Jim Hickey’s American Politics

Let's Get Real.

US Marshal’s Legal Invasion of Privacy

My friend Mark Ahn isn’t always onboard with my ideas, but this time I saw something shared on CrunchBase that may be enough to get him to believe me. So here we go man.

Conspiracy theories of the government hacking peoples’ cell-phones have been growing since the introduction of portable technology, but none like the idea of tracking fugitives on airplanes through the use of fake cell-towers. US Marshals have been planting fake cell towers on planes that are designed pray on a cell-phone’s never ending urge to connect to the closest available network.

Entitled “ISMI catcher,” the device is programmed to sort through a phone’s data, including photos and text messages, in search of a unique ID that can point Marshals to the exact location of the suspect. Though claims have been made that agents receive a court order for each search they conduct, the question of “Do we have a right to privacy?” has been thrown at the technologically advanced detectives since the discovery of their “remarkable” innovations.

“Stingrays” are not aboard every plane, in fact they are usually found only on small aircrafts, but their ability to jam phone signals and gain access to everything a user once considered private has many people rethinking air travel. The strength of the device is impeccable, and gives US Marshals the ability to detect a suspect’s location to closeness of 9 feet away. The device itself has raised conflicts for years, but the new usage of it has brought even more distrust in the government.

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