave the White House insight into Israel’s campaign to combat a nuclear deal with Iran.

The White House reportedly let the NSA decide “what to share and what to withhold,” and as a result it learned that  Netanyahu and his advisors “leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations—learned through Israeli spying operations- to undermine the talks; coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes.”

As previously reported, in March, both Netanyahu and former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner denied allegations that Israel spied on nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran, and then gave the stolen classified information to Congressional Republicans to sway their vote.

Following the revelation from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that the NSA was spying on and collecting metadata from innocent Americans in June 2013, Obama promised that the U.S. “will not eavesdrop on the heads of state or government of close U.S. friends and allies, unless there is a compelling national security purpose” in Jan. 2014.

While diplomats such as French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made Obama’s “protected list,” the WSJ’s report noted that Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not.

According to the report, a former Obama administration official claimed that the NSA was “so proficient at monitoring heads of state that it was common for the agency to deliver a visiting leader’s talking points to the president in advance.” 

After Boehner invited Netanyahu to address Congress in January 2015 without consulting the White House, the NSA reportedly realized that it was collecting data from Israeli lawmakers’ conversations with U.S. congress members. The report noted that while NSA rules require all names be changed to “U.S. person” in intelligence reports, senior U.S. officials can still request the names directly.

New Documents Reveal the NSA is Still Collecting Americans’ Emails

New records obtained by the New York Times via Freedom of Information Act requests reveal that the National Security Agency’s mass collection of email communications likely continues using different methods which are not restricted by the law.

The new details, part of a report from the NSA’s inspector general, reveal at least four reasons why the NSA ended the email program. Three of these reasons are redacted but the fourth states “other authorities can satisfy certain foreign intelligence requirements” that the bulk email records program “had been designed to meet.”

The report also details two other legal ways the government may acquire the data. First, the NSA may gather Americans’ data that has been gathered in other countries by examining the fiber optic cables which power the internet. As the New York Times writes, these activities “are largely not subject to regulation by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.” The NSA was previously not allowed to gather domestic data using this procedure, but that rule was changed in November 2010.

The other method for spying on Americans which the NSA may legally employ involves the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act of 2008, which allows for warrantless domestic surveillance.

These revelations come on the eve of the end of another program which allows the collection of Americans’ phone records. Under the recently passed USA Freedom Act the NSA can still access the records in the pursuit of terrorists, but the records remain with the telecommunications companies.

Timothy Edgar, a privacy official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations who is now a teacher at Brown University, told the New York Times that “The document makes it clear that NSA is able to get all the Internet metadata it needs through foreign collection.”

If Americans were hopeful that the USA Freedom Act was going to stop the bulk collection of data, they are in for disappointment. As long as the state has the technology and the resources (funded via tax dollars), they will use whatever tools they have at their disposal to monitor innocent individuals as the march towards complete loss of civil liberties continues.

Lawmakers Demand Information on Federal Use of Stingray Surveillance

On Monday, four members of the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee sent letters to 24 federal agencies including the Department of State and the Securities and Exchange Commission, demanding answers regarding policies for using the controversial Stingray surveillance technology.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaf­fetz, ranking member Elijah Cummings, and Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), members of the committee’s IT subcommittee, have issued requests for information related to the potential use of stingrays, also known as cell-site simulators.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation described the tracking tool:

[pull_quote_center]

The Stingray is a brand name of an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) Catcher targeted and sold to law enforcement. A Stingray works by masquerading as a cellphone tower – to which your mobile phone sends signals to every 7 to 15 seconds whether you are on a call or not – and tricks your phone into connecting to it.

As a result, the government can figure out who, when and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.

[/pull_quote_center]

[Read more: A Guide to Stingray Cellphone Surveillance Technology]

The House Over­sight Com­mit­tee is asking the agencies to provide “policies, guidance, or memoranda” on the use of cell-site simulator technology that may have been used in conjunction with law enforcement operations. The committee is also seeking information related to Stingray use at the state and local levels, as well as copies of the contentious nondisclosure agreements law enforcement must sign in order to operate the equipment. The letters give the agencies a two week deadline to report their findings.

Chaf­fetz recently introduced the Stingray Privacy Act, which would expand newly established warrant requirements for the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to all federal, state, and local agencies that use the cell-site simulators.

In September, the DHS joined the DOJ by announcing warrant requirements for the use of stingray equipment, but the rule changes have come under fire for possible loopholes which may allow the continued use of surveillance equipment without a warrant.

Shortly after the changes were announced, the New York Observer reported that the rule change may have been written in a way which will allow continued tracking, as well as hinder the defense of individuals who suspect they have been monitored by the Stingrays without a warrant.

Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Observer that the use of “criminal investigation” only specifies one kind of work the DOJ performs while pursuing criminals. “For instance, when federal agents use cell-site simulators for ‘national security’ purposes, they won’t be required to obtain a warrant by the terms of this policy,” Mr. Cardozo wrote on the EFF blog.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking member on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, also expressed concerns over the language used in the rules, specifically the exemptions to getting a warrant. According to the District Sentinel, Leahy stated, “I will press the Department to justify them.”

How many agencies are using these tools?

Last month Congress held its first hearing on stingray cellphone surveillance. Officials with the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security released new details about the federal government’s use of stingray surveillance, including admissions that the equipment does in fact spy on innocent bystanders’ cellphones.

