The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that court warrants are not required when deploying cell-site simulators in public places. Nicknamed "stingrays," the devices are decoy cell towers that capture locations and identities of mobile phone users and can intercept calls and texts.... unless one of several exceptions apply, including (among others): (1) cases that pose an imminent danger to public safety, (2) cases that involve a fugitive, or (3) cases in which the technology is used in public places or other locations at which the FBI deems there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. [my underlines]I think that the government ought to be held to the standard of "privacy" as experienced by the founders: If a person, including a human government agent, cannot see, smell, hear or taste the thing which they are seeking to use to establish guilt of some criminal nature then it should require a warrant. Since no one can "see" radio waves, then there should be a warrant required to use tools to intercept them. I don't see why the FBI or any other agency thinks that just because said waves are traveling in "public airwaves" that the contents encoded by said waves are also somehow public information. If you cannot grab someone's phone and make them show you the messages on it without probable cause (at the very minimum) then how can one justify intercepting the delivery of said messages to a device for which it was not meant to be delivered to? Airwave data should be treated no different that wireline transmissions and subject to the same "trap and trace" laws that govern the latter. I think a part of why this is being done is the FCC regulation that devices accept all interference. Perhaps it is time to revisit that requirement and restate it so that it says "lawful interference."
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Clearly there has been a complete change in what people, including those in "law enforcement" think privacy means.