Thursday, October 23, 2014

CMPD Stingray - Beyond The Constitutional Issue

A lot of chatter over the Charlotte Observer story concerning the use of Stingray, a super tech spy gadget that LE is using across the nation to track and ease drop on thugs and ghetto rats.

Of course the story line is all about constitutional rights and the ever increasing scope of government in the "big brother" age.

But the back story is rather interesting:

As with much of CMPD the budget and expense approval process is all smoke and mirrors.

From the Observer:

"Charlotte City Council voted unanimously without debate in 2012 to spend about $357,000 to update the equipment for CMPD. Some members now say they don’t remember the vote and do not know much about the surveillance."

Well no surprise there, these folks are actually paid to at least read the motion that is put before them and hopefully understand the facts. But more often than not they approve budget requests without discussion.

Autry said he plans to meet with city attorneys. "I am a Fourth Amendment kind of guy,” Autry said, referring to constitutional protections. “I have some pertinent questions that will spark some discussion.”

Council member LaWana Mayfield said she would also talk with city attorneys. Mayfield said she did not know about the surveillance technology before she was contacted by a reporter Monday.

The issue is concerning, she said, because since the Sept. 11 attacks “rights that have been taken for granted are being slowly eradicated.”

Senior Assistant City Attorney Judith Emken did not respond to questions on Monday. City Manager Ron Carlee said he could not talk because he was in a meeting.

Cellphones send signals to nearby towers whether they are in use or not. A device city officials call a cell site simulator tricks phones into electronically identifying themselves and transmitting data to police instead of the closest cell tower.

Privacy groups say the equipment is powerful enough to collect cellphone information from an entire apartment building. They claim it gives law enforcement the ability to gather voice, text and other data from phones.

Charlotte officials have refused to divulge details about the city’s equipment but did defend how CMPD uses its cellphone tracker. CMPD does not capture the voice contents of phone calls, Emken has said. She said officers do not store data that is retrieved.


Anonymous said...

If the CMPD does not store the data that is retrieved, as is the claim, then what is the purpose of doing the surveillance? I'd say that's the most asinine thing to come out of the mouth of Judy Emken, but it's not even close. And of course it's no where near the most stupid thing to come from Rodney Monroe's office.

John Autry must have smoked lots of stuff in his hippie heyday. ' Autry said he plans to meet with city attorneys. "I am a Fourth Amendment kind of guy,” Autry said, referring to constitutional protections. “I have some pertinent questions that will spark some discussion.” ' Hey, Autry, a good time to do that would be BEFORE you vote through approval to spend nearly half a million tax dollars on equipment, plus more money on personnel time to let police violate our rights with NO OVERSIGHT, NO RESTRICTIONS, NO ACCOUNTABILITY, AS USUAL. Over two years ago, Autry claimed the police spending should be more transparent, should come before council for public debate and scrutiny by the council:
When it comes time to pull the lever in the voting booth, remember these empty words.

Same to Mayfield with with her equally and typically stupid remarks, and Claire Fallon who was quoted in a different part of the Observer on this topic in a condescending tizzy about how she didn't know what she voted for and had some serious questions now.

Hey city council members: DO YOUR JOBS FOR ONCE. And why is there no comment in the Observer from the City Manager or Mayor? Did you guys even ask? Is there a reporter left on staff over there? Is the problem that editors cut off the couple of real reporters left, or are they all gone?

Even if you believe they are not reviewing the text and voice data itself--which I don't--what about this:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget all the money they spent on that shot-spotter that doesn't work. Didn't they add more to it or something recently? Why pour more $$$ into a system that hasn't worked from the start????

Anonymous said...

It doesn't even collect the phone numbers just pages of MIN and IMEI numbers. It doesn't even tell you who owns what etc. etc. It's no big deal!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Rodney Monroe probably has this hooked up to his network of fake cell towers that look like trees!!! Panic in the streets!! Run for your lives!! I can't wait until the FBI/DEA/CIA/SBI/MOUSE investigation exposes all of this and I am vindicated and put back in robbery! Hahahaha!!

Oh wait....they did away with the robbery unit :(

Anonymous said...

As an actual user of this technology , I must say it is very useful in locating cellphones associated with wanted suspects and in some cases missing people. A court order is required except in exigent circumstances ( life threatening ) . in those cases, a court order is then obtained post facto. It does not capture or record what people are saying. It is much like find my phone on an iphone, except it can locate to about 5 yards. This is an extremely useful tool for police and judicial oversight is part of the process. Get over it folks and welcome to the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

CMPD is so seriously screwed up it will literally take years to clean it up after Rodney finally milks CMPD for all it is worth and leaves.
This latest fiasco is just a drop in the corruption bucket.
And those latest crime stats? A joke...a bad joke.
There are many that have information on the manipulation of the crime stats..Deputy Chiefs, city and CMPD Attorneys.etc., etc.
They don't care, have no ethics or are scared shitless of losing their jobs.
One big hindrance to many who would like to do something is that IA has been compromised by Rodney . He owns IA and manipulates every outcome. Nothing is confidential. No one has any trust in their fairness or honesty.
The one entity that is meant to protect people within the organization is totally useless . Major Cam is a complete toady..reaching heights of ass kissing that have compromised IA beyond redemption.
The list of corruption since the arrival of Rodney is incomprehensible.
Hope springs eternal that someone gets a backbone...and a bit of integrity.

Anonymous said...

To 10:37 topic I see. Your tirade has nothing to do with this story. While I agree with most of what you say, the sad fact is that the bigger world does not care about the inner workings of CMPD.

Anonymous said...

To 7:22
And therein lies the problem.

"Tirade"? Seriously?

Off topic? It's a Blog, friend. ..don't take yourself so seriously.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of off topic...Cedar, do you have anything to say about candidates in the upcoming election? Anything you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Why is Quaker steak and lube in Concord closed?

Anonymous said...

How much wood can a woodchuck chuck ?

Anonymous said...

700 lbs. a day

Anonymous said...

Hendrick bought the property so he could expand his dealership. Made them an offer they couldn't refuse apparently.