Orange County has many claims to fame: Richard Nixon, the S&L scandal, subprime boiler-rooms, Disneyland, an airport honoring a cowboy named Marion, and now, the revelation that its police force secretly uses low-flying surveillance aircraft to break the encryption of thousands of cellphone users, track their movements, and intercept their communications.
The ACLU made the discovery after winning a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Anaheim police, forcing the force to disclose its use of "Dirtboxes" -- DRTs, or Digital Receiver Technologies, are Boeing's aircraft-mounted "Stingrays on steroids," used to break the weak crypto on cellphones to listen in on their traffic and track their owners.
It's not clear how or when or if the Anaheim PD uses the Dirtboxes. A 2014 memo complained that the equipment hadn't been updated by Boeing. The department has a Cessna it uses for surveillance.
Presumably, the Cessna can't fly over Disneyland itself, because the park is a no-fly zone.
As Reveal reported in August 2015, a DRTBox can "simultaneously break the encryption of communications from hundreds of cellphones at once. A 2011 purchase order for this equipment by the Washington Headquarters Services, a branch of the Pentagon, states the devices can retrieve the encryption session keys for a cellphone ‘in less than a second with success rates of 50 to 75% (in real world conditions).’"
City cops in Disneyland’s backyard have had “stingray on steroids” for years
[Cyrus Farivar/Ars Technica]
(Image: Aerial view of Anaheim and Disneyland in 1965
, EditorASC, CC-BY-SA)
They told the public everything would be okay with the virus outbreak. Then they privately dumped stocks. Over the past 24 hours, news has spread that various U.S. lawmakers received advance private briefings about the severity of an oncoming coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic — then, they sold stocks before the public knew how bad it would get, […]
President Trump today announced that he is commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Illinois governer jailed for corruption, and pardoning Bernard Kerik, the former New York Police Commissioner jailed for tax fraud. Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat; Kerik was found to have accepted a $250,000 bribe from a billionaire […]
“What does this guy worth $60 billion own, who wants to be president?”
Paralysis by analysis. It’s the phenomenon that happens when you’re so stuck on thinking through all the ramifications of your actions that you don’t actually take action in the first place. That can happen with all this free time you’re spending stuck inside your house. With literally every home-bound option available to you, it’s easy […]
At this point, it’s every single person’s responsibility to reduce their own carbon footprint and transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. But if you consider the grim fact that the biggest culprit of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the U.S. is burning fossil fuels for electricity, things, like pivoting to metal straws and […]
Companies that don’t have their own in-house design teams (which means 99 percent of all companies these days) face lots of serious questions. Among those questions is how you keep up with all the design requirements of a 21st-century company without the personnel. It isn’t just a website or an annual product catalog anymore. It’s […]