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Pricey 'stingray' gadget lets cops track cellphones without telco help

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-12 10:59 AM
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Pricey 'stingray' gadget lets cops track cellphones without telco help

By Bob Sullivan

Why would the well-heeled suburb of Gilbert, Ariz., spend a quarter of a million dollars on a futuristic spy gadget that sounds more at home in a prime-time drama than a local police department?

The ACLU caused a stir Monday with its extensive report of cellphone surveillance by local police departments, which routinely request location information and other data from cellphone providers, often under vague legal circumstances.

But one bit of information provided by Gilbert officials suggests that cops sometimes try to cut out the middle man. Buried in the 380 public records requests sent by the ACLU is a response from Gilbert which indicates that the town purchased a device that allows it to track cellphones on its own for $244,195.

"The Gilbert Police Department obtained a $150,000 grant from the State Homeland Security Program," the agency wrote to the ACLU in response to a public records request. "These funds, along with $94,195 of R.I.C.O monies, were used to purchase cell phone tracking equipment in June 2008 (total acquisition cost of $244, 195)."


http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/03/10986778-...
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-12 11:45 AM
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1. Even Little Brother is watching you.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-04-12 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Did you coin that expression? If so I'll start using it.
_/)
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-12 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Run a SIP application on a smartphone and you don't have to worry about it
:)

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-03-12 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Like the ACLU, I worry more about the Constitution than I do my personal issues.
Anyone listening to my phone conversatons or tracking my movements must be desperate for a hobby--and a boring one, at that.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-04-12 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Snooper, do tell. :-)
I avoided getting one for as long as possible but I understand that it's scary what can be done
with apps. Well, it doesn't scare me, but...

BTW, cell phone security goes both ways. You'd be amazed with what it's possible to do with a
cell phone :yoiks:
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-04-12 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. There are VoIP (SIP) applications that you can run on smartphones
That utilize the data channel (your internet access) instead of the dialer on the phone that communicates with the towers. So when you make calls you are registering to an endpoint that could be anywhere in the country. Now, the phone itself will still be "tracked" as FCC rules mandate 911 support. No way to get around that, but they at least won't be able to track individual calls.
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