Previously, we reported on the existence of stingrays, also known as `IMSI catchers’, which are used by law enforcement as mobile cellphone towers. Stingrays intercept location and other data from all cellphones in the area, redirecting the traffic from regular cellphone towers. They can be used to get cellphone data without having even to go [...]
Americans are used to thinking of ourselves as “rights pioneers.” But the American constitution is particularly difficult to amend, and is therefore slower than most to respond to a rapidly changing technological and cultural landscape. Justice Brandeis’s 1890 law review article on “The Right to Privacy” conceived of the Constitution as embodying a central, unarticulated [...]
As we residents of Massachusetts gambol heedlessly downward from the Mountains of Liberty toward the Swamps of Oppression, let’s take a brief breather to consider a more general commentary on surveillance. Philosophical examinations of governmental surveillance powers center on eighteenth-century founder of utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham and twentieth-century philosopher Michel Foucault. The key concept used to [...]
Howdy and good morning, lovers of the Internet freedoms! It’s time for another in our “Microscope Mondays” series, where we take a good hard look at pending legislation here in Massachusetts relevant to surveillance. Previously, we’ve covered a praiseworthy effort to restrict the use of drones for law enforcement purposes and Martha Coakley’s should-be-better-known “Let’s [...]
I run the Campaign for Digital Fourth Amendment Rights out of an incubator in Cambridge, Mass. Many startups at the incubator base their innovative products around “big data”, and the concept attracts substantial academic attention locally as well. It’s natural that law enforcement would be interested in employing the same techniques, accessing information that people [...]
We continue our series updating you on the exciting new world of mass surveillance you should expect in a few short years (previous posts include discussions of real-time life recording, terahertz surveillance and indoor cellphone tracking), by bringing you the Stingray.
If you needed any further evidence that it’s unwise to permit electronic surveillance to catch “terrorists”, USA Today has just provided it: Dorner has been accused by police of the shooting deaths of three people, one of them a police officer and another the daughter of a former officer. [...LAPD Police Chief Charlie] Beck said. [...]
Science Daily reports that one of the technological limitations on cellphones’ tracking capabilities is about to be lifted. A research team led by Professor Dong-Soo Han of the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has developed a way of locating cellphones using their WiFi fingerprints to within 10 [...]