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MN Sheriff Warrantless Cell Phone Wiretapping & Fake Anarchist Group on Facebook at RNC08
UPDATE: Hours after this was posted the Hennepin County Board voted to table requesting federal money for Kingfish, at least until March 23rd, but the Strib didn't mention it could be voted upon again.
A source revealed a new move in the profitable world of government tracking goodiez: Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek lost out on nearly half a million dollars to buy a very secret advanced cell phone tracking kit called "KingFish" manufactured by Harris Corporation, when the Hennepin County Board deemed it expensive and possibly unconstitutional; he doesn't want to talk about it, the Star Tribune reported recently. However, he is apparently now going to get some kind of secret grant from the Feds to get KingFish anyway, probably paid via DHS or DOJ grant programs (much as Edina got a silly $182K police battletank). Will the Hennepin County Board be able to obtain the truth at today's meeting?
Also a couple proposals including the "Kelsey Smith" bill (HF2639/SF2470) are going through the Legislature to let the police instantaneously locate cell phones without warrants, under the excuse of abduction emergencies, although this bill's language is frighteningly unrestricted. The Strib says Kip Carver from Stanek's office also pitched KingFish as a tool to help with abductions. However, law enforcement is lurking in the wings at the State Capitol, trying to get warrantless intercepts of voice/data, not just the phone locations, added to HF2639. [Why is it legal for them to lobby for warrantless intercepts?] Naturally they want to try to sneak it in as an amendment, rather than a separate bill.
Metro area police departments have National Guard officers in the "police intelligence" mix now... More things secretly pushed in Minnesota Security State 2010, below the fold weird details, including notes on Stanek's agenda to kick Kitten off Facebook.
Last December the Minneapolis Police Department gave Minnesota National Guard Sergeant First Class Nicole Hughes an award at a ceremony attended by National Guard brass in fatigues. MNG and Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan claimed Hughes' work in I2 or Identity Intelligence software was made legal under a special annual declaration signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. More below
The Stanek Agenda
We heard Stanek said the Feds told him he can't talk about KingFish, even though the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension already has one. Why should any state official, in particular a Sheriff, be taking orders from the Feds? Especially about deployment of military-grade cell phone tracking technology here in Minnesota! While searching KingFish system by Harris Wireless Products Group or Harris Corporation turns up very little on the Internet, a US Army Intelligence command posted notice of "sole source" contracting of the KingFish Harris system. It must really be a field-clearing, top of the line cell phone tracking system; according to the contract spec it works on CDMA and 3G systems; we wonder if the secret Fed-Stanek Kingfish grant includes cool training sessions like the Army contract has. (Well-connected Harris made $165 million in Iraq and Afghanistan war cash during just 2002-July 2004)
One other happy operator of Harris KingFish? According to Maricopa County Arizona Board of Supervisor minutes, none other than the offices of controversial Sheriff Joseph "Joe" Arpaio, via High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Fed cash. Those minutes, posted below, describe its apparent use against drug traffickers.
Stanek is also pushing expanding the shady Suspicious Activity Reports from finance into the entire "Critical Infrastructure" of the US, which creates an entire new tier of police data that might land anywhere in police files, under the rationale that "critical infrastructure and key resource sectors" (or CIKRS) is now a parallel, quasi-militarized level of secured reality, granting its owners special rights to expanded government-gathered information on their "threats" and opponents. Suspicious Activity Reports open the floodgates of systematic sharing of private data among many actors, and Stanek has been coordinating the Nationwide SAR Initiative: http://www.niem.gov/newsletter200903.php
This new schema of domestic power relations is also getting rolled out at the state level through MnJAC, the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center, located in... Hennepin County, and wants to expand distribution of "special" intel to more private actors immediately. [MnJAC's ICEFISHX portal has dozens of registered military members, as well.]
Minnesota National Guard in metro police intelligence & the "Police Intelligence Operations" philosophy
Interestingly the extension of the Minnesota National Guard into the area of policing is part of a growing trend of militarization in the United States, as the military-industrial corporations have gorged on billions of dollars, reselling technology developed for wars now repurposed to control the American public. The National Guard claimed at least eight intelligence officials were working in the metro police departments, essentially a "live exercise" for the erosion of civil society. This is under the auspices of the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force ( http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/counterdrug/ ), a state implementation of a nationwide National Guard program ( http://ngbcounterdrug.ng.mil/Pages/Default.aspx ).
The MN-NG entering Minnesota police forces is exactly the pattern described in "Police Intelligence Operations", a seriously disturbing study written by a bunch of contractors, including John Towery, an SAIC contractor working with a Washington state fusion center and local military intelligence unit. Get it here:
Towery went in and took over listservs among Tacoma antiwar protesters, and a version of his deeply awful tale is actually a "vignette" about how they all interceded to destroy an American political dissent movement like an insurgency. They clearly believe by merging military, corporate, tracking and police functions it is possible to crush all oppositional forces in society.
