A secret, internal government catalog of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices displays the tricks the U.S. military and intelligence agencies can use to spy on anyone.

“Democracy Now!” speaks to Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept, which obtained the catalog. “The catalog includes details on the Stingray, a well-known brand of surveillance gear, and other devices, some of which have never been described in public before,” the program reports. “Scahill says the catalog represents a trove of details on surveillance devices developed for military and intelligence purposes but increasingly used by law enforcement agencies to spy on people and convict them of crimes.”

Scahill says:

“[I]n some ways, you know, the battle that’s happening between the White House and the FBI and Apple is a little bit of theater of the absurd. And when you talk to people that are really seriously in the business of monitoring the communications of terror cells and others, the NSA is way ahead of everyone in this. And the idea that Apple somehow is providing terrorists with something that they can’t crack into is just false. And the backdoor thing—you know, serious people that work in hacking on behalf of the U.S. government, they laugh at the idea that a backdoor would solve their problems. They can hack people’s phones. They can hack through the encryption of many of these platforms.

“So, in a lot of ways, this is—they’re using terrorism as a way to try to ensure that, when necessary, they can immediately access data on anyone’s device in this country or around the world.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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