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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

The Next Generation of Cell-Site Simulators is Here. Here's What We Know.

• Activist Post

By Beryl Lipton and Cooper Quintin

A proposal document from Jacobs Technology, provided to the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and first spotted by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (BINJ), outlines elements of the company's CSS services, which include discreet integration of the CSS system into a Chevrolet Silverado and lifetime technical support. The proposal document is part of a winning bid Jacobs submitted to MSP earlier this year for a nearly $1-million contract to provide CSS services, representing the latest customer for one of the largest providers of CSS equipment.

An image of the Jacobs CSS system as integrated into a Chevrolet Silverado for the Virginia State Police.

An image of the Jacobs CSS system as integrated into a Chevrolet Silverado for the Virginia State Police. Source: 2024 Jacobs Proposal Response

The proposal document from Jacobs provides some of the most comprehensive information about modern CSS that the public has had access to in years. It confirms that law enforcement has access to CSS capable of operating on 5G as well as older cellular standards. It also gives us our first look at modern CSS hardware. The Jacobs system runs on at least nine software-defined radios that simulate cellular network protocols on multiple frequencies and can also gather wifi intelligence. As these documents describe, these CSS are meant to be concealed within a common vehicle. Antennas are hidden under a false roof so nothing can be seen outside the vehicles, which is a shift from the more visible antennas and cargo van-sized deployments we've seen before.  The system also comes with a TRACHEA2+ and JUGULAR2+ for direction finding and mobile direction finding.


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