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Police Who Want to Use Federal Cell Phone Surveillance Required to Keep Technology quiet

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has prohibited local and state police from discussing the capabilities of surveillance technology that enables law enforcement to eavesdrop on cell phone calls, the Washington Post reports.

A letter obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the FBI requires police departments to sign a “non-disclosure agreement” before buying the equipment.

The so-called cell site simulators trick phones into routing their calls through surveillance, the Washington Post wrote.

The FBI said the disclosure of the technology could make it possible for criminals to avoid or detect the surveillance.

“The FBI routinely asserts the law enforcement sensitive privilege over cell site simulator equipment because discussion of the capabilities and use of the equipment in court would allow criminal defendants, criminal enterprises, or foreign powers, should they gain access to the items, to determine the FBI’s techniques, procedures, limitations, and capabilities in this area,” said an affidavit by an FBI official in April.


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