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      Little-Known Surveillance Tool Raises Concerns by Judges, Privacy Activists

      Apr 09, 2013
      In March, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act that revealed federal investigators’ use of simulated cell phone tower technology to collect serial numbers and locations of cellphones and other wireless devices as a way to track criminal suspects. According to an article in the Washington Post, investigators failed to inform judges of this practice or to justify its use when seeking authorization for the surveillance. The newly obtained documents showed that judges were concerned about the invasive nature of this surveillance and that in 2011 the chief of the criminal division of the Northern California U.S. Attorney’s office ordered that such applications be reviewed by a line supervisor before being submitted to a magistrate judge.

      In March, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act that revealed federal investigators’ use of simulated cell phone tower technology to collect serial numbers and locations of cellphones and other wireless devices as a way to track criminal suspects. According to an article in the Washington Post, investigators failed to inform judges of this practice or to justify its use when seeking authorization for the surveillance. The newly obtained documents showed that judges were concerned about the invasive nature of this surveillance and that in 2011 the chief of the criminal division of the Northern California U.S. Attorney’s office ordered that such applications be reviewed by a line supervisor before being submitted to a magistrate judge.

      More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/little-known-surveillance-tool-raises-concerns-by-judges-privacy-activists/2013/03/27/8b60e906-9712-11e2-97cd-3d8c1afe4f0f_story.html

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