NJ TRANSIT defends recording conversations, video on trains

The director of NJ TRANSIT on Tuesday defended the use of audio surveillance systems on some of its trains Tuesday, as some questioned the monitoring’s legal and ethical underpinnings.Audio and video recording currently is in use on the River Line between Trenton and Camden and will be in use on similar light rail trains in Newark and in Hudson County, NJ TRANSIT said Tuesday. … the agency is using whatever tools at its disposal to “deter criminal activity” and keep passengers safe, citing global terror attacks.

“In light of terrorist attacks on mass transit facilities around the world, New Jersey Transit is availing itself of the latest technology to deter that, always keeping in mind the privacy rights of our customers,”

Source: NJ TRANSIT Defends Recording Conversations On Light Rail

As Secretive “Stingray” Surveillance Tool Becomes More Pervasive, Questions Over Its Illegality Increase | EFF

A few months ago, EFF warned of a secretive new surveillance tool being used by the FBI in cases around the country commonly referred to as a “Stingray.” Recently, more information on the device has come to light and it makes us even more concerned than before.

The device, which acts as a fake cell phone tower, essentially allows the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way. At the same time, law enforcement has attempted use them while avoiding many of the traditional limitations set forth in the Constitution, like individualized warrants. This is why we called the tool “an unconstitutional, all-you-can-eat data buffet.” Continue reading

Your Cellphone Is Spying on You: How the surveillance state co-opted personal technology | Reason.com

…There are 331 million cellphone subscriptions—about 20 million more than there are residents—in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of adult Americans carry at least one phone. The phones communicate via a nationwide network of nearly 300,000 cell towers and 600,000 micro sites, which perform the same function as towers. When they are turned on, they ping these nodes once every seven seconds or so, registering their locations, usually within a radius of 150 feet. By 2018 new Federal Communications Commission regulations will require that cellphone location information be even more precise: within 50 feet. Newer cellphones also are equipped with GPS technology, which uses satellites to locate the user more precisely than tower signals can. Cellphone companies retain location data for at least a year. AT&T has information going all the way back to 2008. Continue reading