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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

Here's a Picture of a Phone-Tracking Device That We've Never Seen in the Wild


Over the last few years, and only after long legal fights and several public documents requests, we've learned a little bit more about IMSI catchers, including some of the agencies that use them. Yet we've rarely seen them. Some official pictures have been published online, mostly mined from patent applications, but we've practically never seen them in the wild until now.

Here's a picture of a stack of IMSI catchers, which trick phones into connecting to them by pretending to be a cell tower, sitting on what is likely the seat of a police car or van.

"That's consistent with what we know about how these devices are typically used," Nate Wessler, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Motherboard after seeing the leaked picture. "They're put inside a police vehicle and to anyone on the outside there would be no indication that the police are driving around with a powerful surveillance device."