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FBI Caught Spying on the General Public

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FBI Caught Spying on the General Public

Two weeks ago, a journalist in America called Sam Renegade revealed that the FBI has been spying on the American populace with aircraft.  These planes are equipped with cameras and devices that can track, tap and spy on your mobile phone when you are just leisurely strolling to the shopping mall while watching your every move. The story was re-run and investigated by three other journalists namely, Jack Gillum, Eileen Sullivan and Eric Tucker, who work for the Associated Press (AP). It would appear that the United States Department of Justice owns a fleet of small aircraft and helicopters, estimated at a 100 or more that circles cities nationwide.

The aircraft have been operating in secret, a rumour persists that the planes are registered to corporations that do not exist. Reporters discovered that the fake registered aircraft all were linked by post box numbers that belong to the Department of Justice. These companies were listed mostly with three-letter acronym names and none proved to exist upon investigation.

Several theories are emerging as to what the planes are doing forefront among them is that the Argus system is being employed by these aircraft.  Argus is ‘a high-flying drone technology capable of capturing super-high-definition video of a 15-square mile area and automatically tracking all moving vehicles and people within that area’. Social Media it would appear can be blamed for much of the conspiracy theories. One other theory is that the FBI is using StingRay technology and variations of this cell-phone technology on board the aircraft.

The journalists from the AP discovered that at least 50 aircraft could be traced back to the FBI and that 100 flights were spotted during April and May. The FBI has admitted that they own the aircraft and that they are using the planes for ongoing investigations. Their official line is that the planes are not equipped for mass surveillance, although, deservedly or not, the organisation’s credibility was always questioned.

When asked why these planes were registered with fake named companies a spokesperson for the FBI, Christopher Allen, said: “The FBI’s aviation program is not secret. Specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes.” He went on to state the idea behind using fake names is to protect the movements of organisations like the FBI and Drug Enforcements, and the identities of the pilots. The FBI asked the American journal AP not to disclose the names of these companies, but the AP decided to ignore the FBI’s wishes and have since enlightened the whole of America.

These flights seem to have been ongoing for some time. The FBI manages to gather information on American citizens to help in court cases. In Ireland, the air is still traffic free and one wonders when Garda Siochana will resort to air-control wardening, though I suspect the budget might be a little tight for that presently.

The revelation about the FBI’s flying big brother has caused many Americans question the constitutionality of such actions.  They argue their right to privacy has been breached and it is seems that they have a point.  Back home our own Garda Siochana utilize helicopters to search for fugitives and help in investigations, but as far as we know they are not circling the air at all times. Surveillance cameras are all over the town and city centres of Ireland, almost one on every corner.  Phone tapping is nothing strange or unfamiliar and we have all been introduced to the PULSE system.  It is not news that human beings have never been so closely observed.  The question is would Ireland react, we have become more docile with regards our privacy rights (look at FaceBook, Google and Gmail). Perhaps, it is all these tiny steps such as those mentioned above that lead us not to question the big ones?

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