During the hearing, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Seth M. Stodder revealed a new policy that allows the Secret Service to use cell site simulators without a warrant if they believe there is a “nonspecific threat to the president or another protected person.

Stodder stated that under “exceptional circumstances,” exceptions would be made and use of the device would only require approval from“executive-level personnel” at Secret Service headquarters and the U.S. attorney for the relevant jurisdiction. Despite the exemption, Stodder said the Secret Service would not use the devices in routine criminal investigations.

Just days after the congressional hearing, The Guardian revealed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also making use of the Stingray devices.

As of November 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union has identified at least 45 different local police departments, state and federal agencies who are using the tools. Known federal agencies employing the technology include the DHS, the DOJ, the IRS, the Secret Service, the NSA, and the FBI.

To read more about Truth In Media’s coverage of Stingray surveillance, click here.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Privacy Groups Question DOJ’s New Rules on Surveillance

A recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding new rules for federal law enforcement agencies using cellphone tracking technology may not be as effective as originally touted by the DOJ.

Truth In Media’s Rachel Blevins reported on the new rules:

“The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it will now require U.S. prosecutors and some federal law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant in order to use cellphone tracking technology.

In a statement, the DoJ said that the new policy “goes into effect immediately” and will “provide department components with standard guidance for the use of cell-site simulators in the department’s domestic criminal investigations,” and “establish new management controls for the use of the technology.”

Before the change in policy, U.S. government agencies were permitted to use cell-site simulators or “stingray” devices to replicate phone towers in order to track a phone’s location without applying for a warrant or giving probable cause.”

However, shortly after the announcement was published, The New York Observer reported that the rule change may have been written in a way which will allow continued tracking, as well as hinder the defense of individuals who suspect they have been monitored by the Stingrays without a warrant.

The Observer writes:

“The twist in a new Department of Justice guidance on tracking people using their cell phones is tucked in its first footnote. What looks like a positive step in terms of protecting Americans privacy in the ever deepening surveillance state might in fact be a sort of misdirection. The first footnote reads:

This policy applies to cell-site simulator technology inside the United States in furtherance of criminal investigations.”

Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Observer that the use of “criminal investigation” only specifies one kind of work the DOJ performs while pursuing criminals. “For instance, when federal agents use cell-site simulators for ‘national security’ purposes, they won’t be required to obtain a warrant by the terms of this policy,” Mr. Cardozo wrote on the EFF blog.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking member on the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, also expressed concerns over the language used in the rules, specifically the exemptions to getting a warrant. According to the District Sentinel, Leahy stated, “I will press the Department to justify them.”

The rule change states that in “exigent” and “exceptional” circumstances obtaining a warrant is not necessary. The department described exigent circumstances, including “the need to protect human life or avert serious injury; the prevention of the imminent destruction of evidence; the hot pursuit of a fleeing felon; or the prevention of escape by a suspect or convicted fugitive from justice.”

Although the department says the instances in which getting a warrant is “impractical” will be limited, no examples of circumstances that fit the bill were offered.

The American Civil Liberties Union released a statement calling the new rules a step in the right direction, but also commented on problematic areas.

Staff Attorney Nathan Freed Wessler writes:

“Disturbingly, the policy does not apply to other federal agencies or the many state and local police departments that have received federal funds to purchase these devices. In addition, the guidance leaves the door open to warrantless use of Stingrays in undefined ‘exceptional circumstances,’ while permitting retention of innocent bystander data for up to 30 days in certain cases.”

Cardozo also said for defendants who are arrested under evidence obtained in a warrantless use of a cell-site simulator, “You’re out of luck.”

Emily Pierce, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, responded to The Observer’s questions about the language of the rules. Pierce wrote:

“When acting pursuant to national security authorities, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Justice Department components will be required to make a probable-cause based showing as well as make appropriate disclosures to the court in a manner that is consistent with the Department’s cell-site simulator policy.”

The DOJ’s rules also promise that  “the Department must always use the technology in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution and all other legal authorities.”

Despite the DOJ’s promises, privacy advocates are likely not going to be won over by the rules. Truth In Media recently wrote about a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting which revealed that police in Chicago and Los Angeles are using advanced cell site simulators, or Stingray surveillance technology capable of breaking cellphone encryption.

Truth In Media has written extensively about how the devices are being used to track suspected criminals while largely operating without oversight from local, state, or federal authorities. Exactly how the devices operate and what data they collect and/or save has been unknown because of a vast amount of secrecy surrounding the tools.

Most of the available information been released through the efforts of intrepid investigative journalists and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) activists has related specifically to the manufacturer of the Stingray – the Harris Corporation. The Harris Corporation has exercised a great amount of secrecy surrounding these tools. Truth In Media previously reported on documents which revealed the Harris Corp. worked with the Federal Communications Commission to maintain a high level of secrecy. I have also documented the fact that Harris Corp. lied to the FCC in their application for the use of cell site simulators.

[Read more about government involvement in stingrays here.]

Is the American public expected to believe that the new rules from the DOJ will actually reign in the surveillance state? The new rules do not change the law, so essentially the change amounts to promises from the federal government. Even if Americans take the feds on their word, what about the local police departments who are also using the devices without warrants? How can we ever trust that Big Brother is not watching or listening?

Leave your thoughts below.

