Seattle Police Deny Having or Using "Stingray" Cell Phone Data Sucking Device

Comments

1
We by way of representative government (HA!) keep giving the police more and more tools and clearance to circumvent the laws and thwart any semblance of government oversight and accountability.

The police cannot and should not be trusted to police themselves.

No one entrusted with power, especially the power to kill, should be allowed to be so opaque and unaccountable.
2
Well, that's good because Washington State Constitution makes use of the Stingray unconstitutional - and they know it.
3
The NDA is with Harris Corp. (the Stingray manufacturer) not the FBI.
4
The executive branch has been found to be actively and intentionally misleading the legislative branch, the judicial branch, and the public. That, alone, is cause for alarm.

I'm a bit concerned about use of the name "Stingray" to refer generically to any of a variety of IMSI catchers. As far as I know, we don't know just which device Tacoma bought from Harris or what it is capable of after the quarter-million-dollar upgrade they made to it. Kate Martin reports that Tacoma's device can only receive metadata (who called, when, how long), not voice audio or SMS text, but her source for that is still unclear.

I think we don't know what Tacoma's IMSI catcher can do, and I suspect Tacoma Police Department will continue to resist most efforts by the public to learn about their ability to perform dragnet surveillance. I don't know of any technological impediment to making one of these devices capable of relaying calls and texts to the real tower so they can listen in. And metadata can be quite revealing, and thus deserves protection from unwarranted search.

Regardless of what this device (or devices?) can do, how it is used now, and how it might be used in the future, the police either lied to or otherwise misled Tacoma City Council in order to get it, and they openly admit to having told the courts that they would use a different device when requesting search warrants that they then executed using this very different device (something about which ACLU of Northern California warns defense attorneys.) We shouldn't trust anything they tell us about this until we confirm it independently.

I think we need to look extra hard at public staff when they try to deceive us and our representatives about their activities. Police are no exception, and it's even more important with them, because they have such extraordinary ability and authority to harm people and to suspend people's rights and liberties.
5
Where is this fabled non-disclosure agreement, and why are Tacoma Police Department staff refusing to let the public read it? Is the absurdity of this lost? The document that says that information about a piece of equipment or a procedure should be secret should not, itself, be secret.

Tacoma staff are still holding some of the records I requested in June:


2. Records regarding any offer, proposal, arrangement, agreement, or memorandum of understanding with Washington State Patrol ("WSP"), Naval Criminal Investigative Service ("NCICS"), Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), U.S. Marshals Service, FBI's Data Intercept Technology Unit ("DITU"), King County Regional Intelligence Group ("KCRIG"), Pierce County Regional Intelligence Group ("PCRIG"), South Sound Regional Intelligence Group ("SSRIG"), or any corporation, to borrow, permanently acquire from, or use any cell site simulator owned or possessed by the WSP, NCICS, FBI, U.S. Marshals, DITU, KCRIG, PCRIG, SSRIG, or corporation

3. All nondisclosure agreements with Harris Corporation, Digital Receiver Technology (DRT, formerly Utica Systems, now a subsidiary of Boeing Corporation), Septier Communication Limited, Proximus LLC, any other corporation, and any state or federal agencies, regarding your agency's actual or potential possession or use of cell site simulators


They claimed this week that those public records are under review, and will be for another month. They refuse to say who is reviewing them and claim that time spent on this task is not tracked.

From Anderson, Lisa to Phil Mocek on Aug. 26, 2014:
Mr. Mocek:

Unfortunately, records responsive to items #2 and #3 of your request are still in review. It is now anticipated records should be available by September 16, 2014. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Regards,

Lisa Anderson
Public Disclosure Assistant
(253) 591-5188
733 Market Street, Room 11
Tacoma, WA 98402


From Phil Mocek to Tacoma Police Department on Aug. 26, 2014:
Ms. Anderson:

Who is reviewing records responsive to items #2 and #3? Approximately how much time is spent each week on the processing of my request?

Cordially,
Phil Mocek



From Anderson, Lisa to Phil Mocek on Aug. 27, 2014:
Records responsive to your public disclosure request are being reviewed in the Police Department. The hours or amount of time to review public records responses are not tracked.
Regards,

Lisa Anderson
Public Disclosure Assistant
(253) 591-5188
733 Market Street, Room 11
Tacoma, WA 98402
6
The purchaser must abide by the Harris Corp. Terms & Conditions of acquisition, which include publicly denying purchase of such a device.
7
SPD's PR staff are great at communicating willingness to operate in the open, and I believe that they understand the need for it, but SPD's records staff operate as if people who request access to our public records are a hostile enemy. If, as Michaud told Ansel, SPD are trying to become as transparent as possible, they'd be well off to cough up documentation of they have of their department effectively borrowing both the device and an operator when I ask for records about them borrowing the device. Leaving those out, then later saying, "Oh, we don't actually borrow an IMSI catcher from anyone. We have Tacoma PD staff bring theirs over and run it for us," is the opposite of transparent.

My appeal of SPD's response that none of the records I requested exist:


From Phil Mocek to Seattle Police Department on Aug. 6, 2014:
Dear Sir or Madam:

I appeal. Based on the content of the administrative tracking file provided to me, I do not believe that a thorough search for records responsive to my June 20, 2014, request (your identifier: P2014-2076) was performed. The file indicates that few staff were consulted and that their responses did not indicate whether or not responsive records exist. Records Manager Bonnie Voegele claims that seven units of your agency were contacted, but your administrative tracking file indicates only that one was contacted. Your administrative tracking file indicates also that e-mail searches for only two of the dozens of terms mentioned in my request were made.

Both Ms. Voegele's final response to me on July 25, indicating that she believes the claim the department does not own a cell site simulator to imply that none of the 13 classes of records I requested exist, and the July 2 e-mail from Susan Daley to Ms. Voegle in which Ms. Daley stated, "Per Sgt. O'Quin of the Criminal Intelligence Section's Technical Support Unit -- we do not own any of this equipment. Period," communicate the faulty assumption that because Seattle Police Department does not own a cell site simulator, none of the records I requested exists. In response to Ms. Voegele's July 7 e-mail to Ms. Daley in which she emphasized multiple records unrelated to the ownership of cell site simulators, Mr. O'Quin responded on July 8 via e-mail, neither confirming nor denying existence of such records. Mr. O'Quin stated only that 1) one particular unit of your agency (TESU) have not used equipment from one particular manufacturer of cell site simulators (Harris), and 2) that TESU staff are unaware of who used that one manufacturer's equipment "for cases."

It is possible for an agency that does not own such equipment to have previously owned it, to have borrowed it, to have evaluated it, to have received offers for others to lend it to them, to have made non-disclosure agreements with manufacturers of it, to have training materials for use of it, to have communicated with wireless carriers regarding the use or potential use of it, to have communicated with regulatory agencies regarding the use or potential use of it, to have records of investigations which involved the use of it, or to have applied to courts for authorization to use it.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek
8
Go get 'em, Phil! I'd be happy to contribute funds to any legal efforts surrounding these inquiries. The public must know.
9
How the fuck can courts, citizens, and policy makers determine if this is constitutional when no one can talk about it?
10
WOW! Great investigative techniques Anshole!

Too bad you never spoke with anyone from any wireless networking information technology companies, as they would have told you that it's been about fifteen years since companies like HP got tired of law enforcement agencies running to them and asking them run promiscuous wireless programs, so they finally said, here you go, here's how you do it, now stop bugging us constantly with your piddly emergencies

Then when real journalists brought similar stories to print, they would stick out like a sore thumb against your supremacist propaganda which is only meant to through concerned citizens off the transparency trail
11
whoops! throw not through, my bad
12
Clearly, what we need to do here is require all police officers to wear badge cameras.
13
The men and women of law enforcement put their life on the line everyday, doing their job, protecting and serving, it's not the officers of law enforcement that the problem exists, it's a procedural epidemic.

Officers of law can only protect and serve to the extent that their written procedures and protocol allow them. The procedures which overstep a citizen's rights stem from the bullscript paranoia of terrorism. The only tool that spreads such paranoia is the media
14
Did no one notice how many murderers, child endangerers, and other criminals they caught using said devices? Who cares if the police check out boring data every once in a while if it's for the greater good? If you have nothing to hide then you should be less upset about this... besides I don't think the police care about your sexts anyways.
15
We call BS. Tacoma and its prosecutors judges cops all talk. Even their elected prosecutor is good buds with Sheriff spokesperson who admitted to using stingray. The elected prosecutor is on a controversial committee ti select new judges. He even recently conversed with the sheriff dept to gather emails from the head IT forensic detective who later sued the county for labeling him a Brady cop.

