Mark Twain would be proud.
Those mysterious interceptor cell phone towers are likely the work of local law enforcement to intercept cell phone calls and track targets. Local law enforcement could coordinate with the FBI to install the towers, but only if locals signed a non-disclosure agreement according to documents recently gained by MuckRock through FOIA.
Before they could track cell phone data, police had to sign a NDA with the FBI
by Shawn Musgrave, MuckRock News
“it makes clear that Harris, the FCC, and the FBI are working together to facilitate the proliferation of these devices among state and local law enforcement agencies”
Cell site simulator acquisition and use (Tacoma Police Department)
Advanced cell phone tracking devices known as StingRays allow police nationwide to home in on suspects or to log individuals present at a given location. But before acquiring a StingRay, state and local police must sign a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI, documents released last week reveal.
The document released by the Tacoma Police Department is heavily redacted — four of its six pages are completely blacked out — but two unredacted paragraphs confirm the FBI’s intimate involvement with StingRay deployment.
The StingRay family of trackers are manufactured by the Harris Corporation, a company with $5 billion in annual revenue and headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. As “cell site simulators,” the trackers trick mobile phones into connecting to a StingRay as if it were a cell tower. This allows police to determine the cell phone’s location, and thus its owner’s.
As documents released to the Electronic Privacy Information Center indicate, the FBI has been using StingRay devices since at least 1995. The Bureau has worked diligently to keep policy and operational particulars alike secret.
Civil liberties and open government advocates have fought to obtain basic details regarding which agencies use the technology, and what safeguards are in place to prevent abuses. A December 2013 investigation by USA Today found 25 state and local police with StingRays, while a report released this summer by the ACLU uncovered 43 agencies in 18 states with the devices.
In response to a records request by MuckRock user Phil Mocek, the Tacoma Police Department released documents in August regarding its own cell phone tracking. TPD invoices revealed that it first purchased a StingRay in 2007 via a Justice Department grant. The department then paid $251,752 in March 2013 to upgrade its StingRay and train on additional functionality, an expenditure that was heavily underwritten by federal homeland security funding.
Documents released in August referred to a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) between Tacoma and the Justice Department, but the agreement itself was not released until last Friday. The Tacoma document provides key insight into the close cooperation among the FBI, Harris Corporation and the Federal Communications Commission to bar StingRay details from public release.
Tacoma police chief Donald Ramsdell signed the NDA on January 3, 2013, along with special agent Laura Laughlin of the FBI’s Seattle field office and four Tacoma officers authorized to operate the StingRay system. While solid black rectangles obscure the extent of TPD’s nondisclosure obligations, the document’s opening paragraph cements details previously only guessed at.
Paul Ryan has emerged from his long post-election period of repositioning, soul-searching, and secretly but not secretly visiting the poor. He had been caricatured as an Ayn Rand miser and attacked as a social Darwinist, merely for proposing the largest upward transfer of wealth in American history. Ryan has identified the root cause of his difficulties, and it is fiscal arithmetic.
The new Ryan, now fully formed, emerges in an interview with Philip Klein that is revealing precisely for its evasiveness. The overview of Ryan’s new strategy must be pieced together from several elements.
For years, Republican opposition to immigration reform has exacted a steep political cost, the enmity of Latino voters.
But now some are pivoting to a less perilous argument for their opposition to reordering the nation’s immigration laws: It’s not about keeping out Latinos. It’s about keeping out Islamic State terrorists.
Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue laces into his Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn in a new ad:
“She’s for amnesty while terrorism experts say our border breakdown could provide an entry for groups like ISIS,” the ad says, referring to the Islamic State militant group, which was targeted by U.S. airstrikes in Syria on Tuesday.
“Radical Islamic terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country,” he says.
Contrary to the suggestions in the ads, national security officials have said they have no evidence of Islamic State plans to attack on American soil, much less their presence at the border.
Hey, lies sell, and big lies sell bigger.
But the man in charge was never even charged. He got to retire.
Six one-time Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies were sentenced Tuesday to at least two years in prison for conspiracy and obstruction of justice in connection with an FBI investigation into beatings and corruption in the downtown jails.
