There’s been a long history of American government surveillance. From establishment of the FCC in 1934, to the Nixon wiretapping scandal in 1972 during Watergate, to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) IN 1986, to the Patriot Act established in 2001, America, as a super power, has been forced to create, execute and then re-create new laws and regulations regarding protection, security and surveillance.
Even The Homeland Security Department has not been around that long. It was created in 2003, and according to infoplease.com “The passage of the Homeland Security Act by Congress in November creates the Department of Homeland Security, a stand-alone, Cabinet-level department to further coordinate and unify national homeland security efforts.”
When times change, technology changes along with it. We don’t make a mix tape anymore when everything is digital. We don’t use a record player when we have an iPod. In the same vain, government doesn’t spy the same way, either.
In a recent Guardian.com article, Stingray was described as a “sophisticated cell phone dragnet equipment” that is now being used by another federal agency – the IRS.
How evasive is Stingray? Many people don’t realize that with a click of a button, a login to their email, a text to their best friend…all of this can be watched and analyzed, and you wouldn’t even know it. Gone are the days of the big white van parked outside your house with giant headphones listening in on a telephone conversation inside the house.
The technology is so sophisticated and covert now that millions could be tracked without their knowledge. The Guardian article goes on to say, “Nate Wessler, a staff attorney with the speech, privacy and technology project at the ACLU, told the Guardian: ‘The info showing that they are using Stingrays is generally consistent with the kinds of investigative tactics that they are engaging in, and it shows the wide proliferation of this very invasive surveillance technology. It’s used by dozens, perhaps hundreds, of local law enforcement, used by the usual suspects at the federal level, and if the IRS is using it, it shows just how far these devices have spread,’ Wessler said.”
How does the notion of Stingray affect our every day lives? Spying and surveillance happens more often than you think. Stingray is being used in volume: these devices are widely suspected to be used in police departments. Is your local police department intervening on your phone calls, your texts your chat conversations? What about all your online activity, like banking, shopping, emails, and the GPS location of your phone? It’s strange to think that if you’re making a quick trip to the grocery store for milk, your every move is followed. But it could be happening.
In the modern world, cell phone spying is crucial to the safety of our lives. We live and operate in a complex world. Data communication happens on millions of cell phones and computers, and hackers are always one step ahead of us, looking to impose harm. Drones can deliver our packages, but they can also surveil. And although technology changes at a rapid fire pace, cell phone spy software operates in the same protection mode that Stingray offers. And while the government and law enforcement agencies depend on Stingray to spy on cell phones, average consumers must rely upon products such as Highster Mobile and Auto Forward to satisfy their needs for spying on cell phones. These products are the smaller scale answer for the average person: affordable, easily usable and best of all, they’re already here and on the market. You don’t have to wait 50 more years. The future is now. It’s hard to believe that the futuristic James Bond world of spying and spy gadgets, which once seemed foreign, is here to stay.