Setting Up The Police State
- The Erie County sheriff received a $283,000 "terrorism prevention" grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to spy on your cellphone.
- Both the "liberal" Democrat Senate and the "small government" GOP are eagerly funding and installing unconstitutional spy systems in cities all over America.
The Erie County, New York sheriff says he's done making public comments about a cellphone surveillance device used by his police agency to gather information on persons of interest.
Sheriff Tim Howard told WGRZ Thursday that he won't publicly discuss the matter any longer because doing so could adversely impact investigations.
A stingray is a device that mimics a cell tower and thereby tricks all wireless devices on the same network into communicating with it reports Fox New York.
Howard told Erie County legislators last week that the stingray surveillance device his office has owned since 2008 is used only for tracking a person's movements, not for gathering content of cellphone communications. The surveillance equipment can capture data from targeted cellphones even when they're not in use.
He told the lawmakers that the courts should determine how he can use the equipment, not them.
Translation - The sheriff says the elected representatives of the do not have the right to review his actions. All hail the Police State.
Use of the device has raised concerns among Buffalo-area lawmakers over potential abuses of people's privacy.
Democratic Legislator Patrick B. Burke says that the equipment can capture data from cellphones even when they’re not in use.
When Howard was asked by lawmakers how many times his department has used the stingray device, he refused to answer.
The county used a $283,000 terrorism prevention grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to pay for the device.
Erie County is not the only locality to use the devices. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California released a report in March showing unregulated use of Stingrays in California. They reported 'widespread' use of the devices by police departments in the Golden State. The devices are being purchased with federal grant money.
In Florida, the city of Sunrise refused to confirm or deny the existence of any records related it a stingray device it owns, according to another ACLU report.
Is Your TV Spying on You?
In the wake of alternative media, mainstream outlets are now finally admitting that 'smart' televisions available to the public are capable of spying on its viewers.
Big Brother is Watching You
The City of Sunrise, Florida, tried to take a page from the CIA’s anti-transparency playbook last week when it responded to an ACLU public records request about its use of powerful cell phone location tracking gear by refusing to confirm or deny the existence of any relevant documents. And the state police are trying to get in on the act as well.
We have written about the federal government’s abuse of this tactic—called a “Glomar” response—before, but local law enforcement’s adoption of the ploy reaches a new level of absurdity. In this case, the response is not only a violation of Florida law, but is also fatally undermined by records the Sunrise Police Department has already posted online.
Read more at aclu.org