Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Dirt Boxes: The Newest Government Tool for Warrantless Privacy Invasion | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2018

Texas Air National Guardsmen spy on their fellow citizens. You have to wonder about the integrity of the people who chose/stay in the military.

After a while I would think reality would become obvious: Drug dealer cell phones aren’t the main target. We are killing one hundred times more civilians than terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Yemen.  Those convoys that get blasted are often, wedding parties, funerals, family gatherings. Their actions do far more harm than good and only recruit more terrorists.

A few villagers get machine gunned from a helicopter, the residents that come their aid get machine gunned, the Reuters photog cover the scene gets it too. That much fun should be illegal.

No doubt some in the military have swallowed the line they are preserving freedom and saving the world.  It shouldn’t take a lot to figure out the real story. If there was any conscience involved you would think it would kick in after a while.

Would you rather be spying on your fellow Americans, in Iraq in a  C-130 gunship leveling entire villages or out looking for honest work?

Easy weekend money, play with big boy toys, the power trip and maybe a guiltless (I was ordered to go) field trip to really tear things up. That much fun is fun and legal- for some.

That plane flying overhead could very well be scooping up your most intimate data, especially if you live in Texas. The Texas National Guard has reportedly equipped two of its RC-26 military aircraft with cell phone data-collecting dragnets, known as dirt boxes. The ability of government agencies to add new modifications to their aerial surveillance capabilities without any real oversight should sound an alarm for all Americans, not just those who live in the Lone Star State.

Dirt boxes are one of the top cell site simulators, devices that mimic cell towers and fool phones into sharing data with them. While the Department of Justice (DOJ) has advised agencies not to collect the actual content of phone calls or messages without warrants, the simulators have the ability to do so. Additionally, these tools can record and listen to calls as they occur, block phones from sending and receiving calls, and collect metadata and geolocation data, allowing law enforcement officials to track the exact location of any phone user in the area. Just the metadata alone can paint a very specific picture of the individual sending it.

“They indiscriminately gather information on countless innocent people who have the misfortune of being in the vicinity of a suspect target,” said Stephanie Lacambra, criminal defense staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “They also disproportionately burden minority communities.”


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