BROZE: Privacy Advocates Prepare For Battle Over Cybersecurity Bill

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which is designed to allow private companies to easily share threat intelligence with government agencies, is facing resistance from privacy advocates who fear that the provisions will only increase the indiscriminate monitoring of legal activity.

CISA is seen as the “cousin” of another controversial cybersecurity bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which was defeated by mass opposition in 2012.

In early August the White House gave the CISA a boost through an official endorsement. The Hill reported:
“Cybersecurity is an important national security issue and the Senate should take up this bill as soon as possible and pass it,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz in a statement.
“The endorsement will increase pressure on Senate leaders to reach an agreement to limit floor debate and come to a final vote on the bill — which would increase the data shared on hackers between companies and the government — before the month-long break”.

The National Journal also released new information related to CISA. On August 26, the Journal reported on 22 proposed amendments to CISA. When the bill is eventually debated the Senators will have to work their way through each amendment.

According to the Journal, the amendments deal with liability protections, more narrow definitions of cyber threats, qualifications for removing personal identity information, cyber crime penalties, and the voluntary nature of information sharing.

It is exactly this alleged “voluntary” information sharing that has come under fire. Recently Wired reported on the possibility that the programs are not exactly as voluntary as supporters of CISA would have you believe.

Wired mentions a previous “information sharing” program for defense contractors which was falsely advertised as “voluntary”. Wired wrote:

“However, key parts of documents obtained and released to the Electronic Privacy Information Center pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act reveal a different story.

In order to receive information as part of the program, entities were required to sign contracts as program ‘participants.’ This would not have been so bad, except that a precondition for being a participant was the requirement that the entity file reports with the government on a regular basis. In fact, the Defense Industrial Base Pilot Cybersecurity Plan definitively showed that participants were required to agree to transfer information about their private network traffic to the government.”

Although at least one of the amendments to be debated deals with establishing narrower definitions of terms like “voluntary”, at this point there is nothing in the bill which would prevent Department of Homeland Security from taking a similar route while calling the program a voluntary interaction.

The DHS also has its own issues with CISA. In late July, the agency sent a letter to Sen. Al Franken, the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and Law, discussing a number of problems with the bill.

The DHS said that if the bill does not mandate the removal of personal information the agency will be forced to “contribute to the compromise of personally identifiable information by spreading it further.” The letter also stated that the bills vague language and broad definitions could lead to “receiv[ing] large amounts of information with dubious value.”

The bill has also been opposed by a number of leading security experts, and privacy organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF opposes CISA in its current form because it does not require companies to remove unrelated personal information prior to sharing it with the government.

For Americans who value privacy and liberty, CISA is a looming threat. As is the case with most legislation passed under the guise of protecting the people, it will, in fact, only further erode the peoples freedom and empower the State. We should also take a moment to recognize that this growing Surveillance State could not happen without a compliant partner, the corporations that provide our personal data to the government.

Keep an eye on the CISA saga throughout the coming months. An endorsement from the White House is a sure sign that President Obama wants the “cybersecurity” measure to be a part of his legacy before he leaves office.

What are your thoughts on CISA? Is it necessary to protect your data from hackers? Or is this another government ploy to spy on your activity?

Audit of U.S. Postal Service Shows Extensive Use of Surveillance

The existence of a surveillance program exclusively focused on traditional “snail” mail has been known since at least the beginning of 2014. In December 2014, Truth In Media’s Barry Donegan wrote:

“At a hearing before the House of Representatives last month, USPS Deputy Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb exposed the fact that the mail carrier only rejected a fraction of a percent of thousands of requests for citizens’ mail records by law enforcement and government officials, including many queries that have been deemed unjustified.

Following leaks exposing the fact that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans’ digital communications in an indiscriminate and warrantless fashion, SFGate is reporting that the United States Postal Service has also been compiling Americans’ mail records into a nationwide dragnet and giving those records to law enforcement agencies at all levels of government. Under the US Postal Service’s mail covers program, the cover of every piece of mail is photographed, and the subsequent image stored in a database just in case law enforcement might need it at a later date.”

Once the program was first exposed, a USPS watchdog performed an internal audit of the agency and its surveillance measures. That audit was released in May 2014 but several sections were heavily redacted. However, a recent report from the New York Times reveals new details on the program.

“An unredacted copy of the report was provided to a security researcher in response to a Freedom of Information Act request this year. The researcher, who goes by a single legal name, Sai, shared the report with The New York Times.

In a June 8 letter to Sai, the Postal Inspection Service — the Postal Service’s law enforcement arm — said it could not “confirm or deny the existence” of the national security mail cover program, even though it was mentioned in the audit.

“The Postal Service does not provide public comment on matters which could potentially involve national security interests,” Paul J. Krenn, a spokesman, said in an email. The Postal Inspection Service did tell the auditors that it had begun training its employees on handling classified materials.”

The report concerns requests for mail cover photos from 2011 to 2013. The report does not mention which federal agencies are behind the requests. The report did say that the largest users of mail covers were the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Several interesting facts are revealed through the uncensored audit. First, about ten percent of requests do not include the dates covered by surveillance, making it impossible to know if law enforcement followed procedure. Another fifteen percent of inspectors handling the mail covers did not have the proper nondisclosure agreements which prevent them from discussing classified information. This might leave room open for whistleblowers who are technically not legally obligated to remain silent on mail cover surveillance.

