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Secret Military Device ‘Hailstorm’ Used By Michigan Police, Foia Request By Detroit News Denied


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Imagine if you will,  cruising down Woodward Avenue all smiles and sunshine until you see it; that  red, white and blue flicker in your rear-view mirror. The Oakland County Sheriff has abruptly merged behind you. We’ve all felt that initial rush, the terror of being ‘pulled over’ and treated like a child. Whether you’re a sinner or a saint those lights strike fear and now they can do much more.

Let’s take this a step further. Sitting there shamed and  awaiting punishment would you be tolerant with the immediate confiscation and investigation of your private belongings including cell phone data?

‘HailStorm’ is a new device obtained by the Oakland County Sheriff with monies from a U.S. Homeland Security Grant and so far, there isn’t much information available on what exactly it can and cannot do.  There were no questions asked when Oakland County commissioners unanimously approved the use of this cellphone tracking device previously used by the US military in Iraq.

Undersheriff Michael McCabe told The Detroit News that the federal Homeland Security Act bars him from discussing the Hailstorm device.

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Many privacy advocates are questioning why one of the safest counties in Michigan needs the very powerful, super-secretive military device called ‘Hailstorm’. The Detroit News sought basic information about Hailstorm and the county denied their Freedom of Information Act request.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, located here in Pontiac, is the only police department in the state of Michigan(that we know of?) currently using the military technology. If you think this is an invasion of privacy, you are not alone.

I don’t like not knowing what it’s capable of,” Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad told the Detroit News.

Recently, police in Florida were caught abusing a similar device over 200 times, called ‘Stingray’, without ever telling a judge or obtaining a warrant.

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It’s all very secretive and information about (Stingray and Hailstorm) is tightly controlled, which makes it (difficult) to have a broad discussion about these tools,” said Alan Butler, a lawyer for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Oakland county received a $258,370 federal grant that paid for more than half the device, training and about $56,000 to purchase a vehicle to contain it.

I can’t help but think back to the exclusive piece released in February by Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald exposing the NSA’s secret role in the US drone assassination program. Drone strike operators usually identify targets based on metadata and cell-phone tracking technologies like Hailstorm and Stingray. From there, the CIA or US military orders a drone strike to the location of the phone the target is thought to be using.

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This doesn’t make me feel very good about the 30,000+ drones expected to be flying over Americans heads by the end of this decade.

This is not right! Police departments across the country have been armed with devices that can tap into cellphone data in real time, capturing information about thousands of people at the same time, whether they are targets of an investigation or not, according to public records obtained by USA Today. The records show that more than 125 police agencies in 33 states are already guilty!

Unfortunately, these machines were developed by the military and spy agencies to use on terrorists, so information about what the devices and their operators can actually do(and currently doing in Oakland County) will remain a secret due to the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Just last Friday a divided federal appeals court ruled The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking to the American Civil Liberties Union, which had requested information on federal cases in which law enforcement had obtained cellphone tracking data without a warrant to track a user’s whereabouts.

This information needs to go viral.

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i saw today on CBS news when it came to miss teen USA that for only $40 a person can buy a program to remotely activate and monitor someones webcam.

 

so...

 

yes

 

our government can absolutely do so.

 

and i gotta believe some places and people are willing to violate our constitutional rights to do so..even if its under the misguided guise of good.

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the price of using a 'smart' phone.

 

keep it in a lead or other metallic case that blocks radio signals.

or set it to wifi only and never turn on the 3g/4g network. or use a prepaid

 

or dont call cartel drug dealers whatever.

I  have reached my quota of positive votes for the day

Edited by bobandtorey
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i saw today on CBS news when it came to miss teen USA that for only $40 a person can buy a program to remotely activate and monitor someones webcam.

 

so...

 

yes

 

our government can absolutely do so.

 

and i gotta believe some places and people are willing to violate our constitutional rights to do so..even if its under the misguided guise of good.

Tape over the lens on your computer

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You should ask yourself one simple question when you are driving past a police officer on the road, “Is your privacy safeguarded in your car? According to Blacklisted News, if you live in Oakland County, Michigan and the rear-view mirror lights up with that not so welcome red, white and blue flashing cop lights, you may be getting a ticket, a warning or even having your private cell phone data scanned.

