Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cell-Phone tracking: Minn cops know where you are with KingFish-UPDATE

Since 2005, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has paid nearly $750,000 for what they call a cellular exploitative device. After the state's top cop agency got their new spy tool, the Hennepin County Sheriff had to get one, too.  In 2010, Hennepin County Sheriff's got a device for nearly $400,000.

The BCA wants to keep you from knowing about these secret tools.  They have pulled a shade of "total" secrecy, a blackout. What the secret tool does is track mobility of anyone in a general area with their mobile device and grabs the numbers of individual's outgoing and incoming phone calls, possibly content messages, but also the location of people.
 
As people know who may follow or have read my blog posts over the last few months I've been doing data requests and reporting on these new tech tools. I have been asking for what the devices do, the costs, the inactive criminal investigations which the tool has been used (public data), protocols and guidelines used, legal thresholds, the contract and the name of the vendor who provides the spy/surveillance equipment.

The Sheriff of Hennepin County provided more public data to me than the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (BCA) did.

The communication I got from the Sheriff's lawyer gave me the contract, the legal threshold (court order) less than a search warrant, and the number of times which the tool has been used.

Quite different though from the state's top cop shop, the BCA.  I got nothing, other than a couple of letters confirming they have a device and the cost since 2005.  I am still in the accountability and transparency fight with them, by sending them another data request to review and inspect all inactive criminal investigations (public data) which the Kingfish or Stingray were used in.

Today the USA Today published an in-depth investigative story on this type of technology and the issues surrounding it.

I do not have the resources to fight the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or any government agency through the judicial process to get them to be accountable, transparent, and scrutinized by the public.  Only the Minnesota Legislature can with laws and effective oversight.

Over the forty years plus years I have learned about abuses of power in national, state, and local government, we, Minnesotan's cannot say abuses do not occur.  A secret law enforcement system is an anathema and repugnant in our democracy and all things I have fought for.  If the government does not trust us, it can always go somewhere else and rule over a people it does trust, but government  cannot do this, because we rule.

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL POST DONE ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2013

http://opensecretsmn.blogspot.com/2013/09/cell-phone-tracking-minn-cops-know.html




2 comments:

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