Recently released 2012 documents reveal unnecessary federal-state collusion, and a lack of transparency and accountability resulting from this dangerous alliance.
Washington Post technology reporter Craig Timberg wrote in a The Switch blog that the FBI forces state and local levels of government to sign non-disclosure agreements before taking on sophisticated military technology such as the IMSI catcher, which poses as a cell phone tower to indiscriminately collect electronic data.
The report explained this problematic situation in further detail:
The FCC last month began investigating reports of illegal use of IMSI catchers, by foreign intelligence services and criminals but has said it does not oversee the use of the surveillance gear by federal government agencies. Last week, the marketers of a device that’s designed to detect IMSI catchers reported finding 18 in the Washington area over two days of searching.
The feds essentially bribe state and local governments with gear given to them under the guise of keeping us safe and fighting terrorism. But once they have them, the temptation to use this kind of gear for regular criminal investigations becomes too much to handle. Generally, when government officials at any level are given a measure of power, they use it. That is why this situation puts our rights in such jeopardy.
Furthermore, when state and local government agencies get into the bed with the federal government, there are always strings attached. In the case of IMSI catchers, the strings came in the form of non-disclosure agreements. The feds do not want the public to know how their rights are being violated, and they certainly don’t want them to understand how they can take action to bring this shameful process to a halt.
Our model legislation against location gathering legally blocks these types of illicit, closed-door arrangements. By banning the warrantless gathering of location information from cell phones and other electronic devices, it prohibits state and local law enforcement from utilizing this type of technology without a warrant, and makes any such information gathered through these devices inadmissible in court. If states fail to take action against warrantless location tracking, state and local law enforcement will IMSI catcher and Hailstorm to destroy to violate our privacy.
It’s not a matter of if, but when.
The Freedom from Location Surveillance Act is a measure that is limited in scope, but it can have a profound effect on stopping the unconstitutional federal agenda. It protects the independence and integrity of your state government, and stops the state from using certain technologies to violate your liberties. It is the first step toward restoring the 4th Amendment as the law of the land, and stopping federal criminality. Join us, and begin to free your state government from the NSA’s tentacles before it is too late.