Saturday, May 14, 2016

FBI surveils public places in San Francisco.

I often get accused of paranoia. I post some pretty tinfoil hat stuff here from time to time.

But every once in a while, something comes along to prove, again, that I am a trusting little lamb.

Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.

Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing.  It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn't even need a warrant to do it.

Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.

Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, "They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there's microphones that are planted in places that people don't think about, because that's the intent!"

FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.

If they're doing that kind of thing now, you can expect it's going to get a lot worse. Network-connected devices are so cheap now as to be throw-away for a government agency. Ten bucks for a self-powered, wifi-enabled camera and microphone combination. Add solar power, maybe fifty bucks and it can go pretty much forever. It is possible and affordable to connect every streetlight, sign and traffic signal with a surveilance device so small you'd have to take the thing apart to find it.

Previously, I'd have said that yes it's possible, but no way anyone would bother. Looks like I am WRONG about that.

The Phantom

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