CIA Aided Program to Spy on U.S. Cellphones

WASHINGTON—The Central Intelligence Agency played a crucial role in helping the Justice Department develop technology that scans data from thousands of U.S. cellphones at a time, part of a secret high-tech alliance between the spy agency and domestic law enforcement, according to people familiar with the work.

The CIA and the U.S. Marshals Service, an agency of the Justice Department, developed technology to locate specific cellphones in the U.S. through an airborne device that mimics a cellphone tower, these people said.

h/t Xavier

  • Ron MacDonald

    Take the battery out of your phone when not in use, use half dozen pay as you go sim cards for making calls and it will be very difficult for them to find you.

    • Sounds like a plan.

      • G

        Thanks for the tip.

    • Frau Katze

      Don’t have a cellphone. (Of course, I don’t need one either…I realize it’s a requirement for some jobs).

      • Justin St.Denis

        I have a cell phone for business purposes ONLY. Other than my wife, only people who have my business card have my cell number (theoretically anyway). Unfortunately, I do some business in Europe, so that means my cell phone is “on” most of the time. Sometimes, progress actually kinda sucks, no?

    • mauser 98

      cannot remove battery in some new phones

    • Justin St.Denis

      Also, stick a post-it note over the camera lens on you iPad or computer of smart TV (esp. a Samsung) when not in use. You might even consider unplugging these units from your Internet service entirely when not in use if you want genuine security.

      • Ron MacDonald

        A cell phone can be turned on and off and can used to eavesdrop on your conversation by a third party without you having a clue it is being done..

  • tom_billesley

    Dirtbags on the ground: if you look up and can’t see a Cessna, it’s OK to talk jihad with your chums. It’s guaranteed that there’s absolutely no risk that anyone will be monitoring. Heh.

  • mauser 98

    …..airborne surveillance also known as Stingray
    1994 back door cellphone surveillance law by Bill Clinton .
    forced manufacturers to make spy capability mandatory

    ” telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of
    telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment,
    facilities, and services to ensure that they have built-in surveillance

  • Justin St.Denis

    Bandwidth was set aside in fibre-optic underground trans Atlantic telecommunications systems to accommodate covert operations such as spying. That was back in the mid-1970s. Ditto satellites back then. I learned all this in my first job after finishing university. Since then, I have always assumed someone could be “listening in”. Good move on my part, it turned out. I earned a reputation for extraordinary discretion and was always valued far above my pay-grade by those who needs my skills/services. I am still trying to completely retire, but I keep being pulled (tempted?) back in by some professional challenge I’ve never undertaken before. So I call myself a semi-retired consultant now. 🙂