Home / Be The Change / Government Corruption / Most Everything the Feds Told Us About Stingrays is False – It’s Much Worse

Most Everything the Feds Told Us About Stingrays is False – It’s Much Worse

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The revelation that the IRS—that mammoth bureaucracy enforcing the nightmarish tax code—purchased “stingrays” in 2009 and 2012, added another layer of controversy to the use of this intrusive surveillance device.

It has gotten so bad that a bill was just introduced in Congress that would criminalize the use of stingrays without a warrant, at all levels of government.

A stingray is a suitcase-sized device that mimics a cell phone tower, which allows it to gather locations and data of all nearby mobile phones. This violation of constitutional rights is usually justified under the “war on terror” meme, although government is finding increasingly diverse uses.

Last week, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before a Senate committee that his agency had indeed used stingrays in tax-related criminal investigations, but only with the blessing of a judge. Koskinen said the stingray “can only be used with a court order…based on probable cause of a criminal activity.”

A “court order” is not the same as a warrant and carries a lower legal burden. Court orders are usually gained through an even more vague “pen register statute” that is routinely abused.

Most federal law enforcement offices are required to get a warrant, but some agencies such as the Secret Service have granted themselves the authority to use stingrays without a warrant. How this squares with the Congressional bill, should it succeed, will be interesting.

The stingray is used much more widely by state and local law enforcement, who procure the devices independent of federal government. Baltimore has used the devices 4,300 times since 2007. Most local agencies do not bother with the burden of getting a judicial warrant.

Police and prosecutors using stingrays have signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI and, incredibly, prosecutors “have agreed to drop cases rather than disclose information about the technology” – even in serious criminal cases.

This underscores a common thread in all of the federal, state, and local involvement in stingray technology—a concerted effort to maintain absolute secrecy. They have even carried out a scheme in which the U.S. Marshals Service seized documents about the use of stingrays from local police in order to keep them from the American Civil Liberties Union.

In attempting to justify the cloak of secrecy around a device that can so easily intrude on the constitutional rights of citizens, authority figures have stated a number of falsehoods.

IRS Commissioner Koskinen stated in testimony that “[stingray] does not allow you to overhear… voice communications.” Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Seth M. Stodder told a House subcommittee that the devices do not listen to phone calls or capture text messages.

However, new information has come out which demonstrates that stingrays can, in fact, intercept the content of voice and text communications. They can record numbers for incoming and outgoing calls, and can possibly use a phone as a bug by flashing its firmware.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California obtained Justice Department documents after a two-year struggle. Acknowledging that use of stingrays “is an issue of some controversy,” the DOJ goes on to provide guidelines for use and templates for submitting court requests for permission to use them.

We already knew that stingrays direct all nearby mobile devices to connect to them, which reveals their unique device ID as well as precise locations.

According to the documents: “If the cellular telephone is used to make or receive a call, the screen of the digital analyzer/cell site simulator/triggerfish would include the cellular telephone number (MIN), the call’s incoming or outgoing status, the telephone number dialed, the cellular telephone’s ESN, the date, time, and duration of the call, and the cell site number/sector (location of the cellular telephone when the call was connected).

Furthermore, the devices “may be capable of intercepting the contents of communications and, therefore, such devices must be configured to disable the interception function, unless interceptions have been authorized by a Title III order.

The documents go on to instruct agencies on how to avoid the prying eyes of those who would question the infringement on civil liberties. The fact that stingray surveillance capabilities go much farther than we were led to believe makes it even more critical to expose the abuse currently going on.

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  • Everyone needs to know about this! Please help us spread this vital information by clicking (Y) + Commenting + Sharing this story.

  • Hi I am Emily I am 21 years old I live in USA I love making new friends please Follow & Like me I will Follow you Back or inbox You I promise

  • Hi I am Emily I am 21 years old I live in USA I love making new friends please Follow & Like me I will Follow you Back or inbox You I promise

  • The Feds have been lying about spying for years. Heres a breakdown of all their major spy programs:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/john-westcott/persistent-stare-how-the-us-government-spies-on-everyone-including-you/10154270852274008

    • Beautiful write up man im gona share this to my group this is exactly what im talking about that they are fully aware of people who know about this stuff

    • Thanks man. Took a bit of research, but it is worth it to have a single source for all the big spy programs.

    • Holy Hell, you’re right the ancestry one did get me. Wonder how many agencies in Canada have this.

  • The Feds have been lying about spying for years. Heres a breakdown of all their major spy programs:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/john-westcott/persistent-stare-how-the-us-government-spies-on-everyone-including-you/10154270852274008

    • Beautiful write up man im gona share this to my group this is exactly what im talking about that they are fully aware of people who know about this stuff

    • Thanks man. Took a bit of research, but it is worth it to have a single source for all the big spy programs.

    • Holy Hell, you’re right the ancestry one did get me. Wonder how many agencies in Canada have this.

  • This is why they are handing out free government phones like candy; another trap. They want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be watched. Listening and watching through phones computers & smart tvs

    • I believe we should just call them Telescreens like the spy device out of 1984.

  • This is why they are handing out free government phones like candy; another trap. They want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be watched. Listening and watching through phones computers & smart tvs

    • I believe we should just call them Telescreens like the spy device out of 1984.

  • United States of North Korea

  • United States of North Korea

  • Small town corruption has held my mom prisoner for a month. Please read her story if you have the time. http://fnd.us/c/613mo6/sh/a5GXe2

  • Small town corruption has held my mom prisoner for a month. Please read her story if you have the time. http://fnd.us/c/613mo6/sh/a5GXe2

  • Interesting… Thank you for posting and keeping us informed 🙂

  • Interesting… Thank you for posting and keeping us informed 🙂

  • Going by this picture, it is quite interesting that cops are allowed to play computer games while driving. But when you eat , drink or phone, that is against the law. I haven’t seen this brought up before?

  • Going by this picture, it is quite interesting that cops are allowed to play computer games while driving. But when you eat , drink or phone, that is against the law. I haven’t seen this brought up before?

  • They can also use your WiFi as a indoor radar. They have been developing this for a while now. It is so accurate they can detect your heart and breathing from outside your building.

    • NYPD has radar vans that do nor even require a wifi signal to scan your house or car.

    • Oh yea for truckers too!

  • They can also use your WiFi as a indoor radar. They have been developing this for a while now. It is so accurate they can detect your heart and breathing from outside your building.

    • NYPD has radar vans that do nor even require a wifi signal to scan your house or car.

    • Oh yea for truckers too!

  • You are guilty! And your children are soon to be ogled.

  • You are guilty! And your children are soon to be ogled.

  • Nothing New!

  • Nothing New!

  • This is outrageous. The Federal government is spying on the public along with the State government. How many rich people are spying on the public and private citizens by paying corrupt politicians police and other government investigators? What are these people doing with what they find? Politicians Government Bankers the courts and the police are lying to the public without consequence. The government pass laws and give privilege to the rich while disregarding the needs and wishes of the general public. We need a total shake up of the political, governmental and economic systems in this country.

  • This is outrageous. The Federal government is spying on the public along with the State government. How many rich people are spying on the public and private citizens by paying corrupt politicians police and other government investigators? What are these people doing with what they find? Politicians Government Bankers the courts and the police are lying to the public without consequence. The government pass laws and give privilege to the rich while disregarding the needs and wishes of the general public. We need a total shake up of the political, governmental and economic systems in this country.

  • WE HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO FORGET WHO THEY WORK FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WE HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO FORGET WHO THEY WORK FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rod Burgundy

  • Rod Burgundy

  • They are totally illegal!!! And any “evidence” gathered from them should be inadmissible in court.

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