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Guest Post: Meet Stingray Surveillance: The "Unconstitutional, All-You-Can-Eat Data Buffet"

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

It’s getting impossible to keep track of all the new spy tools being rolled out by the police state in the name of “fighting terrorism”, aka spying on innocent American citizens unconstitutionally.  I thought that I had my hands full the other day with ARGUS: The World’s Highest Resolution Video Surveillance Platform, but this “Stingray” system is already being deployed illegally in cities throughout the United States.  As the EFF states: “The Stingray is the digital equivalent of the pre-revolutionary British soldier.”  From the EFF:

The device, which acts as a fake cell phone tower, essentially allows the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way. At the same time, law enforcement has attempted use them while avoiding many of the traditional limitations set forth in the Constitution, like individualized warrants. This is why we called the tool “an unconstitutional, all-you-can-eat data buffet.”


Recently, LA Weekly reported the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) got a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant in 2006 to buy a stingray. The original grant request said it would be used for “regional terrorism investigations.” Instead LAPD has been using it for just about any investigation imaginable.


Of course, we’ve seen this pattern over and over and over. The government uses “terrorism” as a catalyst to gain some powerful new surveillance tool or ability, and then turns around and uses it on ordinary citizens, severely infringing on their civil liberties in the process.


Stingrays are particularly odious given they give police dangerous “general warrant” powers, which the founding fathers specifically drafted the Fourth Amendment to prevent. In pre-revolutionary America, British soldiers used “general warrants” as authority to go house-to-house in a particular neighborhood, looking for whatever they please, without specifying an individual or place to be searched.

The Stingray is the digital equivalent of the pre-revolutionary British soldier.


On March 28th, the judge overseeing the Rigmaiden case, which we wrote about previously, will hold a hearing on whether evidence obtained using a stringray should be suppressed.  It will be one of the first times a judge will rules on the constitutionality of these devices in federal court.

It will be interesting to see what happens in late March.  I will be watching.

Full article here.

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Wed, 02/13/2013 - 20:54 | 3241621 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

I saw all this stuff coming a long time ago.

I got rid of my cell phone a few years ago.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:02 | 3241641 seek
seek's picture

I haven't gone that far, but I severely limit my cell use, don't always take it with me and have a second cell with battery removed for emergencies on the road.

If you can't get rid of it, you can at least make the data from it full of trash.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:30 | 3241657 The Count
The Count's picture

Mmmm, did you also remove the hidden tiny battery that the fuzz can still use to eavesdrop on you even though the phone seems dead?

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:35 | 3241722 fourchan
fourchan's picture

nothing a rifle bullet couldnt rectify.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 22:22 | 3241846 CPL
CPL's picture

If only they read the documents written about the system instead of enjoying the colourful slide shows provided.  It's okay though.  It's iron ring engineer certified.  Running with RSS as a transport layer, well, a 'secure' layer.


They'll see why it was an insane idea soon enough.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 23:57 | 3242074 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

We are own you, now!

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 00:19 | 3242134 CPL
CPL's picture

If they want the toys to work.  TPTB better bring more money than they planned for.  It won't be paper we are looking for either.  Opportunity knocks to provide a win-win for the opportunist that recognizes where to bill a client bad with math and money.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 07:44 | 3242549 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

All of your base....base...base...are belong to us...us...us

All of your base! Are belong to us!

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:44 | 3241744 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Only people with something to hide are opposed to the truth being discovered. (snicker)

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 23:55 | 3242072 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Putting your phone in a good Faraday cage (i.e. tinfoil-paper-tinfoil) will thwart this possibility.  It will also drain batteries much quicker because the phone will increase its signal strength looking for a tower.  So keep the main battery in the emergency phone separate, even if the phone is off, but don't worry about any secret batteries.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 00:28 | 3242156 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

does that TPT combo work for passports as well?

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 00:52 | 3242202 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Even better.  RFID signals are so weak that a single layer of tinfoil will shield a passport.  (May work on a cellphone too... not sure)

Tip:  Faraday cages can lose their effectiveness if the shielding material does not completely enclose the object.  I.e. a tinfoil book jacket for your passport might not work because it would have gaps where the passport opens.  Also, for electronic devices shielded against EMP, the plug needs to be completely inside the Faraday cage or you lose protection.  This pretty much means you can't keep your electronic preps plugged in.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 03:02 | 3242379 Joe A
Joe A's picture

put your passport in the microwave oven for a couple of seconds

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 08:38 | 3242615 General Decline
General Decline's picture

...and your license plate renewal sticker.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 09:38 | 3242726 kill switch
kill switch's picture

Airplane mode shuts down the WIFI ,It will not look fro a new tower cause it can't....muhahaha

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 15:13 | 3243827 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture





The Count  randomly without thinking says:


" Mmmm, did you also remove the hidden tiny battery that the fuzz can still use to eavesdrop on you even though the phone seems dead? "

I give you above a man who believes in MAGIC. .



There is enough energy in that cell to backup RAM in your phone, IF and ONLY IF indeed it is present nowadays ...


Thu, 02/14/2013 - 06:17 | 3242493 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

Use only cellular handset not intended for the Police State, USSA, thus not FCC certified yet will still operate with the freq there, with removable batt.  If one does remove the batt and the simcard, i don't think the hidden tiny batt, if any, will matter then.

This sounds like an adaptation of "Full Spectrum Dominance" that's relevant for individuals: 'Full Spectrum Control'.

Given long enough time, i believe one day the Police State USSA will deploy the portable Mind Scanner.

Isn't it great to be able to find out the would-be terruriz nearby you, on the streets?


The Obummer will long be remembered as the Father of Surveillance!

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 15:22 | 3243854 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture




matrix2012 compunding the magical thinking meme pens:

" Use only cellular handset not intended for the Police State, USSA, thus not FCC certified yet will still operate with the freq there, with removable batt.  If one does remove the  ... "


MORE magical thinking ... JUST WHERE do you come up with a non-FCC certified handset? Stratight out of development lab somewhere?





Fri, 02/15/2013 - 04:52 | 3245660 matrix2012
matrix2012's picture

Just seek those phones (models) *NOT* intended for sale in USSA market. Such models won't bother the hassles to apply FCC compliance. For sure the many countries beyond the NATO jurisdiction or Anglosphere will care less such FCC compliance.

There's NO magical here, some ignorant sheeples just limit their views to too much USSA-centric!!  Think outside the box.

Nevertheless removing both the batt and simcard as necessary should solve the the Big Brother's eavesdropping problem wrt CELLULAR PHONES!!! But if you use iFruit then ur out of luck for the batt is non-detachable, as well as many droid phones incl gugel nexus :-)  However, without any simcard attached, what to track then??? the gadget's IMEI??? :-)  what an abominable police state

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:05 | 3241647 Acidtest Dummy
Acidtest Dummy's picture

I have a tracking device that also can make phone calls.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:36 | 3241724 tickhound
tickhound's picture

My Roadside Assistance just the other day .. "Would you like us to use your cellphone to pinpoint your location?"

It's the "juicy steak" side to the matrix.


Thu, 02/14/2013 - 00:58 | 3242230 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Oh, and while we have you on the line, would you like a copy of the photos your phone accidentally took while you were banging your secretary in the back seat of your Mercedes?

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 01:04 | 3242245 Edmon Plume
Edmon Plume's picture

I didn't know facebook added that feature.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:15 | 3241662 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Not a smart move, that only attracts more scrutiny:


File: GrinandBearit

Real Name: [press F1 to display]

List of odd behaviors:

Do not own cellphone

Visits Zerohedge


Best way to hide is to act like the average sheep; not too fat, not too skinny, not too much wool and not too little.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 01:23 | 3242281 Edmon Plume
Edmon Plume's picture

Precisely.  For all the renegade "i'm too smart for you" talk in his manifesto, "dorner, party of five" fled to big bear, .4% black.  Way to not stand out.  Woolly bully.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 10:54 | 3242945 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Eric Rudolph laffed at Dorner.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:47 | 3241750 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

That Will Smith movie with Gene Hackman n stuff man.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 22:32 | 3241880 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Cannot help but notice the resemblance between Edward Lyle, and Murray Rothbard.

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 00:04 | 3242090 floydian slip
floydian slip's picture

remind you of anyone ? (heshes name is bernaise (bernanke)



btw, nice av ;)

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:58 | 3241786 lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

I will only use a cheap throw away cell phone paid for with cash and minutes paid for with cash. I don't use cash rewards card account info to get a discount either.

Everybody is trolling for information. Give them as little opportunity as possible.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 22:16 | 3241835 SilverDoctors
SilverDoctors's picture

Stingray surveillance.  Just in time to help the DHS regulate the internet thanks to Obama's new cybersecurity CISPA executive order!


Wed, 02/13/2013 - 23:11 | 3241979 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

I did also, look at all the billions spent to "fight terrorism" How does this help in that?  Unless you believe that all americans are terrorists or potential terrorists. 

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 02:35 | 3242363 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

Only the taxapaying ones.


Wed, 02/13/2013 - 20:55 | 3241623 CH1
CH1's picture

Note to anyone still believing the constitution will save them: FORGET IT.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:08 | 3241652 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

The Bill of Rights are not rights granted by the government.

These rights are natural rights of the people enumerated -- among others not enumerated -- which are being overrun by government overreach.


Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:14 | 3241660 CH1
CH1's picture

You are entirely correct, but that was then, tyranny and mindlessness are now.

Freedom exists outside of the system ONLY.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:16 | 3241664 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

See you on the outside...  ;)

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:19 | 3241669 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Oh Grasshopper...

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:29 | 3241659 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

".to anyone still believing the constitution will save them.."

We are now in the time where it will have to be the other way around, CH1...

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 20:57 | 3241625 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I wonder if the Stingray can also find a fully intact driver's license in a house that burned to the ground and left only bones of the supposed owner of said license.   Speaking of which, they could have avoided a space shuttle disaster a few years had they used driver's licenses on the bottom to shield the heat instead of those silly tiles.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 20:58 | 3241631 CH1
CH1's picture

Doesn't matter - they'll still say it on TV, and Joe Mundane will eat it up.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:23 | 3241677 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Maybe the truth doesn't matter to you, but it matters to me.........nothing but lies on the MSM





Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:19 | 3241668 Umh
Umh's picture

I don't like giving you an up arrow , but I just did.

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 21:24 | 3241682 FiatFapper
Wed, 02/13/2013 - 22:38 | 3241900 luckylogger
luckylogger's picture

Hmmm... that is a little more than a cabin............. looks like a mansion to me. but it was definitely burnt big time............... they did not want any evidence left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does everybody that makes fun of the state become a terrorist or are we just old fashioned communists?

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 03:32 | 3242404 BidnessMan
BidnessMan's picture

I recall all the evidence in Waco went up in flames too, and 20 children under the age of 16 were murdered.  But that was different than New Town, because it was the ATF and FBI with the assault weapons. 

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 03:41 | 3242406 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

A horrendous crime committed by thug goon squad jackbooted cowards (ATF and FBI).

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 15:31 | 3243869 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Everybody fogets the Title III intercept devices that caught Vernon Wayne Howell's voice calling for his henchmen to 'light the fires' that started their final demise ... 

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 10:13 | 3242707 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Article on one webiste questioning of Dormers holdout cabin fire was set by, PoPo's, Hell No, just listen.They would never do dat!.


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