We are pleased to publish a marvelous 26-page document trove which was released 6 February 2017 by “The Atlantic” magazine’s “CityLab” website. CityLab published a collection of documents from 27 US police departments detailing the extent to which US big-city police agencies have acquired and are using cell phone spying hardware and software. With this equipment, US police departments can listen to live conversations of any cell phone broadcast without first obtaining a search warrant. Some of the products purchased by these police departments can also interfere with live cell phone transmissions – even denying cell phone access to people in an entire section of a city.
One of the most controversial aspects of these devices is that in order for a police department to purchase the equipment from a supplier the police must sign a binding non-disclosure agreement that is supposed to “prevent” the police from admitting to the existence or the capabilities of the equipment – even in a court of law.
In fact, Harris Corporation has the nerve to assert that information about its illegal spyware equipment is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act because it consists of “trade secret and confidential business or financial information”:
Police departments have been fighting lawsuits aimed at forcing them to disclose the extent and lawfulness of their cell-phone spying operations. The cops are using these non-disclosure agreements as an excuse not to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests as well as requests from defendants’ lawyers seeking to determine if any illegal surveillance techniques were used against their clients.
The documents we publish here, which relate only to the Chicago Police Department (covering the period from 2012 to September 2015) reveal a mere glimpse into this secretive area of the burgeoning US secret police state and its illegal operations. The entire release of documents from the 27 police departments can be found here:
The original CityLab article is here: Cellphone Spy Tools Have Flooded Local Police Departments
And last but not least, the documents related to the Chicago Police Department’s cell phone spying operations can be found here:
One of the interesting aspects of this document release: the docs show that the Chicago address where the Harris Corporation (which makes the infamous “Stingray” equipment) sent their equipment is called the “Technical Lab” and is in the same building where the Chicago Police has their infamous Homan Sq. “Secret Prison” site:
— Friends of WikiLeaks, Chicago