Feds Using Anti-Terror Tech To Hunt Undocumented

The Detroit News reports:

Federal investigators are using a cellphone snooping device designed for counter-terrorism to hunt undocumented immigrants amid President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, according to federal court records obtained by The Detroit News.

An unsealed federal search warrant affidavit obtained by The News is the first public acknowledgment that agents are using secret devices that masquerade as a cell tower to find people who entered the U.S. illegally, privacy and civil liberty experts said.

The cell-site simulator device, known as a Hailstorm or Stingray, tricks nearby phones into providing location data and can interrupt cellular service of all devices within the targeted location. Federal investigators are required to obtain a judge’s approval to use the device.

  • bkmn

    ICE seems to be exempt from following rules. That needs to change.

    • Lazycrockett

      I’m surprised how quickly ICE became the SS.

      • safari

        They’ve been given permission to act however they want and have a lot of power. It’s frightening.

      • Tawreos

        Except they have tools the SS would give their children to have had.

      • FAEN

        I’m not. Sessions belongs to the SS.

        • Bad Tom

          He thought the KKK was alright.
          Until he found out they smoked pot.

      • Cuberly

        I already have one relative that jumped on the, deport at any cost, train. Emphasis on ANY COST.

        It’s really sad, they should know better.

        • FAEN

          Your relative-why do they hate immigrants so much?

          • Cuberly

            I don’t think they even have a reason. They’re just foxified. Of all my relatives I’ve never heard them say anything even approximating racist.

          • FAEN

            Yeah that explains being foxified.

          • Cuberly

            It’s my elderly uncle, he turns 93 this year. I do notice that my aunt gives him serious side-eye if he starts a fox fueled rant.

            They were always the more down to earth, to each their own, of my relatives. Always thought that was why they had lived so long.

          • FAEN

            He’s 93, what can you do. I wish his peace.

          • Cuberly

            He was always my most favorite uncle, he was always so kind, fun and great to hang around when I was a kid.

            Besides, when someone has reached that age I think they should be able to do what ever the hell they want, no questions asked.

          • FAEN

            Absolutely.

      • bkmn

        I’m not. They have been problematic for some time.

    • Cackalaquiano

      And I’m concerned that average Americans won’t stand up for immigrants. Too many people need a scapegoat and they’re an easy target to pick on.

    • Kelly and Trump are the problem. They are why ICE and CBP are acting like jackbooted fascists.

      • bkmn

        ICE and CBP were problem agencies before Trump, but his election has put them into overdrive on many levels.

    • The_Wretched

      From a legal perspective, the fundamental flaw is that detention for immigration issues isn’t ‘criminal’ nor ‘punishment’ and therefor many of the usual protections don’t apply. Then layer on the lack of accountability for prisons (esp. for-profit ones) and it’s a guarentee of systemic human rights and civil rights abuses.

  • Tawreos

    Wait until they open the happy camps to house all of these poor people before they send them back to wherever they are from.

    • Bad Tom

      Reaccommodation Camps

  • another_steve

    Lawsuits are being filed on privacy grounds.

    These towers indiscriminately locate cellphone users within the range of the towers — whether or not they’ve been accused of a crime.

  • Lazycrockett
    • another_steve

      Did she say “fuck you” in that clip???

      LOVE IT if she did!

      • GayOldLady

        it sure sounded like it.

      • Rex

        Better her saying it than Trump actually doing it to all of us.

  • Bj Lincoln

    The local news reported a huge spike in non-criminal immigrants being rounded up and deported. Now they are spying on them with high tech equipment. So much for Drumpf’s promise to only deporting criminals.

    • Frostbite

      or any of his promises, except the ones he made to very rich donors.

      • Bj Lincoln

        The ones he sold whole departments to so they could run them into the ground.

    • chrisinphx

      How long before they’re using this tech to round up anyone who says anything negative about Trump?

  • Sam_Handwich
    • Bj Lincoln

      I was just doing the ‘ringy dingy’ thing just last night. LOL

  • safari

    This is not too surprising. They are used all the time. My hometown had a helicopter that flew every Friday and Saturday nights around the area that I think was staffed by the Michigan State Police. When I asked my PD-employed mother about it, the only thing she knew about its purpose was “we have a grant for it.” Creepy.

  • JWC

    Hello “BIG BROTHER”

    • Tawreos

      Don’t speak to Big Brother, the last thing you want is for it to notice you.

  • FAEN

    This is outrageous!

  • Treant

    (Checking skin tone) I’m white enough that I’m obviously an American, and fortunately gay doesn’t show, except in my fabulous fashion sense.

    No, seriously, that’s what it’s all about. Let’s get rid of the darkies.

    • safari

      Computers are actually pretty good at picking out gay, at least online.

      • Treant

        One did ask me if I wanted to interface with its rear USB, now that you mention it…

      • Bad Tom

        Linear classifiers are excellent these days.

  • Gustav2

    Damn another day in Trumpville. Just for a smile, we have this every time we drive into the garage and also when we look out the kitchen window….I’ve been staring at it a lot. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f505421195d7ff3c85fd543bf591d5a2a8c0e43fc1880c908a50e66f71ec120c.jpg

    • JWC

      what is it

      • Gustav2

        3 year old knockout rose, the buds start yellow (one in center of pic) then fade to white.

        • JWC

          gotcha

          • Gustav2

            It blooms and reblooms until late August.

          • JWC

            kewl

          • Bad Tom

            Fantastic.

        • AmeriCanadian

          Do they happen to be extraordinarily fragrant? I had some yellow Knockout roses at my previous home and they smelled heavenly!

          • Gustav2

            No scent.

    • Rex

      Beautiful. I love this time of year when everything is fresh and green and blooming.
      Trump hasn’t screwed that up.
      Yet.

      • Winky

        His climate stance will take care this!

    • Lovely rosebush you got there. Thanks for sharing!

      • Gustav2

        It will get angry with me when I whack it back this Fall. lol

        • edrex

          actually, i’ve decided that roses love that kind of abuse. every time i decimate (aka “prune”) roses they come back with a vengeance. i’ve dug up and transplanted mere stumps and they have returned stronger than ever. i’m not sure what can kill them.

          • Gustav2

            The deer pruned it for us last year, so I didn’t touch it.

            And yes, we live in the middle of the city.

          • edrex

            it’s lovely. you’ve inspired me to look for a “knockout” to plant this weekend.

          • Bj Lincoln

            I hacked at the bushes in my yard and got rid of a ton of dead or dying branches. She went crazy! I have so many blooms! I too think they like a good trim and care.

          • David Walker

            I have no way to prove this, but I think plants are determined to grow. It’s what they do. If anything, pruning merely encourages them, since they may have fewer or shorter branches but still have the same… what? power? inner strength?…to grow. They replace that which was lost. (I have no proof to offer.)

            Several years, a maple tree started growing beside the porch. I let it go until the first frost and then clipped it to the ground. It returned in the spring. I decided that if it wanted to live that much, who was I to try to kill it? I keep trimming it back a bit, but I have a really cute maple bush.

            My forsythia bush apparently loves a trim. In fact, I’m considering letting it go this summer as a reward for living through the many false alarms that it was OK to bloom this winter.

            My mother read in a Farmers Almanac that if you have an older, unproductive fruit tree, clobber the trunk with a 2×4 in the early spring. She did it once, just for the hell of it, and the tree produced more apples than any time in our memories. She did it to the other apple trees the next year, and most of them responded, too. She concluded that the trees thought they were getting a spanking for being lazy. She never did it again and they remain good trees…and she died 30 years ago. I’m not sure what conclusion can be drawn from that.

          • Lane

            Forsythias bloom on last year’s wood (that is, wood from the previous summer, since they bloom so early). You can certainly hack the heck out of it, but if you want a good display of flowers, make sure to do it early enough in the season that new growth happens (so like, soon) and can mature in time for winter.

          • David Walker

            Thank you.

          • Gustav2

            Knockouts are embarrassingly easy to grow. No care. Across the street our neighbor cut her two to 6 inches and they came back.

          • Lane

            The drawback to the Knockout series is that most of them lack significant scent. If you don’t mind that aspect, they’re lovely and indeed very easy.

    • Bj Lincoln

      I just saved 2 old pink rose bushes that had been ignored for years. They smell so good! They also bloom well into fall. I was amazed to see roses in December here. It’s too cold in Ohio for any flowers in Dec.. Your roses are beautiful. I can see why you are always looking at them.

    • netxtown

      I vote unanimously for your bush rather than them other ‘bushes’.

    • Lars Littlefield

      A dogwood shrub? Or is it a floribunda rose?

    • Blackfork

      Just look at the flowers, Lizzie….

  • Rebecca Gardner

    It’s getting to be that we should all only own burner phones.

    • safari

      Especially if you are traveling internationally.

    • Bad Tom

      I keep waiting for a crackdown on burner phones. Why isn’t one happening?

      • lattebud

        If the Republicans lose the secrecy of burner phones, how can the canoodle with their lobbyists and the Russians?

        • Bad Tom

          This sounds plausible.

      • IcyFaye

        Because phones are literally everywhere and many are so cheap they’re disposable, its like a crackdown on bottled water, it cant be done.

        • Bad Tom

          Cell phones operate on specific radio frequencies using complex methods which must be compatible locally and worldwide, and which require huge infrastructure to work, all of which are heavily regulated.

          Governments could get rid of burner phones if they wanted to. Why don’t they?

          • IcyFaye

            All of that’s irrelevant if you cant stop or even inhibit mass production or networking. Even if it could be inhibited, there’s little to no way to actually prove the identity of anyone holding a specific phone without registrations or banking info, both of which can be avoided by with several different hacking methods and simply paying cash. Thats not even counting prepaid phones and the grand canyon-esque gaps among those.

            Infrastructure size and complexity doesnt mean shit if nobody knows who’s using it, how, or why. To render burners useless, you’d need to know all of those things and find a way to stop people from bypassing any safeguards you make.

          • Bad Tom

            If burner phones were banned by law, made illegal, with strict enforcement and high penalties, they would not be sold at every convenience store.

            That, all by itself, would have an enormous impact on their availability.

            If all phones had to be registered with the state including bank info, etc., do you think the state can track your calls? What do you think is the national policy wrt burner phones in North Korea?

            What if telephone carriers were forbidden from allowing unregistered phones from connecting to their cell towers? That stuff isn’t free, and you won’t be able to build your own.

            The political will do ban these phones is lacking. I agree with that. But the notion that they CAN’T be banned is just incorrect.

            Now let’s discuss WiFi. Who owns IP backbones?

            In this country, it’s private enterprise. In other countries, it is the STATE. Do you think in countries where the state owns the internet that they can’t squeeze ip phone protocols?

            Sure, everyone can just turn to the dark net. But that’s harder. And more dangerous. And the dark net STILL runs on the same IP backbones.

          • IcyFaye

            I dont think you understand the logistics or practicality of anything you’re saying.

            “If burner phones were banned by law, made illegal, with strict
            enforcement and high penalties, they would not be sold at every
            convenience store. That, all by itself, would have an enormous impact on their availability.” Except, for all the reasons I already said, and more, there’s no way to prove which phones are burners and which arent. The state would never make them illegal because its logistically impossible to determine who uses which phones, when, and where, for everyone, when there are hundreds of thousands of phone calls and texts every minute. Not to mention there are tens of billions of phones or computers that can be turned into phones.

            “If all phones had to be registered with the state including bank info,
            etc., do you think the state can track your calls? What do you think is
            the national policy wrt burner phones in North Korea?” Registering something with the government doesnt mean they know where it is, what its for, or the state its in at all times. After all, cars have to be registered, doesnt stop them all sorts of illegal shit with them. Hell, just like cars, that could easily be bypassed by imports (both legal and illegal) or home-made tech from parts. North Korea’s a tire fire with terrible infrastructure and dogshit phone service that few people actually use. Not a good comparison.

            “What if telephone carriers were forbidden from allowing unregistered
            phones from connecting to their cell towers? That stuff isn’t free, and
            you won’t be able to build your own.” Again, just ’cause its illegal doesnt stop people from doing it. Hell, if you hack phones to forge registries or swap real registries to reroute calls to burners (something that could easily be done with duplicated SIM cards) that wouldnt even matter.

            “The political will do ban these phones is lacking. I agree with that.
            But the notion that they CAN’T be banned is just incorrect.” Pffft. Good luck getting hundreds of millions of people with access to billions of devices to obey laws that’re damn near impossible to enforce. The File Sharing community, knockoff industry, and refurbishing industry all say hi.

            “Now let’s discuss WiFi. Who owns IP backbones?” Who cares? IP changes, proxies, VPN’s, public servers, botnet protocols, ect. No amount of “Registration” would ever stop them, nor would they be good enough to bypass them through connecting through another country.

            “Sure, everyone can just turn to the dark net.” Yeah, they can do that too, but even that’s not necessary.

          • Bad Tom

            I don’t think you understand how cell phones work.

          • IcyFaye

            Really? THAT’S your response to everything I just pointed out?! After everything I explained in detail??? Wow.

          • Bad Tom

            “I dont think you understand the logistics or practicality of anything you’re saying.”

            Stopped reading after that.

          • IcyFaye

            You’re a fucking child.

    • KnownDonorDad
  • Rex

    Give us your tired, your poor, your technology challenged…

    • David Walker

      That lamp raised beside the golden door? It’s sputtering. And the golden door is getting harder and harder to open. They keep trying to lock it.

  • Cuberly

    OT: So Reid pretty much put the slap down on ScammyAnne.

    https://twitter.com/JoyAnnReid/status/865585682500255745

    • Bj Lincoln

      It would have disqualified ANYONE else from public service. Drumpf is rude, dumb as a rock and has a sick idea of how to treat women.

      • Cuberly

        Weiner and Trump are birds of a feather. Who would defend either one? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

        • The_Wretched

          It strikes me as weird to lump in a minor offender with a massive criminal. It’s like putting a shoplifter in with serial killers.

          • Bj Lincoln

            You do make a point. We know that Drumpf is a repeat offender who brags and pays off his accusers. Weiner has only done it twice that we know of and has been caught and paid the price.

          • The_Wretched

            I also wonder if Weiner was trying to be monogamous and is actually more of high novelty need type of sexuality. I don’t excuse his actions but lament that the general US landscape on sexuality doesn’t allow for people like him to have other outlets.

  • edrex

    what a fucking waste of resources.

  • The_Wretched

    And this misuse is exactly why privacy needs to be a bigger concern. Once data is collected or a means to collect data is created, it will be misused.

  • Lars Littlefield

    This is sort of coincidental. Yesterday, as we drove into Moab, Ut, we were pulled over by a Highway Patrolman and told to wait as an ICE crew showed up. My partner is Mexican national who has an O visa that allows him to reside in the USA. He just needs to renew it every 10 years. We were separated while goons ran checks on our identities. Then I was told I could follow them into Moab, they were keeping my partner.

    After detaining him six hours he was finally released. No apology. No reason given, except it was obvious they were looking for an excuse to deport him. He’s good for another four years. He’s not too happy about the experience. I tried to comfort him, telling him I’d suffered much worse at gun point from Federales in the State of Michoacán, MX. And it’s true. I was thrown in jail once for suspicion because I was told I was suspicious. You can learn some interesting things while waiting three days in a Mexican municipal jail. But he’s still in no mood to be comforted. The most worrisome thing about the whole experience was the determined look on the deputies. They were convinced they had found a couple of live ones. They wanted blood. And the fact we’re two men living openly together really frosted their sensibilities.

    Things are back to normal this morning, but needless to say the mood in our home is rather sullen.

    • Gustav2

      This shit makes me angry.

    • The_Wretched

      I suppose the outrage of one white guy half a country away doesn’t mean much but you two have it from me. There has to be more relevant ways for them to spend our tax dollars that are non-abusive and actually help.

    • KnownDonorDad

      There should always be a reason given as a formal report when detaining someone that long. Reparations of some sort would be even better.

      • Bad Tom

        Accountability would be best of all.

