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  • FBI Aerial Surveillance Of American Cities

    The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology -- all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.
    The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.
    Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.
    U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department's inspector general
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015...ake-companies/
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

  • #2
    I was going to post the same story, seems they have been running this secret Air Force for a long time, makes you wonder just how many secret operations our government agencies are running without the knowledge or oversight of our representatives?
    This is why we can never drop our guard and must always question authority, if we do not they will run right over us.
    Where did they get the funds to run this?
    I know this will not go over well with some of the other forum members but it has to be asked, are we really that different from Russia? Or Germany during the 30s and 40s?
    Our government spy's on us, they can issue secret warrants, no knock warrants, they can seize your property without a trial, read your mail, listen to phone calls, all in the name of Democracy and the Republic!
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

    Comment


    • #3
      One point: You have no right to privacy on a cell phone. You are transmitting into free air a signal, just like a radio, that is anyone's to listen in on. The government, FBI, or anyone else is free to listen in too.

      Like it or don't that's how things are.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        One point: You have no right to privacy on a cell phone. You are transmitting into free air a signal, just like a radio, that is anyone's to listen in on. The government, FBI, or anyone else is free to listen in too.

        Like it or don't that's how things are.
        Exactly.

        Using an aircraft for surveillance is no different than a ground vehicle. Local and state agencies have surveillance vehicles which have 'false-tagged' license plates (legally), usually through cooperative businesses, or paper fronts. Civilians can run license plates and aircraft registry numbers, too, so there's no point in having a surveillance vehicle, ground or air, with official plates/numbers.

        Both VICAP and CIRG make use of Federal aircraft, and usually they're not advertised as such for obvious reasons.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
          I was going to post the same story, seems they have been running this secret Air Force for a long time, makes you wonder just how many secret operations our government agencies are running without the knowledge or oversight of our representatives?
          This is why we can never drop our guard and must always question authority, if we do not they will run right over us.
          Where did they get the funds to run this?
          I know this will not go over well with some of the other forum members but it has to be asked, are we really that different from Russia? Or Germany during the 30s and 40s?
          Our government spy's on us, they can issue secret warrants, no knock warrants, they can seize your property without a trial, read your mail, listen to phone calls, all in the name of Democracy and the Republic!
          I would imagine that the number of secret/quasi-legal/totally illegal operations is mind-blowing.

          The funds are easy to get...just add them on to any existing bill as a rider under some innocuous title and viola`, instant funding. So an "agricultural bill to surveil crops and irrigation patterns", for example can be used to surveil something entirely different.

          The answer to your final question is one that I have been saying for years now - No, we are no different that Nazi Germany in the 30's, facing the rising tide of secret government surveillance, secret police operations and a president who wants to be a dictator and do away with that bothersome Constitution. The forum mebers who get uptight and start whining about Godwin's Law are those without any real knowledge or understanding of history.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #6
            Intersting that the fact that a federal agency that is supposed to protect us, a government that is supposed to be open to scrutiny and answer to the people is operating a secret Air Force spying on its citizens,
            And the only comment we get is, cell phone service us not private.
            It has nothing to do with cell phones, it has everything to do with secrecy, spying, and operating a program with no oversight.
            Absolutely unconstitutional, but justified by the blind lemmings.
            Our wars were not fought so we could be subjects of a intrusive government that fears us.
            What is so hard to understand ?
            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll add this:

              The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                Intersting that the fact that a federal agency that is supposed to protect us, a government that is supposed to be open to scrutiny and answer to the people is operating a secret Air Force spying on its citizens,
                And the only comment we get is, cell phone service us not private.
                It has nothing to do with cell phones, it has everything to do with secrecy, spying, and operating a program with no oversight.
                Absolutely unconstitutional, but justified by the blind lemmings.
                Our wars were not fought so we could be subjects of a intrusive government that fears us.
                What is so hard to understand ?
                The point that is hard to understand is the amount of baseless angst generated over nothing.

                Yes, the FBI owns airplanes, like fifteen thousand+ other US LE agencies (more if you count drones). They are not 'secret'; however, they, like countless other agencies, do not advertise the fact that they are surveillance vehicles. That is completely legal, utterly practical, and logical.

                TAG's point about cell phones is completely apt: there is no expectation of privacy on wireless devices. The highest court in the land have established that fact as constitutional. Whether you agree or not is completely immaterial.

                Your claim of an absence of oversight is baseless. Every federal aircraft is tracked by the GAO, same as any other piece of capitol equipment. Here's a simple fact as old as the nation which people other than you have fought wars to defend: there is nothing unconstitutional about it.

                Too many people confuse "I dislike the idea" with "unconstitutional".

                Besides the input of TAG, I suggest you consult the Plain View Doctrine, in particular Horton v. California.

                And as always, remember that the government has the same rights as you do: that which is not forbidden, is allowed. The PVD makes no requirement to be on the ground.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Home of the brave...land of the less free. Sad changes in my country that I love.
                  "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                  Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                  you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                    The point that is hard to understand is the amount of baseless angst generated over nothing.

