Why The Police Are Quietly Turning To Google To Find Criminals

Following this weekend's revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a polling and analytics firm partly funded by billionaire Trump donor Robert Mercer, Democrats have renewed their cries for increased oversight of tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to monitor whether they are being responsible stewards of the reams of personal data that Americans and people all around the world fork over to them on a daily basis.

But one issue that has fallen by the wayside as lawmakers have zeroed in on talk about so-called "Russian interference" is how do Facebook, Google and their ilk protect US citizens' civil liberties from unlawful search and seizure?

As it turns out, they don't - at least, not really.

Google

As North Carolina TV station WRAL points out in a recent expose, Law enforcement are becoming more aggressive in requesting data gleaned from individuals' cellphones when they're investigating major crimes like murder, rape and arson - even when these requests are unjustifiably broad-based by the standards of applying for search warrants.

In one controversial technique that's increasingly being employed in these types of investigations, police draw a perimeter around the area where a crime - like a murder, for example - occurred. They then apply (and typically receive approval) for a search warrant to collect the data from all smart phones that crossed into the perimeter around the time that the crime allegedly occurred.

WRAL uses the example of two shootings that happened on opposite sides of the city years apart. Detectives on each case used this controversial new technique, which involves requesting the metadata from any nearby phones months or even years after the crimes occurred.

Google

But constitutional lawyers are raising legal objections to this technique, which they say allows for repeated unjustified infringement on the rights of innocent individuals who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Raleigh police say the cases are unrelated. But in March 2017, months after investigations began into both shootings, separate detectives on each case, one day apart, employed an innovative strategy in criminal investigations.

On a satellite image, they drew shapes around the crime scenes, marking the coordinates on the map. Then they convinced a Wake County judge they had enough probable cause to order Google to hand over account identifiers on every single cell phone that crossed the digital cordon during certain times.

In at least four investigations last year – cases of murder, sexual battery and even possible arson at the massive downtown fire in March 2017 – Raleigh police used search warrants to demand Google accounts not of specific suspects, but from any mobile devices that veered too close to the scene of a crime, according to a WRAL News review of court records. These warrants often prevent the technology giant for months from disclosing information about the searches not just to potential suspects, but to any users swept up in the search.

One of the biggest problems with these types of techniques is that few people really understand how much information they're surrendering to Google and Facebook, and law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of this ignorance in a way that smashes civil liberties, but does little to increase the chances that a crime will be solved.

City and county officials say the practice is a natural evolution of criminal investigative techniques. They point out that, by seeking search warrants, they're carefully balancing civil rights with public safety.

Defense attorneys and privacy advocates, both locally and nationally, aren't so sure.

They're mixed on how law enforcement turns to Google's massive cache of user data, especially without a clear target in mind. And they're concerned about the potential to snag innocent users, many of whom might not know just how closely the company tracks their every move.

"We are willingly sharing an awful lot of our lives with Google," said Jonathan Jones, a former Durham prosecutor who directs the North Carolina Open Government Coalition at Elon University. "But do people understand that in sharing that information with Google, they're also potentially sharing it with law enforcement?"

Furthermore, while users can switch off location tracking, if a smart phone is connected to a cellular network, it will continue to transmit data about its whereabouts - and even if that data are less accurate, they can still be accessed by law enforcement.

Users can switch location tracking off to prevent the device from pinging GPS satellites. But if it's on a cellular network or connected to Wi-Fi, the device is still transmitting its coordinates to third parties, even if they're far less accurate than GPS.

A study by Quartz last year discovered that Google continued to track users' devices even when all GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular network settings were disabled on Android phones.

Raleigh police started using the technique after hearing about a similar warrant filed by the State Bureau of Investigations in Orange County back in 2017.

After receiving the initial list of names and metadata, the Raleigh PD continued to cull the list, asking for more data about each remaining name with each pass through. Law enforcement agencies note on each of these warrants that they disagree with Google's position that search warrants are necessary to access this data: Yet they continue to ask for the warrants.

But while these types of broad-based warrants raise myriad questions about their constitutionality, their effectiveness in actually leading to an arrest remains in doubt.

As WRAL pointed out, of the four cases discussed in their expose, only one has resulted in an arrest so far.

And because this information is typically requested months after the fact - while a search warrant is typically executed within 48 hours of receiving a judge's approval - the extent to which law enforcement are using this technique is difficult to quantify, because the orders remain under seal until they're executed (which often takes months).

Read an example of one of these warrants below:

Google Warrant by Anonymous JJ6eerL on Scribd

 

Comments

Sudden Debt Captain Nemo d… Sun, 03/18/2018 - 19:43 Permalink

Criminals know this all to well already. You're an idiot if you take your phone with you.

You're also an idiot if you take your car to a crime if that car has a bluetooth connection to your phone or a black box.