This is the kind of remodeling of America that's being "approved" by ceremonies like MPD giving Hughes an award. Even with good intents, the entire system is still completely antithetical to the structure of our Republic, and no MPD award can reverse that.
Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and a National Guard General described how Major General Larry W. Shellito, Adjutant General / Commissioner of the Department of Military Affairs, creates a special loophole declaration for Gov. Tim Pawlenty to sign every year, legitimizing the National Guard intelligence officers joining metro area police departments. However, no such declaration could be located on the websites of the National Guard or Pawlenty's office.
They agreed that the National Guard investigators are not "arresting anyone" and merely are provided sensitive law enforcement data, and then give it back but never retain it. However "arresting" and "investigating" are really both "executing" the laws of the U.S., there's no difference there.
State & county politicians don't want expensive police state junk, so the Feds buy it with fresh taxpayer debt instead
Stanek getting his hands on KingFish via the Feds after Chair Mike Opat and the Hennepin County Board already tried to cork it is part of the larger story, of federal money arbitrarily militarizing local government in America. When state governments balk at the expense and unaccountability of the Feds' programs and shady technologies, federal administrators roll right in, and roll them over. Controlling the strings on federal grants gives a lot of leverage, but there is resistance. For years the Minnesota Legislature has unanimously fought dumping tons of privileged state data on Minnesota citizens into the horrible federal RealID system because they know it will be totally insecure (and easily exploited commercially as well).
The feds' grant programs just come in and push the junk out whether locals want it or not, like that dumb Edina tank or the rarely spotted Minneapolis Police Department 6-Wheeler of Riot Control Fun(Photo by Malbiniak http://twitpic.com/a609 ). Now Pittsburgh has several LRAD sound cannon trucks, thanks to another federal grant program apparently run by maniacal fascists. [Democracy Now, Washington Times]. Who is in control of this grant money? WashTimes:
The purchase of LRADs by police agencies in the U.S. is approved by the Homeland Security Department, making the departments eligible for millions of dollars in federal grants. Federal and state officials said the grant money is turned over to the states, which decide how to spend it.Is that news to Opat and Stanek?
With limitless debt financing available for the homeland security / "lawful interception" industry to hawk its wares, local government officials without recourse to infinite funds must turn down expanding tracking tech like KingFish into Hennepin County. But the Fed is there to push the tech, and the Federal Reserve Bank is there to synthesize the money.
Fake MN Police Facebook Anarchists; Plus a Kitten, Sheriff Rich Stanek and his Facebook Deputies show Sheriff elections a sham?
The rules for police messing around on Facebook, especially during election season, seem unknown. The Bloomington Police Department appears to have been involved with propping up a fake anarchist direct action group, IndyTACT, prior to the Republican National Convention. Police used social media to set fake public accounts for a number of operatives and notional illusions, yet the implications for this practice is unknown. Likewise law enforcement is in a unique power relation to Internet companies, which have limited budgets to fend off dubious requests for data, more and more coming without warrants or judicial oversight at all. [Cryptome.org has published tons of these law enforcement manuals in recent weeks, including a highly publicized brief shutdown via Microsoft's censoring attempts.]
Is it within the powers of a Sheriff to demand Groups and Fanpages be deleted by Facebook? That's the question begged by the deletion of the first "Kitten for Sheriff" group setup against Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. Did Stanek or his campaign operatives demand it be deleted? On at least one occasion, Stanek also dispatched two deputies to investigate people specifically on the premise of Facebook activity. It is a terrain they must see as an Infowar of sorts, but they already get to play by different rules.
And for that matter, when someone in Bloomington PD gets around to deleting IndyTACT from Facebook, much as the fake accounts created for Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher's informants disappeared, will the act of deleting those accounts fall under an "active investigation" in data practices? Or perhaps the auto-deletion of idle accounts is "acceptable" as "not doing anything." Interesting stuff.
Since no one outside the Peace Officer community can even run for Sheriff in Minnesota right now (a dangerous electoral limitation recently imposed), symbolic satire campaigns are pitifully the only thing we have left in law enforcement elections. Kitten's success so far empirically proves that Sheriff Stanek only has a few dozen avid supporters, yet the field of opponents is arbitrarily cleared by the unfair election law.
The fake manifesto the cops posted here: http://twincities.indymedia.org/2008/aug/indiana-adopts-sector-2
CopBook evidence: http://tc.indymedia.org/files/Greelis-CopBook-RNC.pdf
Kitten's campaign against Stanek is wholly opposed to militarized police:
"Our former facebook fan page "I bet this kitten could get more fans than Sheriff Rich Stanek" was removed on 02/18/10 for alleged policy violations so we are moving into a group format for now. Apparently, it is "hateful, threatening or obscene" to state that a kitten can get more fans than a local sheriff. We will not be silenced by facebook censors for starting a simple group supporting a kitten over a sheriff. "