The audit also found that in the 32 percent of the cases, law enforcement officers did not return documents to the Postal Inspection Service’s Office of Counsel within the allotted 60 days after cases are closed.

The new details of the audit show the USPS failing to maintain proper records and ensure that Americans are not haphazardly being spied upon, as is already the case with digital communications. Future investigations may reveal that the Postal Service is another agency of the government using taxpayer money to monitor innocent civilians.

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

Supreme Court May Review U.S. Government’s Cellphone ‘Kill Switch’

On August 11, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a petition with the  U.S. Supreme Court in their latest effort to force the U.S. government to reveal information about a cellphone shutdown policy, also known as a “kill switch”.

EPIC has fought for records related to the program since July 2011, when it was revealed that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials in San Franscico shut down cellular networks during a protest of a murdered homeless man. BART denies blocking cell networks. In July 2012, EPIC submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security to find out more about the procedures governing such actions.

The DHS initially claimed that they were “unable to locate or identify any responsive records.” However, on November 12, 2013, a District Court ruled that the DHS improperly withheld information, specifically information regarding something known as Standard Operating Procedure 303 or SOP 303. The DHS appealed this decision and was once again allowed to withhold records. Now EPIC is taking the fight to the Supreme Court.

In their petition to the Supreme Court, EPIC argues that, “[a]bsent Supreme Court review, the decision of the court of appeals could transform the FOIA from a disclosure to a withholding statute.”

Little is known about these programs, but EPIC writes that “a 2011 Report from the White House asserted that the National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy have the legal authority to control private communications systems in the United States during times of war or other national emergencies.

Also, on July 6, 2012, the White House approved an Executive Order seeking to ensure the continuity of government communications during a national crisis. As part of the Executive Order, DHS was granted the authority to seize private facilities, when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications.”

EPIC has asked the court for three specific pieces of information regarding the kill switch program. They want to see the full text of SOP 303; the full text of the pre-determined “series of questions” that determines if a shutdown is necessary; and any executing protocols related to the implementation of SOP 303, distributed to DHS, other federal agencies, or private companies, including protocols related to oversight of shutdown determinations.

SOP 303 is invaluable in helping the public understanding the true nature and depth of this program. Without understanding how basic procedure around the kill switch works the public is operating in the dark, never knowing when the government might decide conditions permit a shutdown of cellular networks. EPIC also argues that Freedom of Information Act requests, specifically Exemption 7(F) which allows for withholding documents if they are expected to endanger the safety of any individual, are being abused.

What will be the outcome? Will the U.S. Supreme Court take the case and finally give the American public a glimpse into yet another program operated by the State? Or will Americans continue to operate in ignorance? Leave your comments below.

The Spy in Your Pocket

By NICOLE KARDELL, JOSEPH S. DIEDRICH

Does the government need a search warrant to know where you’ve been? Not if your cell phone provider knows. If you don’t like how that sounds, there may be ways to change it.

Take the case of Quartavious Davis, a Florida man convicted of robbing at gunpoint a pizzeria, a gas station, a drugstore, an auto parts store, a beauty salon, a fast food restaurant, and a jewelry store. The prosecution offered multiple lines of evidence, but there was one in particular that Davis’s lawyers objected to: records the government obtained from Davis’s cell phone provider, MetroPCS.

The records, which MetroPCS kept in its normal course of business, showed “the telephone numbers for each of Davis’s calls and the number of the cell tower that connected each call.” From this information, police concluded that “calls to and from Davis’s cell phone were connected through cell tower locations that were near the robbery locations, and thus Davis necessarily was near the robberies too.”

Prosecutors got their hands on the MetroPCS cell tower records using a court-ordered subpoena. In criminal cases like Davis’s, courts may grant subpoenas on “specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe” that the records sought “are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” Although this standard is higher than that for typical subpoenas, it’s lower than the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause standard.

Not Even a Search

On appeal, Davis argued that the cell tower records were obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. But the 11th Circuit — the federal appeals court encompassing Alabama, Georgia, and Florida — disagreed (United States v. Davis).

In fact, the government’s actions weren’t even a “search,” according to the court. In legal terms, a search occurs only when police invade a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the content of your phone conversations — what is actually said during your call — so eavesdropping on the conversation would constitute a search.

In Davis’s case, though, the police didn’t eavesdrop on his conversations. Nor did they use GPS to track his precise movements while he was making them. Because they merely obtained business records from a third party, the court says that the police didn’t invade Davis’s privacy:

[quote_box_center]Davis has no subjective or objective reasonable expectation of privacy in MetroPCS’s business records showing the cell tower locations that wirelessly connected his calls at or near the time of six of the seven robberies.… Instead, those cell tower records were created by MetroPCS, stored on its own premises, and subject to its control. Cell tower location records do not contain private communications of the subscriber. This type of non-content evidence, lawfully created by a third-party telephone company for legitimate business purposes does not belong to Davis, even if it concerns him.[/quote_box_center]

Because there wasn’t a “search,” the Fourth Amendment didn’t even apply.

Outdated Doctrine Meets Modern Society

Despite the court’s logic, something about this case still makes many observers feel uneasy. Even AT&T filed a brief in the case, arguing that the government’s actions were illegal. We all turn over huge amounts of information to third parties every day, and almost all of our activities can be tracked through our “smart” devices. And as the amount of data that businesses collect on us grows, so do concerns over the government’s ability to access that data.