The more expensive a car is the better it can be traced.

Also, every sound in your car is recorded, stored for 48 hours and can be remotely accessed.

And then there are the televisions, camera's, devices and all that are in the homes of a victim that can be accessed.

 

In a way it's a protection but it's all the ultimate spy society.

 

Last week, my wife was pretty amused when we where talking about a 4 day citytrip where we didn't even look anything up on our computers or phones and half an hour later, she received a mail that said: "YOU LOVE TO GO TO MARRACESH?"

 

Is it dangerous? Oh yeah... especially as we're also convicting people with the pré crime tought already.

And who doesn't say sometimes "I could bash his head against a wall..."?

Under the pré crime laws, that can land you in jail if you say that in your own living room if they're looking for a reason to jail you.

In reply to by Captain Nemo d…

E5 Stu Elsample Mon, 03/19/2018 - 10:54 Permalink

It isn't just the phone that tells on you.

The car.

The facial cameras.

There is even a passive system using the earth harmonic and tech similar to ground penetrating radar to track everything above ground.  It is used by NORAD and is a secret haha defense because it cannot be shut down centrally or "avoided".  They are on every cell tower.

They certainly could use this system to already track everyone.  It just isn't in the NSA resource set or policy to coordinate with domestics.

In reply to by Stu Elsample

pparalegal Sudden Debt Mon, 03/19/2018 - 04:00 Permalink

They don't build billion dollar data vacuum centers (that you and I must be forced to pay for) like the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center in Utah and not use them. Who really pays for millions and millions of miles driven to produce maps street view? Google and its products are just the bait to be taken and swim around with until they snap the reel and start winding in.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

DuneCreature Sun, 03/18/2018 - 18:59 Permalink

The FBI and even your local police ARE NOT who they claim.

They pull things like The Vegas FALSE FLAG 'Drill' and then want massive funding and respect. ......

FISA warrants? .. For what?

Terrorists?

They are the 'Terrorists'.

This is a complete Clown Shitshow top to bottom.

Horowitz is a joke too.

It isn't just the leadership. .... It goes WAY out into the field offices.

You can't pull this stupid shit without full cooperation ON THE SHOP FLOOR! ......AND LOCAL PD TOO

The Los Vegas shooting tells the American people one of two things VERY CLEARLY.

1) The Entire FBI couldn't investigate its way out of the men's room.

OR

2) The FBI was in on the shooting and using We The People for TARGET PRACTICE! ...... AND/OR the FBI is covering up that False Flag Operation.

They are busted.

Live Hard, If Sandy Hoax FBI Sniper Didn't Convince You The FBI Are Criminals......... The Lost Vagrant Hoax Investigation SURE AS SHIT SHOULD! ............. Or You Are Unfixably Stupid. ... Pick Your Seat In The Jury Box, Please, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

 

 

DuneCreature VWAndy Sun, 03/18/2018 - 20:36 Permalink

Yes, and I'm about done chewing on this too.

I figure I've done my part for now.

People either see it or they don't.

I'm going to give a certain percentage the people passing through here the credit of being wise enough to just sit back and watch me beat the bushes (pun intended), at least in my little hopium filled pea brain, and I'm hopiuming like hell there's a gazillion 'quiet types' out there,.....if not we are fucked as a free and just country.

Like I said,........I'm about done bitching. ... It is what it is, I guess.

Live Hard, Heck, I'll Probably Be Back Though. ..... This Kind Of Special Stupid Is Hard To Resist Making A Public Mockery Of, Even If It Gets Me Killed Or Jailed Walking Point, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

In reply to by VWAndy

DelusionsCrowded DuneCreature Mon, 03/19/2018 - 00:34 Permalink

Eventually , your going to have to move to the Big Picture Sandbug unless your retiring from the fray all together . The point the DS is making is we don’t care what the little people think , let them play with the jigsaw puzzle trying to get the pieces to fit together and find some ear to explain it to . Ofcourse it important that someone expose these FF but I thought the Vegas FF had been proved long ago ? I moved on . The oblelisk outside the Vegas FF was another give away . Illuminati agents do this to let their the brotherhood know , this is us , we’ve got the power + the other propaganda objectives : guns and ‘white supreme…y’ . 


What they do care about is the big picture being exposed . Think obelisk in DC , pyramid on the Money , Afganistan drugs , Zionist v’s Masons , WW2 and all the endless contradictions in history . When you start looking at the big picture you start seeing the overview of the game and from that you can detect the objective . Which they have stated themselves , but which the general populace find had to believe .

I worked out about 3-4 years ago , the Illuminati where cooking a WW with Russia . Just from the breadcrumbs the System leaves . I said it many many times to many people in a desperate way and having been harassed gives great confirmation. So many people think the game is about money (and want to believe it , cause it make things simple and fun) but it about World Control , everything else is a tool in the service of this objective .