                    Yes, the FBI owns airplanes, like fifteen thousand+ other US LE agencies (more if you count drones). They are not 'secret'; however, they, like countless other agencies, do not advertise the fact that they are surveillance vehicles. That is completely legal, utterly practical, and logical.

                    TAG's point about cell phones is completely apt: there is no expectation of privacy on wireless devices. The highest court in the land have established that fact as constitutional. Whether you agree or not is completely immaterial.

                    Your claim of an absence of oversight is baseless. Every federal aircraft is tracked by the GAO, same as any other piece of capitol equipment. Here's a simple fact as old as the nation which people other than you have fought wars to defend: there is nothing unconstitutional about it.

                    Too many people confuse "I dislike the idea" with "unconstitutional".

                    Besides the input of TAG, I suggest you consult the Plain View Doctrine, in particular Horton v. California.

                    And as always, remember that the government has the same rights as you do: that which is not forbidden, is allowed. The PVD makes no requirement to be on the ground.
                    I respect your opinion and understand your points.
                    We face a large delima, we are fighting terrorist members of a radical sect that would destroy our way of life.
                    Let's not destroy it in order to defeat them.
                    The government has much greater rights than we do, I can not use a ram to know in the door of my government official or office in the dead of night with out a warrant, I can not listen to their conversations carried out on phones, nor would I want to.
                    A citizen has very little power today and in order to defend yourself against false charges, you will forfeit any savings and private wealth fighting those chrages. The government has endless resources.
                    This is not something that happened over night. The FBI and the NSA and the myriad of other agencies such as the IRS has been caught carrying out illegal programs since going back years.
                    Even good guys get drunk on power.
                    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                      I respect your opinion and understand your points.
                      We face a large delima, we are fighting terrorist members of a radical sect that would destroy our way of life.
                      Let's not destroy it in order to defeat them.
                      What is a delima?

                      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                      The government has much greater rights than we do, I can not use a ram to know in the door of my government official or office in the dead of night with out a warrant, I can not listen to their conversations carried out on phones, nor would I want to.
                      Well, the government cannot do the former w/o a warrant either; and in fact you can do the latter (to cell phones) should you wish to.

                      In short, you don't seem to have a clear understanding what are rights and powers, and what are not.

                      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                      A citizen has very little power today and in order to defend yourself against false charges, you will forfeit any savings and private wealth fighting those chrages. The government has endless resources.
                      A citizen has the same powers they have always had. Lawyers have been no less costly for the last two+ centuries. The government's resources are clearly not endless.

                      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                      This is not something that happened over night. The FBI and the NSA and the myriad of other agencies such as the IRS has been caught carrying out illegal programs since going back years.
                      Examples of illegal programs? With proof established by a court, not just your opinion.

                      Because there is absolutely nothing illegal about the topic in question.
                      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                        The point that is hard to understand is the amount of baseless angst generated over nothing.

                        Yes, the FBI owns airplanes, like fifteen thousand+ other US LE agencies (more if you count drones). They are not 'secret'; however, they, like countless other agencies, do not advertise the fact that they are surveillance vehicles. That is completely legal, utterly practical, and logical.

                        TAG's point about cell phones is completely apt: there is no expectation of privacy on wireless devices. The highest court in the land have established that fact as constitutional. Whether you agree or not is completely immaterial.

                        Your claim of an absence of oversight is baseless. Every federal aircraft is tracked by the GAO, same as any other piece of capitol equipment. Here's a simple fact as old as the nation which people other than you have fought wars to defend: there is nothing unconstitutional about it.

                        Too many people confuse "I dislike the idea" with "unconstitutional".

                        Besides the input of TAG, I suggest you consult the Plain View Doctrine, in particular Horton v. California.

                        And as always, remember that the government has the same rights as you do: that which is not forbidden, is allowed. The PVD makes no requirement to be on the ground.
                        You were doing pretty well there until you veered off and claimed that because the GAO "tracks" aircraft, everything is on the up-and-up.

                        The GAO does not track the activity being performed by the crew of the aircraft, and that is what where the heart of the problem lies. Surveillance requires a reason, and judicial oversight to insure that the reason is valid. We aren't sheep or cattle to be counted from the air. At least I damn sure am not.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                          TAG's point about cell phones is completely apt: there is no expectation of privacy on wireless devices. The highest court in the land have established that fact as constitutional. Whether you agree or not is completely immaterial.
                          At one time "the highest court in the land" ruled that Negroes had to sit in the back of the train, too. What a court rules today is merely legally binding at present: it's hardly unalterable, or even reasonable.

                          Take state eavesdropping of mobile phone calls. You're arguing that since the signal in question is airborne it's therefore public domain and no reasonable expectation of privacy can exist. That's wrong on two counts:

                          1) mobile signals, especially digital signals, are normally encrypted, therefore establishing a tacit expectation of privacy;

                          2) mobile signals are commonly routed to other towers via copper wires and/or fiber-optic cables, and has been long established by statute law and court precedent, such eavesdropping requires a warrant.

                          Or, to turn it on its head, fraud committed via wireless communications should not be charged under the wire fraud statutes, but require new "wireless fraud" statutes. That hasn't happened yet, has it.

                          The fact is is that the law enforcement/criminal justice complex has, from time to time, proven itself quite pushy when it comes to pursuing its agenda. Case in point: United States v Piñeda, wherein the 9th Circuit ruled that the installation of a tracking device onto a vehicle's undercarriage parked on a private driveway did not require a warrant because the undercarriage is the car's exterior ( ) and that the driveway wasn't actually private property but merely "curtilage." ( ) Thankfully the Supreme Court overturned that travesty -- but there was certainly no guarantee that common sense would reign. The Supremes have been to known to fck up in the past, it can't be denied, and will likely confound us in the future, as well. So no, there's no reason to believe that the ruling vis a vis mobile communications will stand later scrutiny -- much less that it's tolerable for a free people.
                          I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                            What is a delima?



                            Well, the government cannot do the former w/o a warrant either; and in fact you can do the latter (to cell phones) should you wish to.

                            In short, you don't seem to have a clear understanding what are rights and powers, and what are not.



                            A citizen has the same powers they have always had. Lawyers have been no less costly for the last two+ centuries. The government's resources are clearly not endless.



                            Examples of illegal programs? With proof established by a court, not just your opinion.

                            Because there is absolutely nothing illegal about the topic in question.
                            Operation Minaret, operation Shamrock, the White Paper, these would be a place to start.
                            Asset seizures and no knock warrants, would be another starting point,
                            From the Washington Post,
                            Stop and Seize: In recent years, thousands of people have had cash confiscated by police without being charged with crimes. The Post looks at the police culture behind the seizures and the people who were forced to fight the government to get their money back.
                            Part 1: After Sept. 11, 2001, a cottage industry of private police trainers emerged to teach aggressive techniques of highway interdiction to thousands of local and state police.
                            Part 2: One training firm started a private intelligence-sharing network and helped shape law enforcement nationwide.
                            Part 3: Motorists caught up in the seizures talk about the experience and the legal battles that could take over a year.
                            Part 5: Highway seizure in Iowa fuels debate about asset-forfeiture laws.
                            Part 6: D.C. police plan for future seizure proceeds years in advance in city budget documents.
                            It may sound like a great asset to you, but many of us believe the Constitution has been ignored by the courts and by some law enforcement agencies.
                            And delima is misspelled dilemma, but you knew that,. You also knew what I meant.
                            Throughout our history the government has found ways around the protections of the Constitution, we interned Japanese Americans, we made treaties with Native Americans only to violate those treaties.
                            J. E. Hoover spied on senators, citizens even presidents and others looked the other way, after all, it is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, and we forget the abuses over time.
                            The argument will never end, there will always be the Sunshine Patriot and the Bleeding Heart Liberal trying to get an edge for their own self empowerment. There will always be people with good intentions willing to justify stretching the rules.
                            There will always be ( I hope) people willing to stand up and say " this is wrong, we are better then this".
                            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                              Operation Minaret, operation Shamrock, the White Paper, these would be a place to start.
                              Asset seizures and no knock warrants, would be another starting point,
                              From the Washington Post,
                              Stop and Seize: In recent years, thousands of people have had cash confiscated by police without being charged with crimes. The Post looks at the police culture behind the seizures and the people who were forced to fight the government to get their money back.
                              Part 1: After Sept. 11, 2001, a cottage industry of private police trainers emerged to teach aggressive techniques of highway interdiction to thousands of local and state police.
                              Part 2: One training firm started a private intelligence-sharing network and helped shape law enforcement nationwide.
                              Part 3: Motorists caught up in the seizures talk about the experience and the legal battles that could take over a year.
                              Part 5: Highway seizure in Iowa fuels debate about asset-forfeiture laws.
                              Part 6: D.C. police plan for future seizure proceeds years in advance in city budget documents.
                              It may sound like a great asset to you, but many of us believe the Constitution has been ignored by the courts and by some law enforcement agencies.
                              And delima is misspelled dilemma, but you knew that,. You also knew what I meant.
                              Throughout our history the government has found ways around the protections of the Constitution, we interned Japanese Americans, we made treaties with Native Americans only to violate those treaties.
                              J. E. Hoover spied on senators, citizens even presidents and others looked the other way, after all, it is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, and we forget the abuses over time.
                              The argument will never end, there will always be the Sunshine Patriot and the Bleeding Heart Liberal trying to get an edge for their own self empowerment. There will always be people with good intentions willing to justify stretching the rules.
                              There will always be ( I hope) people willing to stand up and say " this is wrong, we are better then this".
                              The post is not a source of any value.

                              Assets seizure and no-knock warrants fall under the I dislike the idea" not "unconstitutional".

                              So, no actual rulings by a court?
                              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                              Comment

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