At least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a suitcase-size device that costs as much as $400,000 and acts as a fake cell tower. The system, typically installed in a vehicle so it can be moved into any neighborhood, tricks all nearby phones into connecting to it and feeding data to police.See how it works:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/08/cellphone-data-spying-nsa-police/3902809/
The National Security Agency isn't the only government entity secretly collecting data from people's cellphones. Local police are increasingly scooping it up, too.
Armed with new technologies, including mobile devices that tap into cellphone data in real time, dozens of local and state police agencies are capturing information about thousands of cellphone users at a time, whether they are targets of an investigation or not, according to public records obtained by USA Today and Gannett newspapers and TV stations.
The records, from more than 125 police agencies in 33 states, reveal:
--About one in four law-enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a "tower dump," which gives police data about the identity, activity and location of any phone that connects to the targeted cellphone towers over a set span of time, usually an hour or two. A typical dump covers multiple towers, and wireless providers, and can net information from thousands of phones.
--At least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a suitcase-size device that costs as much as $400,000 and acts as a fake cell tower. The system, typically installed in a vehicle so it can be moved into any neighborhood, tricks all nearby phones into connecting to it and feeding data to police. In some states, the devices are available to any local police department via state surveillance units. The federal government funds most of the purchases, via anti-terror grants.
--Thirty-six more police agencies refused to say whether they've used either tactic. Most denied public records requests, arguing that criminals or terrorists could use the information to thwart important crime-fighting and surveillance techniques.
Police maintain that cellphone data can help solve crimes, track fugitives or abducted children or even foil a terror attack.
Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Privacy Information Center say the swelling ability by even small-town police departments to easily and quickly obtain large amounts of cellphone data raises questions about the erosion of people's privacy as well as their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
An ex-Chicago cop is accused of plotting to kidnap, torture and murder a wealthy Chicagoan. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, former Chicago Police officer Steven Mandell and an accomplice planned to torture the rich man and mutilate his genitals, cutting his penis lengthwise “like slicing a banana split.”
Court transcripts made available on Thursday detail an October 25, 2012 conversation between Mandell and his accomplice, Gary Engel, who killed himself shortly after he and Mandell were arrested last year. In the call, the two men plotted the grisly abduction and torture.
Mandell, then 62, confessed to Engel that the idea of torturing someone made him sexually aroused. Federal prosecutors allege that the two men had built a dedicated killing chamber located in the 5300 block of Chicago’s West Devon Avenue. They were discussing how to tie up their victim when Engel detailed his plan to slash open the man’s penis.
“You going to put a little blade there?” Mandell asked Engel.
Engel replied that he would, that flaying open a penis is just like “slicing a banana split. You know what a banana split looks like?”
National Park Service should identify group that bumped gun control rally from National Mall, nonprofit says
17 Senate Democrats, including Senator Angus S. King Jr., joined Senate Republicans to advance a bill that would rollback oversight of big banks and eliminate consumer protections.
The "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection" Act is now headed to the floor for a vote. Supporters claim it will help community banks but it will also put us at risk of another financial crisis, allow racial discrimination in mortgage lending to go unchecked, and erode consumer protections.
This bill is a bank lobbyist's dream. It will benefit the Wall Street giants that devastated our economy in 2008 way more than community banks. Help us stop it.
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