 

That’s right, Oakland County is the first or several counties in the United States that are using a secret military device known as ‘Hailstorm’ which can do a privacy mugging on your cell phone without you even knowing it. How top-secret is this device?
 
Blacklisted News
 reported that when the Detroit News requested information about the military device and its use, they were given the brush off by Oakland County police officials.

The cell phone tracking device had been previously used by the military in Iraq, and was given to Oakland law enforcement through a grant from Homeland Security.

Probably the first question that trips across anyone’s mind is to what end would a device like the super secret ‘Hailstorm’ be used for that is not a direct conflict with privacy rights. Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad is among those who are wondering about privacy and what the capabilities of the device are. “I don’t like not knowing what it’s capable of,” he stated to the Detroit News, according to Blacklisted News.

 

Just consider how a device like this could be easily abused by law enforcement when they were attempting to glean information from Second Amendment advocates. 
Who is to say that the device would not fall into the willing hands of public officials like gun control proponents who would gleefully sack privacy rights of gun rights supporters?

In fact, abuse is not so far away from consideration when police in Florida were caught red-handed abusing a similar military type listening device called ‘Stingray’ over 200 times. They accomplished this without even telling a judge or making an attempt to secure a warrant!

So the next time you pass a police car or are pulled over by a law enforcement, he may be looking at more than your license, car insurance and registration

 

http://freepatriot.org/2014/05/20/see-secret-military-device-hailstorm-used-michigan-police-area-next/

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More of obammys plans to dismantle our country.  You guys voted for him......twice. Because he promised you leagalization. 8 years later.....................he and his crook AG Holder have nothing to say. While he has all of you looking the other way,he is up to new tricks. And WE will pay,not him. Straight from Saul Alinskys Book. Today I will remember the four Americans that this administration left to die and WATCHED . And have NEVER spoken to the families of these men. Yet he can call a gay athlete and tell him how proud he is that the guy came out ? Hope you are all getting ready for the sheet to hit the fan.

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More of obammys plans to dismantle our country.  You guys voted for him......twice. Because he promised you leagalization. 8 years later.....................he and his crook AG Holder have nothing to say. While he has all of you looking the other way,he is up to new tricks. And WE will pay,not him. Straight from Saul Alinskys Book. Today I will remember the four Americans that this administration left to die and WATCHED . And have NEVER spoken to the families of these men. Yet he can call a gay athlete and tell him how proud he is that the guy came out ? Hope you are all getting ready for the sheet to hit the fan.

Did you see the two Frontline programs that deal with the surveillance system, its origins, uses, and the hoopla over Edward Snowden's release of documentation of warrantless use of technology? You can view them online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/united-states-of-secrets/

 

This is some screwed up schit. You will find that the Cheney presidency invented and pushed the programs through while idiot Bush did nothing, and was barely, if at all, aware of the manipulations by the intelligence community and the White House staff. Obama has not dismantled the program, and is as responsible as the former administration in keeping on keeping on with it. Please watch the programming and comment. That goes for anyone who would care to pipe up regarding this important privacy issue. Our fourth amendment rights have been trashed, not only with technology, but byh a Supreme Court which majority conservative wing has repeatedly ruled for the government in marginalizing those rights. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito have no regard for those constitutional principles.

Edited by GregS
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Conspiracy theory: When the world changes the currency, we are screwed. Is this part of the reason of them preparing? Is that why there will eventually be 30,000 drones over our heads that are meant to drop bombs? The other countries like China, Russia, and many others are doing their best to change the global currency. As soon as that happens, one gallon of gas could cost $100. Are these drones for controlling us when the bunny muffin hits the fan? Don't be ignorant. We are living in very dangerous times. Our government right now could take out 90% of our population by simply releasing an EMP pulse that would take out the entire power grid. Within two weeks only 10% of the population would be remaining. I can't help but to wonder that taking out our power grids is a last resort for them to stay in office and keep things going the way they want, to continue to live like kings or to prevent justice and holding them liable for what they have done. Is that why our grids are unprotected? The head of national security has said that our country's greatest threat is an EMP pulse taking out our power grids. Whether it is man made or the natural event that happens every 100 to 200 years from the sun. They have full control over us if they choose to use it. Why does our government leave the power grids unprotected knowing that our sun will eventually produce an EMP pulse. If the government did release an EMP pulse, we would not know if it were man made or natural. The last time the sun did an EMP pulse was in the 1800's. It ruined every electric device on earth, plugged in or not. The telegraph machines were going nuts.

