Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Are you shocked by the FBI's surveillance flights over our cities?

Via Fire Dog Lake.
I guess I should be glad I still have the capacity to be shocked by our government's support of activities that once would have created an uproar amongst our citizenry, e.g., the torture of terrorist suspects, kill lists issued by the Oval Office, violation of the boundaries of other nations with drone flights, etc. and making the news most recently, the increasingly aggressive surveillance of our everyday activities. Have we as a nation become immune to such outrageous infringements on the rights of others around the globe as well as our own rights? It would seem so. How are we to respond to this latest violation of our rights as U.S. citizens by the FBI?

Kevin Gosztola at Fire Dog Lake summarizes this unconscionable FBI surveillance program:

The Associated Press reported new details on secret surveillance flights being conducted by the FBI, including how the agency registers aircrafts with fake companies to conceal their role.

A recent review conducted by the AP found that over a “recent 30-day period” the FBI flew over 100 flights over 30 cities in 11 states and the District of Columbia. 

Most of the missions were with Cessna 182T Skylane aircrafts. They were flown over Boston, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle and parts of Southern California. 

The planes carried video surveillance equipment as well as Stingray surveillance equipment or cell-site simulator gear, which creates a dragnet and enables the FBI to trick cellphones in a given area into providing identification information to agents.

Unlike the agency’s drone fleet, piloted aircraft is not subject to the Justice Department’s policy barring drones from being used to monitor “First Amendment activities,” which may partly explain why the secret flights have been spotted over cities where communities have protested killings by police. 

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