Check out this amazing article in The Intercept about the military espionage equipment now being used domestically–in specific dragnet style devices that spoof cell phone towers and hoover up data from mobile phones, whether it belongs to a “person of interest” or just John or Jane Q. Public. Probable cause seems to = having a cell phone!
From the piece:
ANY OF THE DEVICES in the catalogue, including the Stingrays and dirt boxes, are cell-site simulators, which operate by mimicking the towers of major telecom companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. When someone’s phone connects to the spoofed network, it transmits a unique identification code and, through the characteristics of its radio signals when they reach the receiver, information about the phone’s location. There are also indications that cell-site simulators may be able to monitor calls and text messages.
In the catalogue, each device is listed with guidelines about how its use must be approved; the answer is usually via the “Ground Force Commander” or under one of two titles in the U.S. code governing military and intelligence operations, including covert action.
But domestically the devices have been used in a way that violates the constitutional rights of citizens, including the Fourth Amendment prohibition on illegal search and seizure, critics like Lynch say.
People should start talking more about this and who is “watching the watchers.” I’m glad The Intercept is.