The Associated Press is now reporting the Obama Administration has quietly been encouraging local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to collect cellphone data from neighborhoods. Glenn reacted to the report and explained why both parties are the problem in Washington D.C.
“Did you see the story on TheBlaze today? What the Administration is telling the police not to share with the American people? They can drive down your street and gather all of your information from your cell phone just by driving down your street,” Glenn explained. “And the Administration is telling police officers, ‘Don’t tell anybody that.’ First of all, when the government says, ‘Don’t tell the people something,’ that’s a problem.”
Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.
One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence. The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners’ account information, like a unique subscriber number, and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company’s tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message.
But without more details about how the technology works and under what circumstances it’s used, it’s unclear whether the technology might violate a person’s constitutional rights or whether it’s a good investment of taxpayer dollars.
Interviews, court records and public-records requests show the Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on. That pushback has come in the form of FBI affidavits and consultation in local criminal cases.
As Glenn explained, this type of behavior really comes as no surprise, and it is both Republicans and Democrats who have failed to protect the Constitution. Glenn believes that both Republicans and Democrats post “a threat” to this country. From lawlessness at the border to the IRS scandal, Republicans are just as much to blame because they are failing to stand up for what is right.
“Here’s where common sense comes in,” Glenn said. “You may not like the other party. I don’t like either party. I believe both parties are the problem. Because what’s happened is, they want power. That’s the problem here. Anybody who is seeking power for power’s sake, that’s a problem. And both parties are doing it.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP