This practice is controversial and likely to cause a stir…
As initially reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department is using a new technique for gathering information in specific area and using that data to enforce law. This is done by using small unsuspecting planes that fly while transmitting a fake cell signal from what are known as “Dirt Boxes.” These devices connect to cell phones within radius as if it were a cell phone tower. It then captures all the information about you that it can, then disconnects. Relevant information is transferred to law enforcement about the name and location of captured individuals. This is scanned against their database allowing law enforcement to find and hunt down wanted criminals. The Wall Street Journal put together an excellent info-graphic that demonstrates this:
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal
Inside sources would not disclose how long these flights are, but revealed that they occur on a frequent basis. You can read more of their findings in the Wall Street Journal.
This practice is controversial and likely to cause a stir as they are capturing the information of tens of thousands of non-criminal citizens without their knowledge nor consent. This does, however, “comply with federal law” according to an official representative. So the next time you drop your internet connection, but still have a cell signal, look up; it may be spies capturing data about you. On the plus side, we finally have a new use for “Airplane Mode.”
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think this technique will improve our nations fight against crime? Or does it give you that big brother is watching, I just ate a pound of Macaroni and Cheese, stomach ache kind of feeling? Let us know in the comments below