[bctt tweet=”As the amount of data that businesses collect on us grows, so do concerns over the government’s ability to access that data.”]

So when the 11th Circuit focused its decision in Davis on something called the third-party doctrine, there was reason for a little gasp. The third-party doctrine was developed by the Supreme Court in the 1970s to draw a line between a person’s “reasonable” expectation of privacy and the information that person voluntarily shares with third parties. Back then, the Supreme Court held that a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy over his or her bank records, because that information was voluntarily provided to the bank. Nor can you have a reasonable expectation of privacy over the phone numbers you dial, because you furnish those numbers to the phone company in order to place calls. And so the government may subpoena these records from the business collecting them without meeting heightened standards under the Fourth Amendment.

The Davis court discussed these cases to support the premise that when people turn over their data to third parties by virtue of using those parties’ services, that information falls outside Fourth Amendment protection. A breathtakingly low point can be found in one of the judges’ concurring opinions:

[quote_box_center]If a telephone caller does not want to reveal dialed numbers to the telephone company, he has another option: don’t place a call. If a cell phone user does not want to reveal his location to a cellular carrier, he also has another option: turn off the cell phone.[/quote_box_center]

In other words, if you want your information protected by heightened privacy standards, go off the grid.

Today, that position is practically untenable. And this is what makes the 11th Circuit’s opinion troubling: it allows the government easy access to your data by virtue of your participation in modern society. The court’s holding helps grease the slippery slope that takes us away from historically reasonable expectations of privacy.

The court attempted to soften the blow by categorizing the subject information as noncontent data. In other words, the data in the Davis case was less private because it was not the actual substance of phone calls, texts, or other communications. Instead, it was the nonsubstantive cell-tower data that allowed the government to track where Davis was when he made or received calls. But we all know that a precise record of our movements reveals a lot about us, as the dissenting judge in the Davis case pointed out:

[quote_box_center]A person who knows all of another’s travels can deduce whether he is a weekly church goer, a heavy drinker, a regular at the gym, an unfaithful husband, an outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups — and not just one such fact about a person, but all such facts.[/quote_box_center]

Toward Privacy

There is still a chance that the Supreme Court will reverse the 11th Circuit’s holding. Even if it doesn’t, other options exist. As mentioned in the Davisdecision, Congress can still legislate greater privacy protections.

The market provides another option. Although a court order forced MetroPCS to provide its records, “federal law did not require that MetroPCS either create or retain these business records.” As technology changes, and as we all become more attuned to privacy issues, we will look to the market for options. When this happens, cell phone providers will benefit from offering an “enhanced privacy” version of their services. Some customers will prefer that their data not be collected at all — or that it be anonymized. Providers could charge a higher price for anonymous services, or customers could forego certain personalized services.

By providing customized levels of privacy, the market can create de facto immunity from third-party “searches.”

 

 

 

“Reprinted from FEE with permission under Creative Commons Attribution License”

U.S. and Europe Investigating Possible New NSA Whistleblower

New documents from the National Security Agency outline how the agency was spying on the most profitable companies in France for “economic intelligence” purposes.

The documents were shared with French outlets Libération and Mediapart, via WikiLeaks. The NSA was interested in companies that signed high-priced export contracts for industrial goods. France’s security agency Anssi said the agency may have spied on hundreds of companies.

TechCrunch reported:

“According to an economic espionage order, the NSA intercepted all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million in many different industries, such as telecommunications, electrical generation, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, and environmental and healthcare technologies.

A second economic espionage order called “France: Economic Developments” shows that information was then shared with other U.S. agencies and secretaries, including the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Commerce, the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of Treasury. Eventually, this data could have been used to help sign export deals.”

The latest document dump comes one week after WikiLeaks released documents proving that the NSA spied on France’s most recent presidents, including Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.

Hollande said the spying was “unacceptable”. RT reported that the French justice minister said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could be offered symbolic asylum in the country.

Following the recent leaks, officials with the U.S. and Europe announced an investigation into the existence of second NSA whistleblower.

Reuters reports:

“The U.S. and European sources cautioned that they did not know for sure that Assange (Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks) had developed a source other than Snowden inside U.S. intelligence. Assange has been in contact with associates of Snowden and helped arrange for him to flee from Hong Kong to Russia, where he was later granted asylum.”

The existence of a second whistleblower was first noticed in late July 2014 as a 166-page document related to terrorism watch lists was released through The Intercept. TruthInMedia reported on the second whistleblower in October 2014:

“Michael Isikoff reported for Yahoo! News that the FBI searched the home of  a federal contracting firm employee suspected of being the source of documents provided to Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Devereaux and The Intercept. Scahill, Greenwald and film-maker Laura Poitras are the editors for the adversarial journalism site The Intercept, founded in February. Isikoff says that federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia have launched an investigation into the situation.

The document could not have come from whistleblower Edward Snowden, as it is dated August 2013, after Snowden left for Russia. At the time The Intercept only referred to the whistleblower as “a source in the intelligence community”.

The documentary Citizenfour also confirms the existence of the latest whistleblower. The film details the story of whistleblower Edward Snowden and his efforts to contact Laura Poitras. In the film journalist Glenn Greenwald tells Snowden about the second source.”

