FBI and Verizon Mobile Spying Outed in Court
Posted: April 14, 2013 by Alex Chan
In a US Court case that was mainly about a $4 Million tax fraud, the judge revealed some very disturbing information about the FBI and their techniques used in secret surveillance.
Daniel David Rigmaiden, the defendant facing charges of identity theft and tax fraud, revealed documents showing cooperation between Verizon Wireless and the FBI. Rigmaiden claimed that the Internet Provider reprogrammed his air card enabling the FBI to track him down and pinpoint his location.
An air card is a device that enables a computer to connect to the Internet through a wireless cellular network. Once how the FBI tracked down the accused came into question, an investigation around the air cards and how they operate were investigated. By nature, air cards cannot be used track down and pinpoint the location of the user.
Rigmaiden claims that, the Internet provider, Verizon, reconfigured his air card to respond to calls from land lines, making it operate as a telephone line. When a voice call was sent, the air card disconnected from the cell tower and sent info to Verizon about its location. Verizon then forwarded that information to the FBI accordingly. The FBI then sent a very strong signal to make the air card connect to the FBIs signal instead of the cell tower. That allowed the FBW to pinpoint his location.
Furthermore, Rigmaiden claimed that Verizon changed the air card's Preferred Roaming List, so it would choose the FBI's signal instead of regular cell tower one.
Rigmaiden presented the Court with 369 pages of documentation trying to dismiss all evidence that was gathered through the FBIs so called "stingray". The US Government tried to justify its actions stating that pinpointing a location of a phone or air card through stingrays does not need warrant as it does not collect any information/content from the devices such as text messages and phone calls.
Many Liberties Organizations and Unions have come forward to support Rigmaiden's claims against the Government over privacy disputes.