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US Pushing Local Police To Keep Quiet On Cell-Phone Surveillance Technology 253

Posted by timothy
from the all-you-debaters-are-welcome dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes with this story from the Associated Press, as carried by Yahoo News: The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned. Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment. Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.
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US Pushing Local Police To Keep Quiet On Cell-Phone Surveillance Technology

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  • Oh my ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MondoGordo (2277808) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @04:51PM (#47225421)
    ...and the police state gears up ...
  • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @04:58PM (#47225475) Homepage Journal

    Obama is a politician. By definition, when he opens his mouth, he's lying.*

    * DISCLAIMER: This also applies to Boehner, Pelosi, Cantor, Reid, McConnell and any other politician.

  • Stingrays (Score:5, Insightful)

    by globaljustin (574257) <> on Thursday June 12, 2014 @04:59PM (#47225481) Homepage Journal

    this is about Stingrays... []

    more importantly, sources and methods

    i think the Justice Dept. is trying to keep this tech out of the hands of the general public

    they can't, of course

  • Re:Stingrays (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jody Williams (3688505) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:01PM (#47225491)
    Perhaps as a secondary rationale. Primarily, they are trying to continue to circumvent privacy protections, warrant requirements, etc. and don't want people to know how they are doing such things so they can't put together a proper case against them.
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:01PM (#47225493) Journal

    Which is why, if you continue to vote for either of the two incumbent parties, you're part of the problem. And why I am a Libertarian. I'm sure the Libertarian party will have similar issues at some point, if they get stronger, however the Libertarian are the best guidelines for why this stuff matters more than most people care about. So I am not worried about Libertarian party getting corrupt any time soon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:01PM (#47225497)

    The smartphone: a general purpose computational device with a GPS, camera and microphone, typically carried around on one's person or in one's general vicinity at all times. Most smartphones have built-in functionality below the operating system layer that allows the carrier to execute arbitrary code on the device.

    It's the ultimate tracking tool.

  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:03PM (#47225509)
    Those spoofed Obama posters that replaced HOPE with OBEY seem more and more appropriate.
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:11PM (#47225565) Journal

    98% of you will still vote democrat or republican, thinking this time things will change. You're right. Things will change... for the worse. And then you will STILL vote democrat or republican again. You have the government you asked for. And quit your bellyaching about lack of choice. I ain't listening. It's bullshit. You decide who is on the ballot.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:14PM (#47225583)

    >> compared to Gitmo and the phoney wars we had because of George W Bush

    I hope you realize Gitmo is Obama's mess now. He's had six years now to clean it up - in fact ran on a platform to clean it up - and has done little there except release some pretty evil dudes back into the wild.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2014 @05:52PM (#47225779)

    I hope you realize Gitmo is Obama's mess now. He's had six years now to clean it up - in fact ran on a platform to clean it up - and has done little there except release some pretty evil dudes back into the wild.

    Unfortunately, the children on the Republican side of Congress are doing everything they can to stop any sort of progress, though it means screwing their own party and the American people, in the misguided delusion that it makes the other side look bad. Let's not pretend otherwise. It's so transparenetly true that the vast majority of people will never consider voting for a Republican, ever again.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @06:30PM (#47226017)
    It's odd how the article keeps saying Obama Administration, especially when you know that the whitehouse isn't wasting it's time on local stuff like that.
    They should specify which departments or people are actually making these demands for the locals to not release the info.
    They do state specifically in one case, and that was the FBI. You know, one of those three letter agencies that happily lie to Congress, the Senate, and the Whitehouse.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @06:41PM (#47226083) Journal

    I particularly like how you disassembled the comment and pointed to every place in which it possibly could be wrong. Tell me, do you have a news letter I can subscribe to?

    PS, the next time you threaten me with a good time, could you at least use a nick that isn't so over used like Anonymous Coward so I can pick you from a crowd? It's like you said you will be the one in red and green at the Christmas party.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:05PM (#47226187)

    Of course, you ignore the fact that President Obama's party had complete control of Congress, with the Supermajority of the Senate, yet did nothing to shut down Gitmo. Now he gets to blame those damn Republicans, just as you do, for all his failings.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:36PM (#47226343)

    Unfortunately for the democrats they are not as "United" as the republicans. They don't vote in lockstep with each other nor do they judge each other by some RINO like measure where it's a bad thing not to vote in lock step with what the party says regardless of their constituents. As a result even though the bill to close gitmo was brought up several times the bill never passed nor really ever had a chance to beat the 60 vote fillibuster threshold needed to advance in the Senate.