Whether a second whislteblower exists or may have already been arrested by the authorities remains to be seen. Americans concerned with the loss of privacy and growing surveillance state should remain vocal supporters of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers that put their lives on the line in an attempt to reduce government tyranny.

Confirmed: Israel spied on America’s nuclear negotiations with Iran

By Erica Wenig

Solid evidence has emerged Israel spied on U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran by using a powerful virus to infiltrate computers in hotels where talks were held.

Kaspersky, a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm, discovered it had been infected by a sophisticated virus last year, reports The Wall Street Journal. The firm realized it was dealing with an advanced version of Duqu, a virus U.S. officials say Israel uses to collect especially sensitive information.

After a investigation of computers worldwide, a Kaspersky team found the virus in three luxury European hotels. They had one thing in common: hosting discussions between the U.S. and Western powers over Iran’s nuclear capabilities, a deal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly opposes.

U.S. officials accused Israel of spying on negotiations and sharing the information with members of Congress to sabotage the potential nuclear agreement earlier this year.

Israeli officials deny spying on America or other allies, reports the WSJ. The Israeli embassy said they had no addition comment in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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American Government Hacked Phones, Planted Spyware in Google Phone Apps

A new document from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals that the United States, Canada, and other so-called “Five Eyes” nations hacked weaknesses in one of the world’s most popular mobile browsers to access smartphone traffic. The hacking involved using apps in the Google and Samsung app stores.

Consistent with much of the Snowden revelations, the “mainstream” media has largely ignored the story.

According to the “Top Secret” document, the spying agnecies of Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand started targeting the UC Browser in 2011 after it was discovered that a leak released details of millions of users. UC Browser is the most popular app in China and India.

The agencies stated goal was to exploit the weakness to collect data on suspected terrorists or intelligence targets. Some cases apparently involved implanting spyware on targeted smartphones.

The Five Eyes nations were looking to exploit similar leaks in other mobile apps. CBC reports that the document shows the surveillance agencies did not alert the companies or the public about weaknesses.

The latest document release from Snowden was reported by The intercept and Canada’s CBC.

Canada’s Communications Security Establishment surveillance agency refused to comment on the CBC report, while the British GCHQ stated that all surveillance programs are “carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework.” The U.S. National Security Agency and New Zealand surveillance agency did not respond to CBC News. Australia’s signals intelligence agency refused to comment.

Not everyone believes the government’s claims of accountability and promises that the program was only used in search of terrorists. Michael Geist, a professor at University of Ottawa and an expert on internet law, told the CBC “All of this is being done in the name of providing safety and yet … Canadians or people around the world are put at risk.”

The documents also reveal that the Five Eyes agreed not to spy on each others’ citizens and instead focused their attention on apps stores in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Cuba, Morocco, the Bahamas and Russia.

FBI Invested in License-Plate Reader Tech Despite Privacy Concerns

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in license-plate reader technology despite conflict regarding privacy concerns, according to newly released documents from the bureau.

The documents were released through a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Although heavily redacted, the emails show internal discussion on surveillance concerns related to the network of cameras that are used to capture and store license plate information.

Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) collect data for law enforcement agencies around the nation. Using the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Centers this program only adds to the growing list of data collection by the US government.

ALPR’s are used to gather license plate, time, date and location, that can be used to create a detailed map of what individuals are doing. The devices can be attached to light poles, or toll booths, as well as on top of or inside law enforcement vehicles. In 2012 the Wall Street Journal reported that the five previous years the Department of Homeland Security distributed over $50 million in grants to fund the acquisition of license plate readers.

An internal email from June 2012 says that the FBI’s Office of General Counsel was “still wrestling with” license-plate related reader privacy issues. The concern caused an assistant director of the agency to cancel a purchase order based on the advice of lawyers. The heavily redacted email does not reveal what the specific concerns were. However, the emails did make it clear that the program was moving forward. “Once these issues have been resolved … hopefully this summer … we expect to be back. The program is still growing and we enjoy tremendous field support.”

FBI spokesman Chris Allen told the AP that the license-plate readers were being used but “they may only be deployed in support of an investigation and only if there’s a reasonable belief that they will aid that investigation.”

Emails from December 2007 show the FBI’s Video Surveillance Unit testing the system, calling it “very impressive.” The FBI purchased license plate technology from a Greensboro, North Carolina, manufacturer called ELSAG North America. Purchase orders reveal that the technology has been purchased and “deployed to numerous field offices” since at least 2010.

The ACLU applauded the apparent internal discussion but says there are still many unanswered questions. On their blog they write:

“We have no information about the types of investigations carried out with this technology. Have FBI field offices deployed license plate readers to gather intelligence on Arab and Muslim communities? To watch over Occupy or Black Lives Matter protesters? The extremely limited information released to the public does not answer these or many other possible questions.

Automatic license plate readers are a sophisticated way of tracking drivers’ locations, and when their data is aggregated over time they can paint detailed pictures of people’s lives. 

The public has a right to know what information about non-suspects is collected, how long it is retained, whether it is shared with other agencies or departments and for what reasons, and what oversight mechanisms are in place.”

The ACLU has previously revealed surveillance efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) involving license plate readers.

The DEA and the ATF were planning to monitor gun show attendees using license plate readers, according an email released through the Freedom of Information Act. The American Civil Liberties Union obtained the 2009 email which details the DEA’s Phoenix office working on a plan to “attack” guns going to an undisclosed location and gun shows. This plan included the use of LPRs. Most of the email was redacted and did not list what organization was being targeted. As the ACLU notes, “Mere attendance at a gun show, it appeared, would have been enough to have one’s presence noted in a DEA database.” The DEA responded to the emails, stating that the proposal was never implemented.

In late January, TruthInMedia reported on the existence of a federal database being run by the DEA. According to heavily redacted documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act Requests, the DEA has gathered as many as 343 million records in the National License Plate Recognition program.

For more background on how license plate readers work, and the related dangers please check out this article.

 

Governor Walker Breaks Silence On Patriot Act, NSA Stance

Appearing on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave Americans their first preview on where a President Walker would stand on civil liberties issues such as NSA spying authorized by the highly controversial Patriot Act.

Baier pushed Walker to give a “yes” or “no” on whether or not he would reauthorize the controversial NSA spying program by asking him whether or not he would vote for it if he were currently a sitting Senator. Walker, responding with typical political rhetoric, never actually answering Baier’s question, but instead said, that the meta-data collected was necessary and access to it was needed.

Earlier in the month, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA spy program is illegal.

This puts Walker at odds with declared conservative candidates Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Although Cruz did once vote to re-authorize the Patriot Act, he now seems prepared to stand against the upcoming re-authorization vote. Paul, the most staunch opponent of NSA spying in the Senate, is preparing to filibuster the upcoming Patriot Act re-authorization vote.

Walker’s comments on the Patriot Act and NSA begin at minute 5.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

USA Freedom Act Passes Congress, Rep. Amash says It Will NOT End Bulk Data Collection

The USA Freedom Act has passed the United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly with 338 votes in favor and 88 against.  It now moves to the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Justin Amash, who has the strongest voting record in Congress on Constitutional issues, was one of the 88 votes against the “Freedom Act.”  On his Facebook page, Amash explains why he voted the way he did.  In part, he writes:

The bill’s sponsors, and unfortunately some outside advocacy groups, wrongly claim that H.R. 2048 ends “bulk” collection. It’s true that the bill ends the phone dragnet as we currently know it—by having the phone companies themselves hold, search, and analyze certain data at the request of the government, which is worse in many ways given the broader set of data the companies hold—but H.R. 2048 actually expands the statutory basis for the large-scale collection of most data.

H.R. 2048 does this by authorizing the government to order the production of records based upon a “specific selection term” (i.e., like a search term used in a search engine). The records sought still must be relevant to an investigation, so it’s possible the court’s ruling will continue to restrain the government in some fashion. But it’s more likely a court looking at H.R. 2048’s language will see the “specific selection term” as defining the outer limits of what Congress considers acceptably “relevant” under Section 215.- Rep. Justin Amash (R) MI

Proponents of the bill say that under the USA Freedom Act, the NSA would be prohibited from collecting telephone metadata under the Patriot Act. Instead, the agency would have to acquire a warrant every time it wanted to access phone records, which would be held by telephone companies. Officials would need to submit data requests via keywords in order to collect relevant data from companies.

The bill would also reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) by setting up a five-person panel that would offer advise when intelligence agencies are seeking new interpretations of existing law. Some court rulings would need to be declassified.

Washington State Now Requires Police Obtain Warrants For Stingray Surveillance

On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that requires police officers obtain warrants from a judge stating that there is probable cause that the use of a cell site simulator device, or “Stingray,” will lead to evidence of criminal activity.

The News Tribune in Tacoma reported that when police obtain a warrant from a judge to use a stingray device, they must “disclose the use of the device” and must “discard cellphone data from people who are not the specific target of a police investigation.”

Ars Technica noted that while Washington’s law is not the first of its kind in the US, and there are similar laws in Virginia, Minnesota and Utah, Washington’s law may have the most stringent requirements, because it “imposes extra requirements that compel police to describe the technology and its impact in detail to judges.

As previously reported by Truth in Media’s Derrick Broze, as long as a cellphone is on, it can be tracked by a Stingray device, even if it is not making or receiving a call. Broze noted that police officers are “likely bringing them to large protests to gather data on those in attendance.”

Broze also noted that Stingrays can be handheld or vehicle-based, and that they extract data from cellphones “at full signal, consuming battery faster,” which might mean that a “constantly dying battery could be a sign that you are being tracked.”

In Aug. 2014, The News Tribune revealed that the Tacoma Police Department has had a Stingray device since 2008, and has used it hundreds of times to find criminal suspects, “without telling judges about its capabilities.”

Jared Friend, the director of the Technology and Liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office, released a statement calling Stingrays “emblematic of the threats to privacy posed by new technologies and expanding government surveillance activities” and saying that with this new law, Washington state has become a “leader in regulating these invasive devices.”

“Around the country, local police departments and the FBI have engaged in a campaign to conceal the use of cell site simulators from judges and from the public,” Friend said. “These devices epitomize the continuing militarization of local law enforcement and should not be free from judicial and public scrutiny.”

Rand Paul Plans To Filibuster Renewal Of The Patriot Act

On Monday, 2016 Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that he plans to fight back against the renewal of section 215 of the Patriot Act, which is used by the National Security Agency to justify its bulk collection of Americans’ data. Section 215 is set to expire on June 1.

