[Rushtalk] Slipper slope justice

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Fri Apr 5 11:33:45 MDT 2013

         From now on, don't answer the phone with 
"hello?" Just say "<bleep!> the FBI.....go ahead."

At 11:34 AM 4/5/2013, Paf Dvorak wrote:

>Can you hear me now? Feds admit FBI warrantless 
>cellphone tracking ‘very common’
>FBI investigators for at least five years have 
>routinely used a sophisticated cellphone 
>tracking tool that can pinpoint callers’ 
>locations and listen to their conversations ­ 
>all without getting a warrant for it, a federal court was told this week.
>The use of the “Stingray,” as the tool is 
>called, “is a very common practice” by federal 
>investigators, Justice Department attorneys told 
>the U.S. District Court for Arizona Thursday, 
>according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
>Installed in an unmarked van, Stingray mimics a 
>cellphone tower, so it can pinpoint the precise 
>location of any mobile device in range and 
>intercept conversations and data, said Linda 
>Lye, staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern 
>California in a blog post about the case.
>In a rare public discussion of federal 
>electronic surveillance capabilities and 
>authorities, Justice Department lawyers told the 
>court hearing that, instead of a warrant, the 
>FBI operates Stingray and other 
>cellphone-mimicking technology under the 
>authority of “pen register” orders. These court 
>orders, also known as “tap and trace” orders, 
>are generally issued to allow investigators to 
>collect only so-called “metadata” ­ like all 
>phone numbers calling to or called from a particular number.
>But Stingray collects much more than just phone 
>numbers and also “sweep[s] up the data of 
>innocent people who happen to be nearby,” according to the ACLU filing.
>Given the broad nature of the information 
>Stingray collects and its ability to eavesdrop 
>on conversations, many federal judges insisted 
>that they should be told when its use was 
>envisaged under a tap and trace order, the ACLU filing says.
>Tap and trace orders are generally more easily 
>granted than a warrant, which requires “probable 
>cause” under the Fourth Amendment.
>But Justice Department emails that the group 
>obtained under the federal Freedom of 
>Information Act and filed with their brief show 
>that government lawyers were concerned some FBI 
>agents were not properly disclosing their use of Stingray.
>“It has recently come to my attention that many 
>agents are still using [Stingray] technology in 
>the field although the pen register application 
>does not make that explicit,” reads one May 2011 
>email from a Justice Department attorney.
>“It is important that we are consistent and 
>forthright in our pen register requests to the 
>magistrates,” the attorney concludes.
>The ACLU has filed an amicus brief in the case 
>U.S. vs. Rigmaiden. An amicus brief is filed not 
>by the defendant or anyone on his behalf, but by another interested party.
>In the case, first brought in 2008, Mr. 
>Rigmaiden, charged with identity theft, is 
>seeking to suppress evidence obtained by 
>Stingray on the basis that using it constitutes 
>a search and requires a probable cause warrant.
>The Department of Justice declined a request for 
>comment, as neither they nor the FBI generally speak about ongoing litigation.
>Read more: 
>Paf Dvorak
><http://thatswaytoomuch.info/>notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info
>Rushtalk mailing list
>Rushtalk at csdco.com
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