    Instead was was passed in it's stead was a requirement that he not close, it that he not spend a DIME studying closing, discussing closing or even thinking about closing it. This basically bared the president from doing any sort of research that would convince congress it could be done. This was the work of people like John McCain, rather ironically a former POW, working concert with the republican party and a handful of cooperative blue dog democrats.

    Anyone that can argue Obama didn't try to close Gitmo is a blind partisan liar. And anyone that argues Obama is responsible for that atrocity is a fucking idiot. The republican party has responsibility for that prison. Even today the Republican parties official platform includes support for perpetual detention at Gitmo. I'll never understand people that think it's a good idea to waste our soldiers time playing guard duty in what is pretty close to a paradise. It's a waste of money and valuable resources. Those people should have long ago been transferred to a special federal prison such as the recently closed super-max in Illinois that tried very hard to become the site. But people not unlike you insisted without reason that those guys remain in Cuba and the taxpayers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to house them in the most expensive military base the US has.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:51PM (#47226413)

    If you think Gitmo is a paradise you're the idiot. It's not a hell hole but it's still a prison. You can blather on about the Republicans all you want but the people that dangle the Republican puppets by their strings dangle the Democratic puppets too. You partisan fools that still believe the smoke and mirror show that is the US political two party mafia system astound me. What little shred of doubt I had about it is gone after the last six years. Obama looks like Bush version 2.0

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @07:53PM (#47226423)

    The problem is the people themselves. They all want something from the government and the people in power know this. They buy us with our own tax money and people just don't get it.

  • by RyoShin (610051) < minus physicist> on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:18PM (#47226549) Homepage Journal

    Oh, come now. Given our political climate, I'm sure any despot that the oligarchy put on the ballot (for either party) would be just as happy to allow or order such acts.

    It's not that you give President Obama too much blame, it's that you give him too much credit.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @08:19PM (#47226559) Homepage

    So it is neither Republicans nor the Democrats fault, it is the lazy electorate, thumb in bumb, mind in neutral who pays no attention at primaries time and allows both parties to be stacked against them and let the Republicans and the Democrats to be turned into the Corporate Party, the party of corporations, by corporations and for corporations, only major corporations and multi-nationals get to play of course.

    Whoops there's been a major upset, it seems more people are starting to pay attention to the primaries. If Hilary Clinton gets through, Americans will be seen as bigger idiots than the world already believes them to be and there are just so many other blatant corporate politicians that should all be dropped. Time to Kill Wall Street and rebuild Main Street and both parties need to be focused on it by ensuring the electorate pays attention at primaries time.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @09:16PM (#47226833)

    These are non-US citizens (generally) & non-uniformed combatants.

    "non-uniformed combatants" is a made up thing; they are civilians. Criminals perhaps, but if Iran invades your home town and starts

    As such, they are afforded protection from neither the US Constitution

    Why not? Isn't there something in there about 'all people'? I don't recall it being limited to American citizens?

    I mean, granted we don't have authority to impose the constitution or justice system on foreign nationals in their own country -- but we did arrest them, and remove them from their country to territory we control. There's no reason they can't or shouldn't be extended to the rights of our justice system? Why shouldn't we? Would their trial be somehow unfair?

    Additionally, most countries where the detainees originate are not signatories to the Geneva Convention, and thus the protections further do not apply to them.

    It still applies to us stupid. Sure legally we aren't obligated by treaty but so what? Its the morally right thing to do, and there is certainly nothing in the treaty that PREVENTS us from extending them those protections? Why on earth would we desire NOT to extend them?

    You make it sound like we'd like to give them fair trials, and we'd like to extend them rights but we can't. That's bullshit.

  • Re:Oh my ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @09:20PM (#47226857)

    "non-uniformed combatants" is a made up thing; they are civilians. Criminals perhaps, but if Iran invades your home town and starts

    sorry somehow missed finishing that sentence. ... and starts wrecking the place, and you resist, even with violence, and they capture you and take you into 'custody'. You are still a civilian. Even if they wanted to treat you as a soldier, that'd be fine too.

    But to invent a new classification for the express purpose of depriving people of the rights you would extend civilians and soldiers is BULLSHIT.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @09:37PM (#47226933)

    That's last century. Now they buy the voters with borrowed money.

Maternity pay? Now every Tom, Dick and Harry will get pregnant. -- Malcolm Smith