Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

CIA is active domestically, helping the Justice Department spy on our cellphones

with one comment

Devlin Barrett reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The Central Intelligence Agency played a crucial role in helping the Justice Department develop technology that scans data from thousands of U.S. cellphones at a time, part of a secret high-tech alliance between the spy agency and domestic law enforcement, according to people familiar with the work.

The CIA and the U.S. Marshals Service, an agency of the Justice Department, developed technology to locate specific cellphones in the U.S. through an airborne device that mimics a cellphone tower, these people said.

Today, the Justice Department program, whose existence wasreported by The Wall Street Journal last year, is used to hunt criminal suspects. The same technology is used to track terror suspects and intelligence targets overseas, the people said.

The CIA and the U.S. Marshals developed technology that would trick phones into revealing their registration data. WSJ’s Devlin Barrett discusses his exclusive story. Photo: Getty

The program operates specially equipped planes that fly from five U.S. cities, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population. Planes are equipped with devices—some past versions were dubbed “dirtboxes” by law-enforcement officials—that trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.

The surveillance system briefly identifies large numbers of cellphones belonging to citizens unrelated to the search. The practice can also briefly interfere with the ability to make calls, these people said.

Some law-enforcement officials are concerned the aerial surveillance of cellphone signals inappropriately mixes traditional police work with the tactics and technology of overseas spy work that is constrained by fewer rules. Civil-liberties groups say the technique amounts to a digital dragnet of innocent Americans’ phones.

The CIA has a long-standing prohibition that bars it from conducting most types of domestic operations, and officials at both the CIA and the Justice Department said they didn’t violate those rules. . .

Continue reading.

The CIA is prohibited by law from domestic operations, but OTOH the CIA knows that no matter what laws it breaks, it will not be held accountable. That gives them considerable latitude. And the CIA has certainly undertaken domestic operations—e.g., breaking into the computers of the Senate committee.

Written by Leisureguy

11 March 2015 at 1:06 pm

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.

    Like

    Brian Dead Rift Webb

    12 March 2015 at 11:28 pm


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