    • edrex

      man. nothing useful to say except “i’m so sorry.” sincere thoughts, and yes, something loosely resembling “prayers” for y’all’s well being and safety.

    • Bad Tom

      Sorry to hear that. It really sucks.
      And no coincidence at all.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Just curious-what is your partner exceptional at, O visa and all? Besides the obvious, I mean. 🙂

      • Lars Littlefield

        I’d tell you,but then we’d have to kill you. 😉

    • Bj Lincoln

      That really sucks. Some cops can be real ass holes. I am pissed that you had to go through such a hassle for no reason and no apology. I am ashamed of my country right now.

      • Bad Tom

        Me too.

        • canoebum

          I think we should make a series of buttons in various languages for American travelers to wear, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, etc, which say “Please don’t blame me. I voted for Hillary”. They could forestall some misunderstandings.

          • Marionbwoody

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    • canoebum

      I am sorry to hear of this sad development. I hate to say it, but more than likely it will happen again. I hope you have attorney on retainer. Keep the number on speed dial.

      • Lars Littlefield

        That’s our opinion, too. It will probably happen again. The worst is getting over yesterday’s experience. We recently took a trip to his home in Mexico to meet my potential in-laws. No problems. They liked me. But this puts even more pressure on me, because I refuse to relocate and give up everything I’ve put together here. I’m living the dream I always dreamt of having. And my partner has it pretty good. He admits his home life is better here than in Mexico. Now all plans for getting formally hitched are once again on the back burner. Besides, if we left who would take care of our geese and all the other animals? ;-

        • gaymex1

          Swallow it and move. What good is a pile of “things” when your partner can’t relax?
          Sorry it happened. It’s awful. But why tempt the fates? There are plenty of places besides Mexico that offer a better atmosphere than the U.S. if you don’t like Mexico.
          That’s my gut reaction. Obviously, it’s not that simple, but you can’t take shit with you when life is done.
          I am really happy for you that your partner turned up on your doorstep. Change your doorstep so you can be together–in peace.

          • Lars Littlefield

            On one level, I agree. However, you really need to to see my farm and where I live. This is where I’ve made my peace and want to spend the days I have left until I die. And after that, I better be mixed into the compost and sprinkled about with the manure spreader or I’ll come back and throw some fierce paranormal attitude.

          • gaymex1

            I wrote a response to this, but I have no idea where it went. Basically it was just to say that I have no right to tell anyone how to live their life AND you shouldn’t have to choose between living in peace and moving. Maybe it will show up. I really feel for you guys. Peace.

        • canoebum

          Go on with your lives together. Fuck those guys. It’s more important that you make yourselves happy first. But you must have a competent immigration attorney to advise you, and follow every part of the process down to the letter. Good luck. You live in one of the most magical landscapes on the planet. Who would want to leave (if you like country living)?

    • Jamie_Johnson

      Let’s just cut to the chase and save about 30 – 50 years of trouble: On behalf of our — your — country, we’re sorry.

      In the meantime, I suggest lawyering up and getting ready for the continuous harassment.

    • fuzzybits

      Sorry to hear that happened. An old friend spent nearly three years in a Mexican prison for drugs. She had a lot of stories to tell.

      • Lars Littlefield

        My boy friend during my junior year in college begged me to spend the summer hitch hiking in Mexico. I couldn’t do it because of summer school. I didn’t see him until the following December. He’d been picked up by some happy Mexican college students, they were pulled over and all thrown in jail because the Mexican students had a few joints on them. My boy friend would have if he could have. But he didn’t. Still, he spent 7 months in a jail cell where everyone pushed their shit into a hole with a stick. And it turns out he was released by accident with a couple of brothers whose father was a US Senator.

        He showed up on my front porch in a heavy snow storm without a coat and still wearing his prison clothes. Wasn’t pretty. And all that time I thought he’d just written me off.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Further proof that it really is all about skin color, my Canadian husband and I were in Tuscon, AZ, and we decided we would visit renowned Tubac, just a short drive down I-19. On our way back to Tuscon we experienced an immigration checkpoint, right on the freeway. As an American, this was most bizarre to me as I had never experienced this before on U.S. soil. It also caused me to panic slightly because I only had my Canadian driver’s license and no proof of U.S. citizenship. Well, as it turns out, it didn’t matter because all the officer did was shine a flashlight on both of our faces and then release us. Apparently we were “white enough”.

