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Tag: text message

Local Police Receive Cell Phone-Monitoring Surveillance Made for Federal Government

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The militarization of local law enforcement has become a hot button topic since police in Ferguson employed their weapons during the recent protests, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. What’s not getting as much attention is surveillance equipment that some police forces are getting from federal law enforcement.

In Tacoma, Wash., police were using surveillance known as Stringray that is capable of collecting records on every cell call, text message or data transfer up to a half-mile from the device. It was manufactured by a Pentagon contractor.

More than 40 local law enforcement agencies have similar surveillance.

Privacy groups have warned of the potential for abuse.

“It’s like kicking down the doors of 50 homes and searching 50 homes because they don’t know where the bad guy is,” Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU, told the News Tribune.

 

ATF Launches Pilot Program to Generate Tips Via Text Message

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF is turning to text messages to generate more tips.

The agency announced this week a six-month pilot program that will allow crime tips to be submitted anonymously by text message to ATF’s Joint Support and Operations Center for review and processing.

“The general public will benefit from the easy to use, anonymous system that will allow them to readily relay information from any cell phone,”  the agency said in a statement. “ATF will benefit from an increased flow of real—time intelligence, which will enhance its investigative capabilities and help keep communities safer.”

To submit a crime tip, citizens can begin by texting a message with “ATF” in the body of the message to the number “274637” (CRIMES), ATF said.