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UK Police Buy Covert Cellphone Surveillance System 103

digitig writes "UK Metropolitan Police have purchased a 'covert surveillance technology that can masquerade as a mobile phone network, transmitting a signal that allows authorities to shut off phones remotely, intercept communications and gather data about thousands of users in a targeted area.' Other customers apparently include 'the U.S. Secret Service, the Ministry of Defence and regimes in the Middle East.'"
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UK Police Buy Covert Cellphone Surveillance System

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  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @05:32AM (#37892604)

    Pity really that some idiots actually feel safer when they are constantly monitored.

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sqr(twg) ( 2126054 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @06:08AM (#37892764)

    Why would the police need to "masquerade" as a phone network. They can just get it from the *real* phone network. All phone companies comply with police requests, as long as they are legal. Oh, I see...

  • Re:Just Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 31, 2011 @06:42AM (#37892884)

    This technology is not about "one guy". These are large-scale devices designed to track and suppress communication among protesters. Governments know that shit will hit the fan on a large scale eventually. They're just too corrupt and rotten to continue as they are doing right know without resistance. So they prepare.

    For example, in Germany, police already occasionally logs and tracks protesters (yes, peaceful ones). Sure, it was illegal, but who cares? There are no consequences for violating laws if the government does it.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gonoff ( 88518 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @07:30AM (#37893056)

    No. The large international corporations, particularly the financial ones, are the thieves. The government is simply an obedient servant.
    I wouldn't call them a slave though. They are family and they do get benefits out of their obedience.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Monday October 31, 2011 @08:48AM (#37893476) Homepage

    Doing stuff like this allows you to put EVERYBODY in a huge dragnet and see who is worth looking into more closely. You don't have to actually use any of the data you collect as evidence. You simply need to figure out who to target with legal methods.

    Suppose I sniff thousands of phone calls and find out that you are doing something I don't like - such as making drugs, or copying movies, or saying bad things about your school on Facebook, or whatever. I can't use that as evidence, but I know who you are now. Then I just walk down your street and notice that your grass is taller than the local ordinance allows, or claim that I heard a shout for help that seemed to be coming from your house and knock on the door. You open up the door and I happen to see something inside that is suspicious, or whatever. Now I have probable cause and can get a warrant, and I can carve another notch in my baton or whatever.

    Legally searching houses is expensive, and it ticks people off when you search the wrong ones. On the other hand, mass interception of phone/internet/etc is cheap and tells you who to target with legal techniques.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.