After Katrina, FBI prioritized cellphone surveillance


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Or y’know, people using cellphones to keep touch with eachother or to try finding family and friends.

I"m not saying the tinfoil didn’t happen. I’m just saying stop and think a minute before putting the foil lined beanie on and proclaiming this as the ONLY reason.

Being able to communicate is no small thing after a disaster.


#3

I think it can be both reasons at play, though. There are plenty of technologies that came out of the military-industrial complex that had strategic purposes that eventually became consumer goods. This whole internet here began as a DARPA, Cold War project…

But it seems like this addresses specifically cell phone tracking, which doesn’t seem to have a whole bunch to do with people trying to find loved ones after a disaster. It looks like they felt they were hamstrung by the inability to communicate on the ground, too. But since lots of the generally information is edited out of the document, we’re not sure of much of the details here.

I also don’t see where anyone said this was the ONLY explanation for this, just that it’s part of the reasoning.


#4

You might’ve speed-read the OP and missed the crucial part:

Wireless Intercept and Tracking Team (WITT) cited the hurricane’s damage to justify additional procurements of cell phone tracking equipment.
They purchased a lot of new tracking equipment to listen in on those critical pre/post-storm conversations. Because nothing attracts terrorists like the smell of a natural disaster bungled by our friends in the gov't.

#5

Wouldn’t that call rather for conventional mobile cellphone towers? Less secret, less covert option with multiple vendors?


#6

I don’t know the exact workings of a Stingray but if they do anything besides log just attempts to connect to a network - don’t then then also have to work as a functional tower as well? I mean if people cannot connect to the other end how can you harvest the calls and discover the illicit trade in Hebrew Wonder woman lunch boxes?

So they may well fulfil the function of emergency tower and spying on people. Bonus! FBI should be pitching it as a humanitarian disaster aid program.


#7

Yes. They have to have some sort of uplink to the “legit” phone network, though.

The mobile cell stations have this all solved (usually by a directional microwave link), and I’d bet they are quite cheaper (because multivendor). The telcos also tend to already have some.

Hence, while Stingrays are potentially useful as makeshift cells (if the uplink problem is solved), there is likely a better alternative already on hand. Which boosts the hypothesis of the FBI just using a convenient pretense to get more toys.


#8

After ______ domestic surveillance was increased.

Accurate values for “_______” don’t exclude much…


#9

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