Since when is the FBI available (for anyone with the right social connections) as a private troll-uncloaking cyber police force?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to get the FBI to take action on an actual online death threat case, if the recipient isn’t a well-connected “honorary ambassador” in the military social elite? The short version: it simply does not happen. This whole story smells.
As former Wired News reporter Ryan Singel tweeted, “If the Broadwell/Petraeus case doesn’t show how ridiculous the FBI’s powers are, I don’t know what will prove it to you.
Did you know that commercial color photocopiers have a built in device that stop it from operating when it detects documents from governmental agencies?
Do you know how hard that makes it to get copies of stuff for a lawyer?
Suitcase-sized and portable, StingRays are used by law enforcement to track mobile phones in real time. The device electronically impersonates a cellphone tower and dupes the mobile phone into connecting through its own antennae.
Documents obtained by L.A. Weekly through the Freedom of Information Act show that the Los Angeles Police Department is quietly using the StingRay. (Police in Miami, Fort Worth and Gilbert, Ariz., also are known to have the devices.)
LAPD refuses to discuss how it uses the powerful tool, perhaps copying the FBI’s playbook, which argued in the Rigmaiden case that revealing too many details would cause serious harm to future investigations.
The department, through a spokesperson, refused to comment on the device, despite repeated requests from the Weekly. Through the department’s Discovery Unit, which handles requests from the public and media under the California Public Records Act, LAPD also declined to reveal any information on how the devices are used.
LAPD even refuses to say whether its detectives are required by police chief Charlie Beck and the Los Angeles Police Commission — all of whom are appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — to obtain a search warrant before the StingRay is deployed against unsuspecting L.A. residents’ cellphones.
The FBI has argued that a search warrant is not required, a question at issue in the Rigmaiden case, and one that Beck’s people refused to address.
But LAPD is using the devices.