DHS/police Wi-Fi spying is back, but this time under a different name.
How accurately can the ‘mesh network’ geo-locate and track the movements of your phone, laptop, or any other wireless device by its MAC address (media access control address)? Can the network send that information to a database, allowing the Seattle Police to reconstruct who was where at any given time, on any given day, without a warrant?
Watch the mesh network video below:
The SkyWave antennas/readers are made by Acyclica. The readers are placed along a street corridor, creating a complete surveillance zone. When a car passes one of the readers, any wireless device – phone, tablet, Bluetooth or car sensor it pings the readers As the car passes by more readers through the city, they can calculate your speed, distance, time and general behavior.
How long before police mail you a ticket for speeding? Each of these readers costs $2,000 each.
“The antennas are a patented design from SkyWave Antennas in Huntsville, Alabama. Each is connected to a modem that casts a net of Wi-Fi across the intersection. As you approach, the signal pings not only the sensors in your car, but your phone and tablet as well. A succession of these gizmos can track your progress down the street.”
“Before the most recent Wi-Fi based system, the Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT) deployed license plate and Bluetooth readers to gather information as cars move from one place to the next. But while effective for highways and large scale roads, they left something to be desired at intersections and smaller corridors. The new system will provide a much more detailed picture: while Bluetooth readers capture 5-7 percent of cars passing intersections, the Wi-Fi readers capture nearly 50 percent from cars with smartphones or tablets with Wi-Fi turned on.”
“SDOT representatives say they are exceedingly confident this new technology poses no privacy risks. Emery and SDOT Public Information Officer Norm Mah explain that the city receives no raw data from the readers.”
The SDOT can make infrastructure (surveillance) improvements without approval from the city council and the public is non the wiser. Adiam Emery, an Intelligent Transportation System Engineer with SDOT called programs like this one “business as usual” for SDOT.
Hmm, business as usual now that’s an interesting statement, lets examine what happened in 2013. The SDOT, and the Seattle Police working with DHS set up a mesh surveillance network to spy on the VERY same things that the SkyWave readers are doing. But after public outcry they claimed to have stopped using them. However it’s been two years now and DHS/police needed to be creative this time, now ‘they’ claim all the data they collect will be anonymous. No really!
Who’s really behind the SkyWave readers? If you guessed DHS/Police again, you’d be right!
Siemens is going to distribute the Acyclica systems to cities across the country and to Canada
“Daniel Benhammou, president of Acyclica, commented, “We are pleased to partner with Siemens to help traffic engineers around the world improve the daily lives of commuters, increase fuel efficiency, and increase safety through deploying our solutions.” Siemens will be offering the Acyclica system through its network of direct offices and Value Added Partners across the USA and Canada.”
Siemens has a close working relationship with DHS:
Siemens joins public-private partnership to develop Homeland Security traffic solutions.
Siemens tie up for Homeland Security solutions.
Siemens Public Safety and Homeland Security page.
Siemens computer software runs our nations power plants.
Siemens venture capital investing and funding in Homeland Security.
And finally, Rob Welton, Siemens national business development manager is an active member of the International Association of the Chiefs of Police!