We built it. They're using it.
We gave them all these tools to hunt suspected terrorists. Now Trump and his newly empowered federal cops are using those tools for other things. Surprised?
Federal investigators are using a cellphone snooping device designed for counter-terrorism to hunt undocumented immigrants amid President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, according to federal court records obtained by The Detroit News.
An unsealed federal search warrant affidavit obtained by The News is the first public acknowledgment that agents are using secret devices that masquerade as a cell tower to find people who entered the U.S. illegally, privacy and civil liberty experts said.
The secret device was used in March by a team of FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Metro Detroit to find Rudy Carcamo-Carranza, 23, a twice-deported restaurant worker from El Salvador whose only brushes with the law involve drunken driving allegations and a hit-and-run crash.
The use of the cell tower simulator comes amid the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown and attempt to temporarily ban travel from six Muslim-majority nations.
The cell-site simulator device, known as a Hailstorm or Stingray, tricks nearby phones into providing location data and can interrupt cellular service of all devices within the targeted location. Federal investigators are required to obtain a judge’s approval to use the device.
“While the warrant does ensure a modicum of judicial oversight, it is troubling to see the government using invasive surveillance technology on the streets of America to grease the wheels of the Trump administration’s deportation machine,” said Nathan Wessler, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “This is the first warrant I have seen specifically showing ICE’s use of a cell-site simulator in an immigration enforcement operation.”
I'm sure they would never use anything like this if there was political unrest.
When you give police more powers for one purpose they inevitably use that power for other purposes. It's how this works.