This is very scary. All those apps like Snapchat, Tinder, WhatsApp and literally any other app with access to your GPS data could be giving away your location at any given time to anyone who pays for the information. Lots of apps won’t even work without granting them location permissions and most people just accept the installation terms without reading anything at all. If you use a smartphone you are essentially consenting to be spied on 24/7. There is really no way around it unfortunately. Unless you visit an abortion clinic. Then Google will make sure to erase your location history. Lol. I’m not kidding. But that’s just Google’s data. There are plenty of other ways for anyone to obtain the GPS coordinates of anyone else if they really wanted them.
I bet that the intelligence agencies are the ones developing a lot of these apps. The CCP is known to have been the driving force and entity behind the ultra cringy but wildly successful TikTok mobile application, while it’s widely known that the CIA were the ones behind Facebook. The post “.edu college email address required” Facebook that is. So it doesn’t take much deductive reasoning to concede that apps like POF, Twitter, MeetMe, Snapchat, Tinder and many more of the most popular apps out there very much could have been designed and financed by the intelligence operative infiltrated venture capital operations around the globe. The Israelis have been finding ways to hack the entire planet by infiltrating the private sector for years now. Just watch “Snowden” for a horrifying sample of how easily any person or company can be hacked and tracked by some asshole at the Pentagon or Mossad or simply to anyone with the cash.
Documents Show DHS Tracks Smartphones Across the Country
by Joseph Cox | July 18, 2022 | Vice.com
Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard’s podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.
How the F.B.I. Wiretapped the World: https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkgbpn/how-the-fbi-wiretapped-the-world
Recently released documents show in new detail how parts of the Department of Homeland Security have been using surveillance tools built on smartphone location data as part of investigations across the United States, including in multiple field offices and for a variety of different crimes.
The documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, provide the clearest picture yet of where, and why, law enforcement agencies have used tools like Venntel and Locate X, which are based on location data harvested from ordinary smartphone apps installed on peoples’ phones. The documents also show that some parts of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have used one of the tools to help state and local law enforcement.
Field offices or locations included in the emails that indicate they have had access to Venntel or Locate X include Knoxville, New York, Detroit, El Paso, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, Seattle, San Antonio, and Washington DC. Another email indicates that HSI’s Office of Intelligence owns all of the licenses and then files them out to the various field offices.
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Venntel is based on data gathered by advertising firm Gravy Analytics. Venntel then repackages that location data and sells access to it to law enforcement agencies. Babel Street, another company, also repackages Venntel’s data and incorporates it into its own product called Locate X, which it also sells to government bodies. By purchasing the data from a private business, law enforcement agencies have used the data without a warrant. This is despite privacy and legal experts, including those at the ACLU, believe that such data falls under protections offered by the Fourth Amendment.
According to the emails, HSI officials have contacted each other for assistance in having searches run in the Venntel system. In one email, an official writes to a colleague and says “Anyway, if possible, can you please forward the below dates/times/addresses to your Venntel POC [point of contact] to run?”
That collaboration has extended beyond HSI officials contacting one another and also includes local agencies. “SAC DC was one of the major users of the system supporting our state and local partners,” an email written by a chief intelligence officer from HSI reads. The official wrote the email shortly after the Wall Street Journal first reported in February 2020 that the DHS was using Venntel.
The official goes on to spell out which local agencies requested their help with the Venntel system, including “Prince William County, Fairfax, Richmond PD, Newport News, Northern Virginia Gang Task Force, Chesterfield PD, Henrico County, Norfolk PD, Fauquier County Sheriff Department and some small agencies.”
Various officials have contacted each other across HSI to get more context on the surveillance system. In an August 2019 email, one official writes that they spoke to an Assistant U.S. Attorney in North Carolina who worked with HSI agents who used Venntel.
The emails include use cases that an HSI official writes that they have location data products on, such as human, narcotics, and weapons and ammunition smuggling. In a February 2020 email, an official wrote that HSI’s Venntel licenses are for criminal investigations and not immigration enforcement (the earlier Wall Street Journal article focused in part on Customs and Border Protections use of the tool for immigration enforcement).
Another document says that “because query results do not produce the name or other contact information of an individual, ICE users must serve the geolocation service provider with a subpoena to obtain the identity of the individual that owns the device.” It is not clear if Venntel or Babel Street would necessarily have this information. Neither company responded to a request for comment.
The tools are not always effective, though. In one email, an official wrote that “feedback on Locate X has been mixed.” Officials from HSI Detroit found the system had significant gaps in its collection and so the investigators “derived little value from the tool.” Officials in HSI Nashville meanwhile used the tool “to provide investigative leads in multiple investigations to include a murder case.”
Nathan Freed Wessler, deputy director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said in a statement that “The Supreme Court has made clear that because our cell phone location history reveals so many ‘privacies of life,’ it is deserving of full Fourth Amendment protection.”
“Yet, here we see data brokers and government agencies tying themselves in knots trying to explain how people can lack an expectation of privacy in such obviously personal and sensitive location information. With the potential for abuse so high, Congress must step in to definitively end this practice,” he added.
ORIGINAL REPORTING ON EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS IN YOUR INBOX.