“You broke the vow you made to protect the public, to protect the community,” U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson said during the nearly three-hour hearing. “You didn’t serve the public by concealing what was happening in the jails.”
Their sentences ranged from 21- to 41-months - less than the 28- to 60-months in federal prison the U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked for in court papers.
Even after their conviction and sentencing, the defendants maintained they were just doing their jobs.
Dylan Matthews, Vox: Three Reasons Why New Zealand Has the Best-Designed Government in the World - Vox
New Zealand has the most democratic government in the world because it has a well-designed electoral system of mixed district and proportional representation, a unicameral parliament and a constitutional monarch (a Governor-General serves as the Queen’s representative in N.Z.) to act as head of state who lacks the legitimacy to meddle in politics. In light of the interminable gridlock in US politics created by the 2010 GOP wave, which seems unlikely to break anytime soon, New Zealand’s system is looking pretty good. God Save the Queen!
The search for Eric Frein, from the Blooming Grove area all the way to the Canadensis area, has caused a lot of havoc for people who live and work there.
The people in the search area especially have been seriously inconvenienced by this manhunt. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a very remote and heavily wooded area. Depending on where you live, grocery stores can be 20 miles or more away. Convenience stores can be 5-10 miles away. People can’t just walk to the corner store and pick up a quart of milk. If you can get out to go to work, you may not be able to get back to your house when you get off. Families have separated. Others have had their vacations ruined. I saw an interview with one out of state man who just wanted to get his belongings (including needed medicine) and go home but he wasn’t allowed back in.
Mail deliveries have been suspended for many:
Mail Delivery Disrupted
Schools that have been closed since last Tuesday have only re-opened yesterday or today. Two townships will not be served by school buses until further notice. Those parents must drive their kids to school. Two schools in the search area remain closed:
The man who found the suspect’s Jeep has come forward. He was originally described as just out walking his dog but he now says he was out there specifically to look for clues:
Man Who Found Jeep…
Someone commented in another page of mine that this guy should be referred to as a terrorist and I can’t argue with this. The entire county, and the search area especially, has been terrorized. I only have one child of school age left and she shared a fair amount of trepidation with us about returning to school but we insisted she go. Eleven days and counting - the authorities still seem to certain that he is in their search area but they have not found him yet.
On Tuesday 23rd September global leaders - from government, finance, business, and civil society - will meet at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss climate change. It will be the first time the UN has tackled the subject since Copenhagen in 2009. We want the leaders to commit NOW to agreeing an ambitious climate treaty at the COP 21 Conference in Paris next year.
Let’s show them our commitment to reducing global emissions by making one small and easy change - skipping meat for one day a week. Show your support below by pledging to go meat free on Mondays and together let’s urge world leaders to act!
More: Meat Free Monday Pledge
Hope Solo only becomes Ray Rice through the annihilation of inconvenient history—through some forgery that implies that there is no tradition of men controlling women through violence. We are familiar with other such forgeries. It is how a conversation about the racism of Richie Incognito becomes a conversation about banning black people from using the word “nigger.” Or how the destruction of Mike Brown’s body becomes a debate about “black-on-black crime.” Or how Ray Rice knocking his wife unconscious morphs into, “Yes, but women do it too.” Indeed they do—but neither with the consistency, nor urgency, nor lethality of men.
A different take than others that have made the comparison recently.
Is Bill volunteering to join — he’d make a perfect leader for a gaggle of militia yo yos?
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly suggested that President Obama raise an anti-terror mercenary army to defeat Islamic State militants and other terrorist groups around the world. But the use of mercenary forces has been outlawed by the U.N. General Assembly and O’Reilly’s expert guest denounced his plan on-air as a “terrible,” “immoral” idea.
On the September 22 edition of his show, O’Reilly claimed that the only credible plan to defeat the Islamic State had to include a mercenary force of 25,000 “English-speaking” fighters that would be recruited and trained by the United States. O’Reilly explained that his mercenary army would be comprised of “elite fighters who would be well-paid, well-trained to defeat terrorists all over the world.” O’Reilly also detailed how the mercenary force would be trained, recruited, and funded: