Police Play NSA: Warrantless Data Collection the New Normal? Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

Sacramento sheriff's deputies have been playing NSA. They tool around town with suitcase-sized StingRay surveillance devices in their squad cars, scooping up cellphone data from whomever happens to be within a one-mile radius.

The deputies have reportedly been doing their shady business without warrants, and dozens of law enforcement agencies nationwide may be doing likewise.

But hey, what’s the big deal? After all, the feds say it’s OK.

Not only that, but federal agents have even been telling local officers to keep their StingRay shenanigans hush hush. If a judge asks, the feds advise locals to say they obtained evidence, not from a StingRay, but from a “confidential source.”

2 minutes, 21 seconds.

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"Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?" is written and directed by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker). Produced and edited by Matt Edwards (@MattChrisEd). Music by audionautix.com and "The Contessa" is by Maurice and the Beejays (Magnatune Records).

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  • Aloysious||

    Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!


    Do as you're told.

  • Almanian!||


  • PD Scott||

    I was listening to the Braves game on the radio last weekend. Don Sutton was talking about some company that does sports training, I think, including the line "they know things about you that the NSA doesn't".

  • Agammamon||

    Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

    No, the really don't.

    Concurrent with the across the board decrease in violent an property crime, the police have been ramping up enforcement of 'consensual crimes' (ie those with no victims like drug use, prostitution, code and traffic violations).

    Since there's not going to be anyone reporting on the drug dealer who sold them that primo shit the police feel they *need* to expand data collection in order to find those 'criminals'.

    And, As I've said for many years now, everyone thinks there job is the most important in the world. So cops and courts believe they should have carte blanche to do whatever is necessary to 'catch bad guys' - anyone opposing that simply doesn't *understand* the necessity, since they're not cops/courts.

  • Brochettaward||

    The most troubling, and most ignored aspect of the NSA leaks was parallel construction. How it was only a footnote in the larger story, I'll never know. You had a plan to build blatantly unconstitutional cases exposed, and it was barely discussed.

    They are allowed to lie to judges. For the government, that's OK now...and no one has a right to know where the evidence used to convict them comes from. That's what our government has decided unilaterally behind closed doors.

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