23 May 2017

Does Mesa's Private Prison Have Anything To Do With This??

ICE Using Stingrays To Track Down Immigrants
Source: TechDirt 22 May 2017
(Because, of course, it's from the high-value-targets-just-means-everyone department)
Stingrays can be used across broad geographic areas - say for example the TRWC network used here in Mesa that was discussed at last week's job contract awards to ask for an increase in funding http://www.rwcaz.org/6documents.htm 
The Trump administration is apparently using every weapon in its arsenal to detain unauthorized migrants in the U.S., including a high-tech cell phone surveillance tool known as the Stingray, according to recently uncovered federal court records.
The Stingray – also known as a cell-site simulator – is a device that's small enough to fit in a car. Federal and local law enforcement have used the information to track subjects in real time. The device masquerades as an extremely powerful cell-phone tower and can draw information from up to 10,000 phones simultaneously, including within private residences, and can even intercept communications.
The phone-tracker was unveiled by defense contractor Harris Corporation in 2003. . .
Civil liberties advocates have long called the broad use of the device unconstitutional on Fourth Amendment grounds, arguing that it poses a major threat to U.S. residents' privacy. U.S. Marshals have used the device from small planes during dragnet operations to track down fugitives among tens of thousands of mobile phone users.
“(Extending) this extraordinary enforcement authority to ICE poses a severe risk to immigrant communities, regardless of criminal record,” Hamid Khan, coordinator of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, told teleSUR.
Khan's grassroots coalition has long fought against the stealthy incorporation of warrantless surveillance and data-mining technology such as Stingrays, automated license plate readers, and drones into the toolkits of law enforcement agencies such as the Los Angeles Police Department, and police departments here in Arizona.
"Once you start giving agencies fancy toys, and somebody is making money off of it, they are going to use them for more things, and ultimately oppress your rights," Electronic Frontier Foundation grassroots advocacy director Shahid Buttar told Detroit News.
"As information about police use of cell tower spoofers began leaking out, those who had kept the public (including defendants, judges, and even some prosecutors) out of the loop began defending their use of domesticated military technology. They said pay no attention to the possible civil liberties violations. Just think of all the good they're doing. They promised Stingrays would only be used on the worst of the worst, and only when time was of the essence: terrorists, murderers, kidnappers, etc.
But then even more Stingray documents made their way into the public domain. These showed the devices were deployed in bog-standard drug investigations or, worse, used just because agencies had them. . . "
Of course, anyone paying attention knew Stingrays would be used for nothing of importance, despite public officials' statements otherwise.
1. A House Oversight Committee study released in December showed that between 2011 and 2014, ICE spent $10.5 million buying 59 stingrays. A previous Vocativ survey of known police purchase orders for stingray devices shows that at least some sort of state, county, or local police in 32 states have possessed one.
- See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/ice-using-stingrays-round-undocumented-immigrants#sthash.4JwPwQID.dpuf 
2. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice spent $US95 million on more than 430 Stingray devices from 2010 to 2014, according to a congressional report released late last year. 194 belong to the FBI, while the DHS has 124 devices. While law enforcement is obligated to obtain a search warrant to use the device, the FBI has argued that warrants are not required.
“The use of Stingray devices or cell phone site simulators to trace, track and monitor immigrants has been a regular feature of ICE's Electronic Surveillance system – ELSUR – for several years,” Khan explained.
Source: TeleSurTV.net
3. The ACLU posted this today
ICE Using Powerful Stingray Surveillance Devices In Deportation Searches
By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
May 23, 2017 | 10:15
"It is a testament to the tremendous secrecy that has shrouded the use of Stingrays for years that we haven’t had a glimpse into how ICE actually uses the technology—until now.
. . . But major questions remain unanswered, including whether ICE also uses Stingrays for civil immigration enforcement operations (which are not covered by the DHS guidelines), how often ICE and CBP use their dozens of cell site simulators, whether they have taken steps to protect the privacy of bystanders by deleting bystander data after sweeping it up, and whether they inform people in immigration court proceedings when a Stingray has been used against them. Our FOIA request seeks answers to these questions and more.
As the Trump Administration’s hyper-aggressive approach to immigration enforcement unfolds, the public needs accurate information about how immigration agents are tracking down the members of American communities who they are trying to deport.
Use of invasive, surreptitious surveillance equipment on our city streets is concerning in any context, and all the more so when done by ICE and CBP. It is incumbent on the government to respond to our FOIA request and open its practices up to public scrutiny and debate.

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