The opening of this end-game goes back to the Asian Financial Crisis in 97 and before that with Bill Clinton & the  expanding of the money supply/debt . That was an effort to take down China . When that failed , we got 9/11 (though this might have already been in the game before 97 ) , and the Invasion of Afganistan , blocking China linking up with the ME and on to Mediteranium Sea . Then the GFC , which China also thwarted by expanding their gov debt ,which kept the consumer system alive whilst building their own techo-inductrial power and infrastructure . 

To put it bluntly , the Illuminati are desperate And in need of a WW . And I strongly believe we are at that point now . How are They going to get it over line ?  Difficult to say as They have so many options and the only Q that interest them is can we win . 

Who could not agree their propaganda is getting desperate . 

In reply to by DuneCreature

DuneCreature DelusionsCrowded Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:53 Permalink

Hmmm, yes, I know.

You are right. .. As you zoom in and out the 'big picture' changes shape somewhat. ..... Way too complicated for most Dick and Janes over Sunday brunch.

I tend to focus on one level at a time for the sake of the average reader. (I perceive the ZH reader to be WAY above the average, which is one of the reasons I dwell here and post so much.)

It is my opinion (backed with a fair amount of data) that 'they' (use your definition of 'they') are using AI to 'run the show' (What 'show'? .. The one you're looking at now.) . ....

Lots of variables in that sentence, huh?

To zoom back in to the post above the point I'm trying to get across to 'normal Americans' in a 'fun / piss-you-off' way is; The US Dot Gov does not have the best interest of its citizens as its main goal whatsoever.

They lie. .. They manipulate. .. They steal. .. They live off of graft. ... They will kill citizens to further their 'real goals' and do that very evil thing all of the time right here at home AND abroad.

Americans can ignore it as long as the only people dying are from US airstrikes in Syria, Afghanistan or Yemen.

When the dot gov is sniping dozens of its own citizens at a Country Music concert it's time to wake up, kids! .... Nap time is over.

Most Americans still have no clue it is the government killing kids at the school shootings (They do both, BTW, REALLY shoot children AND stage some kid deaths.) .. That's why we need ZeroHedge and screwballs like me. ... Someone has to counter AI AL and the MSM.

WW III? ...., Naah.  .. AI AL isn't programmed for WW. ... It's programmed to keep everyone fearful of nuclear war. ..... AI is a master of skating The Edge of Doom too.

Live Hard, My Ten USD Or 0.0012010569300985 BTC Of Insight As Of 3/19/2018, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

In reply to by DelusionsCrowded

DuneCreature soksniffer Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:04 Permalink

Nonsense.

Do the ear comparison on those two Bozos. Aldenberg is NOT Wheeler. .. Nice try, FBI Art Department, no cigar.

And you are saying the bald guy suiting up is the one carrying his M4 around by the magazine? HAjajajajjajajjjjjjahahahahah! ... Two rifles!?? AAAAAaaaahahahaha!.. Helmet that barey fits. HAHAHAHaaaa! ... Sorry, I'll stop now.

You've been snookered, soksniffer .............OR like the local LEO, you're...IN....ON....THE....SCAM.

Now you're busted too

Live Hard, Be Sure And Catch THIS Staged 'Cell Phone Video' School Play Nonsense For More FBI Media Lab Handiwork, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

 

In reply to by soksniffer

DuneCreature crossroaddemon Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:18 Permalink

Yeah, I used to think that too.

But things have changed a lot.

It's not a 'Grand Conspiracy' either. .. These shitshows are set up by AI and have the resources put in place well in advance. .. Good cops canned, transferred, outnumbered and silenced. ... NSLs work wonders shutting up police officers in great BIG departments. .. Like DC Metro PD of which I am intimately familiar. ......... There is a LOT your cop friends aren't telling you and it depends on where you are too.

I live in WV now and have watched changes out here in the sticks also.

Live Hard, A Great Cop Shop Can Turn Into A Spook Shop In A Year, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

In reply to by crossroaddemon

crossroaddemon DuneCreature Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

In my quiet corner of flyover I'm not too worried. My town has a grand total of one full-time police chief and a couple of part-timers. They drive around, pull down the occasional speeder, respond to accident scenes and the odd domestic dispute, and yell at kids for riding skateboards in the street. I think to get them actively investigate something you would have to tie a donut to it... and I mean that in the kindest way imaginable. Our chief usually comes to my shows when i'm performing locally. He's a good guy.

In reply to by DuneCreature

DuneCreature crossroaddemon Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:40 Permalink

You are in a good spot, crd. .. Lucky, smart, or both.

That's the way it was in my county here too.

The way it should have stayed

Live Hard, But We Are A Little Too Close To Wash DC Here And The Cesspool Is Overflowing. ..... You Call It Israeli Police Training And It's Coming To Every Corner Of The Whole Nation If The Sheeple Don't Wake Up And Stop It, Die Free

~ DC v8.8

ps - Blues Guitarist? .... Co0ol.

