WSJ: CIA Helped Justice Dept. Spy on Thousands of U.S. Cellphones
Shepard Smith reported that the Central Intelligence Agency played a critical role in helping the Justice Department develop technology that scans data from cellphones in the United States.
He explained that the Wall Street Journal reported that it's "part of a secret high-tech alliance between the spy agency and domestic law enforcement, according to people familiar with the work."
Smith said that the technology can locate specific cellphones through an airborne device that mimics a cellphone tower and that it's reportedly used to find criminal suspects.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
The program operates specially equipped planes that fly from five U.S. cities, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population. Planes are equipped with devices—some past versions were dubbed “dirtboxes” by law-enforcement officials—that trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.
The surveillance system briefly identifies large numbers of cellphones belonging to citizens unrelated to the search. The practice can also briefly interfere with the ability to make calls, these people said.
Some law-enforcement officials are concerned the aerial surveillance of cellphone signals inappropriately mixes traditional police work with the tactics and technology of overseas spy work that is constrained by fewer rules. Civil-liberties groups say the technique amounts to a digital dragnet of innocent Americans’ phones.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano sounded off on "Shepard Smith Reporting" stating that the program is not legal.
"Well, you knew this made my blood boil when we talked about it earlier," Napolitano told Smith. "This is absolutely not legal, it is not constitutional and it has not been authorized by any judge."
He said, 'the money comes from the CIA budget and that the CIA is prohibited by its charter, by the statutes that enable it to do what it does, from participating in domestic surveillance."
Napolitano added that in order for them to do this, they need a search warrant.
"They capture thousands of phone calls from a plane in the sky by tricking your cell phone into thinking it's communicating with them," he said. "Then they listen to what they want to listen to and decide who they want to go after. This is a dragnet if ever there was one."
Watch the video above to hear more from Napolitano on "Shepard Smith Reporting."
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