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Secret U.S. spying “Cessna aircrafts” collects Americans’ cellphone data


In 2007, the U.S. Marshals have finally found a new and ultimate way to collect data from the mobile users on the ground, by using a secret plane (said to be from Cessna) under a secret U.S. spying program.us-spy-plane-collecting-cellphone-data

This new program consists of using a specialized boxes abroad planes collects various data from the mobile users from the ground. The so-called boxes are referred as dirtboxes, that collect data similar to fake cell phone towers and the same will collect thousands of mobile users’ data.

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Various information will be gathered from the so-called dirtboxes and this will mainly target the location of the mobile users. The sources said that the main objective of this program is to find criminal activities, and those people who’re under investigations. In the meanwhile, various innocent peoples were affected by this project and might be caught in the training process. There is no proper information has been announced regarding the frequency of the flight and other activities.

This program has an ability to cover all, the whole U.S. population and the planes will be active in at least 5 metropolitan cities. This program has mainly been designed to target the culprit within 9 feet of distance and other data were discarded respectively.

Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist of the American Civil Liberties mentioned it as a dragnet surveillance program and also added,

“It’s inexcusable and it’s likely- to the extent judges are authorizing it- [that] they have no idea of the scale of it,”

This program also has an ability to interrupt telephonic calls on certain phones for a period of time and in the meantime, it is also designed not to interrupt emergency calls such as 911 during an emergency. This new program will be a powerful surveillance program for the U.S. government and this had already received hundreds of criticism from numerous activists, politicians, advocacy groups and others.

Update:

A Justice Department official has defended the secret U.S. spying program without acknowledging about the program. The official revealed that the U.S. Marshals agency’s secret operation deploys an airborne device that mimics as a cell tower for any cellphones to collect the registration data from thousands of mobile phones as a time. The official also said that the program doesn’t stores normal American users’ cellphoe data in any kind of database and the techniques are deployed “only in furtherance of ordinary law enforcement operations, such as the apprehension of wanted individuals, and not to conduct domestic surveillance or intelligence-gathering.The activity is completely legal and subject to court approval.”

According The Wall Street Journal, the secret U.S. spying program was started in 2007 and still functional with Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, and these aircraft covers most of the U.S. population.

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About John W Arthur

john@thenextdigit.com'
John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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