    • David Walker

      A new friend was shocked when I wrote that I would never recommend a foreigner come here, whether to visit or to live. It was in regards to the Chechen gay refugees. They had the necessary 3 strikes against them: they were gay, brown, and Muslim, whether in fact or because it’s the dominant religion in Chechnya. I admit that being barred from entry because they’re gay may be hyperbole, and I later in the essay mentioned that if they did manage to find sanctuary here, they’d have neighbors to contend with…for all 3 reasons.
      He admitted we might have our “problems,” but that was all Obama’s fault. He then repeated everything he ever heard on talk radio in an “everybody knows that” tone. Plus, it’s getting so much easier for us gays…people are constantly becoming more accepting.
      Had I known your experience, I would have asked your permission to use it as part of my reply. And if he should reply defending 45’s desire to seal our borders, I’d like your permission to use your experience in the reply, please.

      • Lars Littlefield

        Go ahed. Spread the word. for the last hour we’ve been debating getting married ASAP — like maybe, tomorrow. We have a close friend in the County offices who prepares marriage licenses. He’s cautioned that we need to be sure he’s around to prepare a license, because the same sex marriage rules don’t necessarily apply to a foreign national here on a visa marrying a US citizen — at least in the different world of Utah. He’l make sure we get the license so we can have another friend sign it, making us legally a married couple. We’re waiting to have yet another couple of friends (both attorneys) to show up and have an early dinner to advise us regarding my partner’s future status as married to me, a US citizen, and still being a Mexican National with an O visa. I suspect they’ll recommend he apply for citizenship ASAP. And I can assure you he’s not having any of that, especially after yesterday’s fun adventure.

        • gaymex1

          Damn. I hate this. Good luck. I apologize to you on behalf of my fucked up country. Well, ex-country. I have ties because of friendships over the years and family, but who would have thought we’d ever become a country of “papers, please”–most likely without the “please”.

    • Lane

      God dammit. That’s awful. We really treat out citizens and guests like shit in this country lately. I’m very sorry you two had to deal with that garbage.

  • “Judges? We don’t need no stinkin’ Judges!”

    • TexasBoy

      Doesn’t matter. If they say “no” they’ll do it anyway.

  • TexasBoy

    Yet this morning I was at Lowe’s and an older white couple was shopping. It was evident neither of them were fluent in English, they were both speaking German. And yet, no one thought they posed a danger to America. Maybe it was their skin tone, as we all know, terrorists only come in medium to dark shades.

  • Hue-Man

    Papiere, bitte.
    Do Americans carry around their birth certificates? I leave mine safely at home, along with my passport. I don’t have any other document that “proves” I’m a Canadian citizen.

    • AmeriCanadian

      No we do not but more and more of us have enhanced driver’s licenses that are accepted at U.S. land borders as proof of citizenship. These are available in Canada too.

  • juanjo54

    ICE and the Border Stasi have always been scum. Obama had toned them down a little but now they are back to their old tricks. I have dealt with these people both in terms of family members as well as clients on relatively simple matters where they just decided to make things difficult.

    I was involved in a trial one time were officers were asked how it was they decided to question someone. One testified that any well dressed Latin was suspect because “Mexicans like to dress up impress people”, another genius stated that any Latin dressed in work clothes was suspect because “Mexicans do manual labor and wear that type of clothing”. Then there was the one where one guy said if I am driving on the road and they won’t look at me, “I stop them because they are avoiding me” while his buddy later said, “I stop anyone who looks directly at men because people never do that, they always look away”.

    My favorite story though is one from around 6 years ago when my now husband and I went to Ensenada. We walked across the border returning to the USA and the Border boys just waived us through. My Italian born husband who had a work visa at the time, was prepared to show it and his passport. After we left he commented, “I guess I am not brown enough”.

  • JCF

    Assholes.