During an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Paul said that he plans to “lead the charge” in the fight against the NSA’s unlawful data collection.

[pull_quote_center]“I’m going to lead the charge in the next couple of weeks as the Patriot Act comes forward,” Paul said. “We will be filibustering. We will be trying to stop it. We are not going to let them run over us. And we are going to demand amendments and we are going to make sure the American people know that some of us at least are opposed to unlawful searches.“[/pull_quote_center]

The Huffington Post noted that Congress must renew the Patriot Act by May 22, and that it is not clear whether Paul plans “to vote to block reauthorizing the surveillance law, or whether he intends to mount a traditional ‘talking’ filibuster” on the Senate floor.

On Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized” and is illegal.

Paul has been very adamant in taking a stand against the NSA’s unconstitutional collection of Americans’ data. At a speech in New Hampshire on April 8, Paul condemned the NSA’s program and vowed that if elected as President in 2016, he would end it “on day one.”

“Warrantless searches of Americans phone records and computer records, are un-American and a threat to our civil liberties,” Paul said. “I say that your phone records are yours. I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business. The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. As President, on day one I will immediately end this unconstitutional program.”

Paul is not the only Senator speaking out against the renewal of the Patriot Act. On Sunday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told MSNBC that if the renewal includes the continued collection of Americans’ phone records, he also plans to filibuster.

The question will be, as you know, the Senate Republican leadership has been looking at a variety of ways to move forward to keep the bulk phone records collection program going,” Wyden said. “What usually happens is they say, ‘Let’s just have a short-term extension of it.’ I’m tired of extending a bad law. If they come back with that effort to basically extend this for a short term without major reforms like ending the collection of phone records, I do intend to filibuster.

In contrast from both Paul and Wyden, rumored 2016 Presidential Candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has defended the NSA’s bulk data collection on multiple occasions, calling the program hugely important in the United States’ long-term battle against terrorism. Bush has also said that the enhancement of the NSA’s spying program under President Obama has been the best part of the Obama administration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a bill on April 21 that would reauthorize the Patriot Act through 2020, without any amendments.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) responded to McConnell on the floor of the Senate, on Monday, and said that “extending an illegal program for five and a half years” was not sensible.

My friend, the Majority Leader, keeps talking about extending the program for five and a half years,” Reid sad. “How can you reauthorize something that’s illegal? You can’t. You shouldn’t.

 

Department of Justice to Reveal New Details Of ‘StingRay’ Cellphone Surveillance

The Department of Justice plans to begin revealing details on the use of Stingray cellphone tracking tools, according a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

Officials with the Justice Department told the WSJ that they have launched a review into how law-enforcement agencies use the controversial technology.

StingRays are the name of a brand of cell-site simulators, a tool which allows law enforcement to trick a phone into sending its cell signal (and associated data) to the device rather than a cell tower. This gives authorities the ability to gather location, numbers dialed, length of calls, and in newer models, the actual contents of conversations and texts.

Devlin Barrett, the WSJ reporter behind the story, tweeted that the internal review began before Attorney General Eric Holder left office. A DOJ spokesman stated that the department is, “examining its policies to ensure they reflect the Department’s continuing commitment to conducting its vital missions while according appropriate respect for privacy and civil liberties.”

The announcement from the DOJ comes as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) released thousands of pages of heavily-redacted documents related to Stingrays. The document dump came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from MuckRock’s Alex Richardson. One of the redacted documents is titled “Cellphone Tracking for Dummies.”

Although the content of the documents is censored, the recipients of the communications indicate that the FBI has been passing on information on Stingrays to state and local departments around the country.

Details of how exactly the devices work remains shrouded in secrecy, but that trend seems to be changing as the public questions the use of these tools. In late March, a heavily redacted edition of a 2010 manual for the StingRay was released.

The manual was released through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by The Blot Magazine. This marked the first public release of the user manual which covers the Harris Corporation’s StingRay, StingRay II, and Kingfish devices.

The manual provides a view into how the technology operates and highlights the level of secrecy Harris Corp, the manufacturer of the Stingray, and government agencies are employing. Past documents have shown that most police departments have been granting themselves authorization without first getting a warrant based on probable cause. When the departments do pursue a warrant through a judge, they often do not specifically mention the Stingray specifically but rather use vague and generic terms.

The promises of the DOJ and the document release from the FBI could hint at a more transparent policy towards the technology. However, not everyone is impressed. The American Civil Liberties Union writes:

“Federal law enforcement’s move toward using warrants for this invasive technology is welcome and long overdue, as is the promise of increased transparency. But major questions remain.

First, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is slow-walking the move toward decreased secrecy around Stingrays because it doesn’t “want to reveal information that would give new ammunition to defense lawyers in prosecutions where warrants weren’t used.” If that is so, the promise of greater transparency is a sham. Law enforcement agencies have been violating the rights of defendants and non-suspects for years by failing to get warrants and then hiding the fact and details of Stingray use from defense attorneys and courts. Trying to insulate these violations from challenge by maintaining secrecy until pending cases have concluded will perpetuate the government’s outrageous conduct.”

While the federal government promises more accountability, several states are seeking to pass legislation that would require a clear process for the use of Stingrays and similar devices. On April 23, New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer became the latest representative to introduce a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a judicial order before deploying a “mobile phone surveillance device or system.”

For more information check out this Guide to Stingray Technology.