New Tools Let You Protect Yourself Against Unconstitutional Police Spying
WASHINGTON, DC — When it comes to spying on your private life and habits, it’s not just the NSA that should concern you, but the local police station down the street.
The surveillance technology used by local police is getting better and better.
They can track license plates, track identities with facial recognition software, biometrics, CCTVs and most alarmingly, they can now use Stingrays to scoop up information from your smartp...
If information from your smartphone — such as your text messages, private photos, banking and social media activity — falls into the wrong hands, it could spell disaster.
The most effective way to guard against spying on your phone is to simply stop using a phone or carrying a phone with you everywhere you go.
But for those of us who love the benefits of our phones too much to ditch them, an even better solution is to invest in a phone shielding system that blocks EMF — the new Tunnel case is the best shield on the market for this purpose.
You’d think that shutting your phone off or switching to a non-connection mode (like airplane mode) would protect you, but unfortunately phones still function in a low-power (or base-band) mode, even if they’re switched “off.” This is why many veteran activists are beginning to either ditch their phones completely or invest in reliable shielding cases.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has also just launched the Street-Level Surveillance Project.
The Project is described by EFF as follows:
The Street-Level Surveillance Project is a web portal loaded with comprehensive, easy-to-access information on police spying tools like license plate readers, biometric collection devices, and “Stingrays.’’
The SLS Project addresses an information gap that has developed as law enforcement agencies deploy sophisticated technology products that are supposed to target criminals but that in fact scoop up private information about millions of ordinary, law-abiding citizens who aren’t suspected of committing crimes. Government agencies are less than forthcoming about how they use these tools, which are becoming more and more sophisticated every year, and often hide the facts about their use from the public. What’s more, police spying tools are being used first in low-income, immigrant, and minority communities—populations that may lack access to information and resources to challenge improper surveillance.
“Law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local level are increasingly using sophisticated tools to track our cell phone calls, photograph our vehicles and follow our driving patterns, take our pictures in public places, and collect our fingerprints and DNA. But the public doesn’t know much about those tools and how they are used,’’ said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch.
It doesn’t matter if you have done nothing wrong.
Chances are you are being spied on anyway, given the vast surveillance network that has been set up and deployed since 9/11.
The pretext was that all of this surveillance would protect us from terrorists, but in reality it has been used to monitor our behavior and patterns.
The things you say on your text messages, or the videos you watch from your phone, or the private photos you send to your loved ones — any of this information can be scooped up, watched by strangers, and potentially used against you.
What’s cool about the new project launched by the EFF is that it will be updated with information about Stingrays as well.
Stingrays are the devices that mimic cell phone towers to trick your phone into connecting to them. Police equipped with Stingrays in their vehicles can drive around your neighborhood and scoop up tons of information right from your unshielded phone.
That’s why it’s so critical to be careful about what you say on your phone nowadays. In addition, consider investing in a strong shielding system to guard your phone from connecting to Stingrays when you’re not using it.
The idea behind EMF shielding is that when you’re not using your phone, like those times you’re just walking around with it stuffed in your pocket, you can keep your phone enclosed in a shield to prevent snoopers from tracking your location or scooping up your private data. When you’re ready to use the phone again, simply unshield it and any messages left for you while you were off the grid can still be retrieved.
In addition to investing in a shielding system, we recommend that you acquaint yourself with the valuable information that the EFF has put together in their new Street-Level Surveillance Project. You’ll find access to all sorts of resources and tools as the Project grows. You’ll also stay updated with the latest news about how you’re being spied on, and you’ll get access to videos and articles about how it all works, putting you in a better position to protect your identity and information.
One video from The Project shows an overall view of all the license plate reading that police do around the City of Oakland — it’s particularly disturbing how frequently they do it. Check out the video below: