Discussion: FBI Runs Secret Air Force Posing As Fake Companies To Spy On U.S. Cities

Discussion for article #237020

RE: “A Justice Department memo last month also expressly barred its component law enforcement agencies from using unmanned drones ‘solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment’ and said they are to be used only in connection with authorized investigations and activities. A department spokeswoman said the policy applied only to unmanned aircraft systems rather than piloted airplanes.”

It’s legal to spy on protesters with manned planes but not unmanned planes?

"...under a new policy it [the FBI] has recently begun obtaining court orders to use cell-site simulators. The Obama administration had until recently been directing local authorities through secret agreements not to reveal their own use of the devices, even encouraging prosecutors to drop cases rather than disclose the technology's use in open court."

Lovely. I feel so much safer now.


That’s ok unless you’re wanking off in the backyard, then splish splash it’s all a Twitter. Then it’s bad. Is that about right? JC on a pogo stick they just won’t be satisfied until it’s the Truman show for all of us.

And just like with this recent airport security screening fail it does nothing to make us “safer” just monitored to make sure we don’t get too uppity.


Looks like black helicopters were never a problem, but who knew those those gaudily painted Cessnas and Beechcrafts were the real threat?


And now a lot of people are about to once again get mad and engage in denial-rage when they find out that the Burger and Rehnquist Courts chipped, chipped, chipped the Fourth Amendment away to, if not nothing, a lot less than they think it is, one little tiny chip at a time, making this mostly, if not entirely, legal.

And shoot the messengers of that bad news for being corporatist fascist liberty haters, of course.

(But at the risk of being accused of fascism, Reagan and the Mall of America are two of the most popular subjects of terrorist threats in the nation.)


Frankly, I’m rather indifferent. It seems folks either choose to believe that this is a massive Orwellian plot for Uncle Sam to listen in on their conversation with their BFF about whether Caitlyn Jenner’s operations went “all the way” and “omg, what did they do with it…you think we can find it in the the medical rubbish like in Fight Club and then sell it on Ebay?” OR people choose to believe that they really are just using these capabilities for targeted investigations because, well, they don’t have the resources for much more than that. If the former, they’re likely suffering from some severe center-of-the-universe narcissism…if the latter, perhaps a bit of naivete, or at least lack of a healthy dose of skepticism. Reality is it’s probably something in between, with it being used primarily for targeted investigations, but sometimes abused by overzealous investigators or sometimes invading privacy by accident. The real question is whether it is at all effective, because if it’s not then (a) you’ve apparently got nothing to be afraid of or concerned about and (b) rather than being angry about the theoretical conspiracy-esque Orwellian implications of it all, you’d be better served getting pissed about the waste of money.


They fly over Baltimore, I bet they flew over protests re the TPP and we know about Occupy. When will they fly over Wall St?

1 Like

"Allen added that the FBI’s planes “are not equipped, designed or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance.” This just smells too much like bullshit to pass any test. They aren’t doing video surveillance of individuals, the only thing these could provide is an aerial Stingray platform.

Durring the Baltimore riots al you had to do was look out your window to see 6-8 helicopters at any given time over the western half of the city. All with video capability (some streaming it live to air even), so what other capability could the planes provide… yea, it’s gotta be the bulk Stingray.

1 Like

The problem is, we don’t know which it is, combined with the acknowledgement that these surveillance operations aren’t being done under a judge’s warrant. So it creates another “Trust us, we would never do anything wrong” scenarios.

Keep in mind that the NSA’s huge dragnets for terrorist related communications, has netted illegal activities not related to terrorism, which have been secretly turned over to the FBI so they can build a case around the intel. A case of “Trust me” where they clearly went beyond their already huge mandate.

I toss this out there just to highlight that current environment under which the people making the call on these type of operations are operating. And lets not forget, these is a pretty big operation that has been going on for years. That should raise some eyebrows to the “targeted” investigations claims.


Where’s Rand Paul to have a hissy fit about this on the Senate floor?

And where’s probable cause in this if a judge isn’t consulted?

Don’t get me wrong…I’m well aware of all that and I certainly fall on the side of healthy skepticism here. I’m just trying to emphasize the “healthy” part.

To borrow a phrase from the right, “What part of ‘illegal’ does the FBI not understand?”

I’d be willing to bet that these bastards aren’t flying over Cliven Bundy or the Oathkeepers.

If they had any sense of humor at all, they’d make them look like UFOs…


If the Koch brothers were doing this privately the libertardians and repiglicans would be fine with it.

1 Like

I was at a fuel pit in SoCal with a black helicopter one evening. Talked to the pilots. The Hughes 500 looked like it was painted with a broom. Nice guys.

Anyone surprised?


Good. Carry on.

1 Like

It’s really quite simple. If you give boys toys, they’re going to play with them. If you give them toys with no oversight, they’re going to play with them in ways that will piss you off if you found out about them. Simple human nature no matter WHAT your politics or criminal intent.

There is a natural governor to this kind of activity having to do with fuel cost, man-hours, and flight windows. Imagine what they will do when they can use far cheaper remote operated or autonomous drone technology.