 

I just can't help but to wonder. The way things are going these days and all the truth that is now being brought to light. It is pretty scary.

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Shades of Snowden...that boy qualifies for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Snowden is this era's Daniel Ellsberg. The same thing has happened. The administration, beginning with Cheney, misappropriated the intelligence community to search us without warrants and evade the constitution. Why izzit that no one is making noise about taking down the power behind it like we did Nixon?

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Snowden is this era's Daniel Ellsberg. The same thing has happened. The administration, beginning with Cheney, misappropriated the intelligence community to search us without warrants and evade the constitution. Why izzit that no one is making noise about taking down the power behind it like we did Nixon?

Too stupid to give a flyin' fornicate !

Edited by knucklehead bob
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  • 2 weeks later...

Washington— The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire

 

neighborhoods, the Associated Press has learned.

 

Local police agencies such as the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office have been denying access to records about this surveillance equipment.

 

Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding

 

materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose anything about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.

 

Local police agencies have been denying access under state public records laws. Agencies in San Diego, Chicago and Oakland County, for instance, declined to tell the AP what devices they purchased, the cost and with whom they shared information.

 

Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe has declined to discuss the county’s Hailstorm device in detail, saying that doing so would violate U.S. anti-terrorism laws.

 

He blanched, though, at the suggestion the White House was behind the stance.

 

“The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office does not take orders and direction from the Barack Obama administration,” said McCabe. “We follow the Constitution and any applicable federal and state

 

statutes.”

He declined to comment further.

 

Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad, R-White Lake Township, has met with McCabe and Sheriff Michael Bouchard regarding concerns about the device. He said he’s received

 

assurances it’s used only with a warrant by two trained officers and is otherwise kept under “lock and key.”

 

Even so, he said he’s concerned about Hailstorm’s capabilities and the silence surrounding the device originally designed for use by the military to fight terrorists.

 

“There’s a big difference between the battlefield and the United States of America,” Runestad said. “Certainly with dealing with foreign or suspected terrorists, there is a one set of standards and

 

rules. But when you are dealing with American citizens, the protections of the U.S. Constitution must apply.”

 

Oakland County’s device, like most others in local police agencies, was funded by federal Homeland Security grants.

 

 

“It’s not surprising and yet it’s shocking the federal government and local law enforcement would conspire to keep information from the public,” said Sofia Rahman, a legal fellow with the Michigan ACLU. “It’s incredibly troubling.”

The ACLU is working with State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, to gather information about Hailstorm and draft legislation to regulate it. Oakland County has stymied them, refusing to

 

attend a May hearing in Lansing and claiming the FBI protects the agency from answering questions about the device, Rahman said.

 

“A huge part of the problem is we don’t know (Hailstorm’s) capabilities,” she said.

 

McMillin, by email Thursday, said: “What is even more disturbing is that local and federal law enforcement tell me they won’t address my (legislative oversight) committee even in a closed door

 

session. Law enforcement, both local and federal want zero oversight on how they are surveilling citizens.”

 

“We’re at a real crossroads .... Law enforcement must go out of their way to assure the public that they are doing nothing wrong. Stonewalling must not be tolerated,” stated McMillin, who added

 

he plans to hold a forum in his district on the subject later this month.

 

One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence. The equipment

 

tricks cellphones into identifying their owners’ account information and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company’s tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without

 

having to ask for help from service providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message.

 

 

But without more details about how the technology works and under what circumstances it’s used, it’s unclear whether the technology might violate a person’s constitutional rights or whether it’s

 

a good investment of taxpayer dollars.

 

Interviews, court records and public-records requests show the Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on.

 

“These extreme secrecy efforts are in relation to very controversial, local government surveillance practices using highly invasive technology,” said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140613/NATION/306130035#ixzz34j0f84IY

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