 

In reply to by crossroaddemon

crossroaddemon DuneCreature Sun, 03/18/2018 - 22:26 Permalink

Well... I used to be a touring pro and a session player, but since I never became famous in my own right I've been a working stiff musician which means I'm a blues guitarist, a jazz guitarist, a country guitarist, a rock guitarist, or a folk guitarist depending on who is writing the check! I'm a heavy metal fan first and foremost but unless you're lucky enough to get a record deal at a young age you don't get to be a stylist. So yes: I play the blues very well. You can't work in this business at all without at least a decent working knowledge of the blues idiom.

I am lucky to a point... I was born out here where the county seat is a town of 12,000 and I'm 35 miles even from that. Once I got divorced and got custody I had to stop touring, and I brought the kids out here. I didn't really want to raise them in the metro, so it was coming anyway.

In reply to by DuneCreature

eatapeach Sun, 03/18/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

They've been doing this for a while. When a rapist/murderer of blonde white girls was running loose in my town about two/three years back, I passed along what I thought to be an insightful tip via an anonymous tip line. My phone's battery was drained that day sittng on my desk at work. I'm certain they went through all my e-shit.

MusicIsYou Sun, 03/18/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

Well so low IQ people are posting their most vital thoughts on the web, and the low IQ officials are eavesdropping on it.  Just sounds like Gog and Magog to me dancing together around their little rings of fire, not traveling anywhere particular accept just another location in the round-about. Yeehaw boys ride em cowboys, trying to catch the devil's herd.

Dr. Bonzo Sun, 03/18/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

The 4th Amendment is crystal clear. Lot of people don't even realize it, but serious case law on Bill of Rights grounds didn't even really start becoming applied until the late 19th century. Lot of cases were dismissed or dropped before trial because they were in obvious violation of the Constitution and BOR. LOT fewer trials way way back too. But, thanks to the honorable members of the bar and their tireless efforts to undermine the Constitution for the greater glory of small petty victories case law precedence has started chipping away at the Amendments one case at a time. As a consequence of the misapplication of case law to Constitutional Law cases nearly every Amendment in the BOR has been case lawed out of existence as if they never existed in the first place. Most obscene application of law I can think of. As a result American citizens enjoy fewer rights in the US these days than in civil law countries that have no constitution or Bill of Rights at their legal foundation.

Absurdity squared.

mkkby Dr. Bonzo Sun, 03/18/2018 - 20:44 Permalink

The data belongs to the cell company or wifi company.  It's not yours.  So the cops have every right to request it from the rightful owner's server.  And the rightful owners have every right to provide it.

The 4th amendment protects YOUR PROPERTY/DATA.  They can't go into your house and take your computer files or rifle thru your desk drawer without a warrant.

When you are out and about everyone can see you.  The light that bounces off of you is not yours.  Anyone can take your picture or video tape you.  You only have a legal expectation of privacy in your own home.  Your only recourse against this is to not use a cell phone, or at least remove the battery when you want to disappear.

In reply to by Dr. Bonzo

Koba the Dread Dr. Bonzo Sun, 03/18/2018 - 21:45 Permalink

The US Supreme Court has three Jewish justices and six
Roman Catholic justices though Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, while Catholic, attends an Episcopal church. While our founders were mostly Deists, most Americans since the first landing have been Protestants. Ignoring whether one is a believer or not, Roman Catholic and Jewish world-views are different from Protestant world views.

Yeah, yeah! You're non-believers, blah, blah, blah. But I'm not talking about faith; I'm talking about cultural traditions associated with different faiths. Your faith may wane but the cultural penumbrae of that faith lingers for generations.

Our Protestant cultural traditions are not represented at all in the US Supreme Court. Two alien traditions are represented instead.

In reply to by Dr. Bonzo

DelusionsCrowded Koba the Dread Mon, 03/19/2018 - 00:23 Permalink

Divide and rule is the name of the game . This is what MC is really about , until their is no ethic , cultural or religious power block left in society but The Secret Society .

Then everyone has to do what the hidden elite says . They set policy and the public faces have the roll of enacting it . The West is pretty much at end game now . Society is divided and shambolic .

In reply to by Koba the Dread

Abaco Dr. Bonzo Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:57 Permalink

Law school is the equivalent of a moral lobotomy.  Talk to most lawyers, particularly prosecutors, and they either have not read the constitution or don't think it is relevant. One would think they took an oath of allegiance to the next higher court, or, in the case of SCOTUS, to "progressive" decisions of prior SCOTUS, rather than the constitution.

These are supposed to be educated people but the nonsense they spew out in their opinions them to be anything but. They are indoctrinated. And they need to be among the first to hang.

In reply to by Dr. Bonzo