$20 bucks says the Pierce County law enforcement community are liars and betcha the head cheeses of the prosecutors office know what illegal stingray IMSI data was used for their cases.
16
Phil

$20 bucks says that the elected law enforcement officials in Pierce County know about StingRay. Hard to believe the spokesperson for PC sheriff who is close to the prosecutor and who outed Tacoma for using a StingRay and whom he himself allegedly used it to find his adopted daughter this last year didnt converse with his elected law enforcements buddies.

The entire judicial system and several judges should be reviewed by the ACLU snd DOJ. We know of PC cases where friends of judges conveniently were given their judge of chose including Culpepper as their chosen appointed judge on a case. How the hell does that happen. Only in Pierce County.

How in the world can a PC sheriff have his email spied on by Sheriff Pastor's Sgts and then shared with the Prosecutor. Only in Pierce County.

So $20 bucks says there are more people lying about the knowledge and use of StingRay and not just the cops.

Great work Phil. Keep digging.
17
See, that's where you're wrong, non- may I call you Non? affiliated with ACLU, because it isn't legal to hack into email accounts.

There is a big difference between reading texts between mobile devices and hacking into administrators e-mails, then publishing stories like a low-life journalist pretending he got his information from a concerned employee who wishes to remain anonymous.

Reading texts is also a different ballpark than listening in on spoken phone conversations,

AND THE COMPLETELY BULLSHIT STORY AND NAME "STINGRAY"

is all a bunch of tabloid hype

Reading text messages sent and received from cellular phones has always be utilized by nearly every good detective and law enforcement officer when dealing with criminals,

It's been common practice ever since Apple and other mainland China cell phone manufacturers agreed to produce smart phones

But instead of writing about the fine print that rarely gets read when you consent and agree to this "open" text policy -- which is what you do when you hit yes before you can use Apple's phone -- because it's not the officers of law nor the Chinese manufacturers who've already sold you out.

But The Stranger isn't about informing citizens with knowledge, the stranger is running along the sidelines, hustling and swindling, pretending to have your back
when they are on the opposing side of Truth, Liberty, Freedom, and Justice

They are also fighting against the men and women who daily serve and protect those rights

And fuck you slog, if you're going to edit my comments why not delete them?

18
It is illegal, to hack emails, fuck you slog
19
The police chief assassinating his wife in front of their children was not a sufficient illustration of the venial practices of Tacoma’s master elite to get any lasting remedies instituted.
Maybe this time this is an example of something strong enough to bring to light what Tacoma really is. You can count out the feds. Our pres, is to similar in ethics to see any action there. Maybe if some minorities civil rights was being violated sufficiently it would be enough to get something done by the State? No we need some people to go Ferguson before anything would be done. Then those actually present at the incident will see what can and does happen to victim/citizens every day in this dictatorship. If there was only one dictator it would be possible to get something done. But every member of the elite and their appointed minions is a dictator to every ordinary citizen.
Tacoma News Tribune, May 20, 2013 - Tacoma’s ethics board has found newly appointed City Councilman Robert Thoms violated city ethics rules. A victim of following the dictates of his masters who unfortunately was caught, betrayed for not doing what he was told to do? Did you vote for this person? You did not and will not ever get a chance to correct the policies of those in charge, behind the curtain, of Tacoma’s slippery ethics. Seems to me that the rule is to appoint, crown, individuals who will follow the directives they are given. The voters, sheeple, are too blind to have a say in the way that Tacoma is run. Woe to you if you point out any fishy dealings. The Tribune is not a voice for Tacoma citizens, it is a corporate master/slave of Tacoma’s elite. Maybe Ryan Mello learned this lesson?
20
What's up ben

There's a right way and tyrannical way to oust appointed city, state, or county council

and the punk ass journalist way is the wrong way

I am not saying the councilperson doesn't deserve to be ousted, but citizens who employ means which are worse than the offenses the the action is meant to correct almost always have unstated, ulterior motives

21
Dirtclustit you are very short sighted. Hope you never have children and if you already have them I hope they do not learn from the tv like you do.