US government uses fake cell towers on low-level spy planes to map physical location of all cell phone users

Sunday, January 31, 2016
By Paul Martin

by: Daniel Barker
Sunday, January 31, 2016

It seems that Big Brother never tires of finding new methods for keeping an eye on us.

The latest revelation involves a scheme that has been in progress for the last seven years, in which small aircraft are being used to collect information from cellphones by mimicking communication towers.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on the activities of a US Marshal Service program which regularly sends Cessna airplanes on flights from five unnamed major airports carrying equipment which mines information from cellphones by tricking them into sending unique registration details.

The program was ostensibly created to monitor and track criminals, but it collects the same type of information from ordinary innocent American citizens as well.

The planes are equipped with high-tech devices known as “dirtboxes,” which are capable of gathering information from thousands of phones in a single flight — the information reveals details regarding location and identity of the phones’ users.

The dirtbox device works by falsely identifying itself as the strongest nearby cell tower, which causes all the phones in the vicinity to automatically connect to it, thereby sending the unique location and registration data from each phone — whether it’s one owned by a criminal or not.

And the scale of the program is potentially enormous. By using five major airports to deploy these flights, virtually the entire population of the United States is able to be monitored by the program.

The Rest…HERE

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