It’s no secret that many governments have been keeping tabs on their citizens through controversial surveillance methods. Different agencies shell out millions of dollars on complex machines developed by tech companies – and with customers this demanding and lots of money, it’s no wonder why this particular sector of the tech industry is booming.
Take Harris Corporation, for example. For the past couple of years, it has sold a wide range of clandestine mobile phone surveillance technologies to different government agencies (which, yes, includes the National Security Agency). According to ArsTechnica.com, the company has earned over $40 million since 2004, all thanks to spy technology sales.
Here are some of the surveillance gadgets that have been used in the country over the decade.
This box-shaped portable device known as the Stingray is the most popular among spy tools that have been used by the government. The gadget is capable of collecting over a hundred unique phone-identifying codes within a targeted radius by sending a signal that tricks mobile phones into connecting to it. It sounds simple enough, but the Stingray can be used for other means. Add-ons such as “FishHawk” allow you to eavesdrop on conversations, while “Porpoise” can be used to put text messages under close watch. Agencies such as the DEA, Secret Service, the FBI, and the DEA have been known to purchase the Stingray and other related equipment.
One of Harris Corporation’s latest offerings in mobile phone tracking, the Hailstorm’s full capabilities are still unknown to the general public. What we know is that you can use it as an add-on to the Stingray, and it can also be bought as a standalone unit. Several police departments were reported to have entered separate procurement processes to obtain the device.
Authorities use this nifty device for eavesdropping and intercepting conversations – in real time! The Triggerfish can also be used to locate where a phone call is being made and to gather loads of information over a specified area. According to marketing materials, it’s capable of identifying over 60,000 different phone-identifying codes at one time. Agencies such as the DEA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have invested in this spying tool.
Use the Harpoon with a Stingray and it’ll boost its signal, allowing the Stingray to project its signal and gather more data from a greater distance. The device can also be used with other mobile phone surveillance technologies through numerous inputs that adorn the front of the tool.
Armed with a direction-finding system, the Amberjack can locate a subject through monitoring a phone’s signal strength. The gadget, which is circular in shape, is designed for covert operations. You can easily attach this to any surface (such as the roof of a vehicle) through its inbuilt magnets. Like the other tools, the Amberjack can be used with the Stingray. The technology has been purchased by several sectors of the government such as the DEA, the Special Operations Command, and the Secret Service.