Jul 092018
 

The Alameda County District Attorney has had a tool for unlocking cell phones since at least 2016. The tool is made by Cellebrite, an Israeli company, that markets tools for extracting data from cell phones to governments, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement agencies.

Cellebrite UFED 4PC

According to a February 2018 Forbes article, Cellebrite can reportedly unlock iPhones up to and including the iPhone X running iOS 11.2.6. However, Apple introduced USB restricted mode in iOS 11.4.1 on July 9, 2018, which may impact Cellebrite’s ability to break into locked iPhones.

The difficulty of law enforcement in obtaining access to locked iPhones has been a regular complaint by the FBI for years. In 2016, Apple refused to create software to defeat the iPhone’s security in order to help the FBI obtain access to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone. The FBI reportedly paid an unknown company to obtain access to the iPhone’s content.

In April 2018, the Washington Post reported that the FBI’s claims that it could not gain access to 7,800 encrypted cell phones was wrong and that the number was likely between 1,000 and 2,000.

Two employees of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office attended Cellebrite training courses in 2016 and 2017.

Cellebrite billed the Alameda County DA for $1,950 for “CBFL Single Unlock UFED [Universal Forensic Extraction Device]” in June 2017.

In October 2017, the Alameda County DA was billed $10,122.50 to upgrade its UFED Touch 1 to UFED 4PC.

Jun 102018
 

According to data from the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), the city of Fremont collected 14.5 million license plates and photos from license plate readers located throughout the city from December 2016 to October 2017. The installation of stationary license plate readers was approved by the Fremont City Council on July 14, 2015, without any public comment or discussion during the meeting. Of the 28 jurisdictions sending license plate reader data to NCRIC, Fremont collects the third-highest amount of data, behind Vallejo (21.7 million) and Piedmont (21.3 million). NCRIC is a regional fusion center that provides a license plate […]

Mar 242018
 
Urban Shield Trust Fund paid for trips to Israel, parking tickets and paint jobs

On July 31, 2007, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the establishment of “a cash fund in which to deposit donations, sponsorship and exhibitor fees and make payments for associated costs;” for Urban Shield. Expenses and revenues for that trust fund were received in response to a public records request to the Alameda County Sheriff. In 2008 and 2009, the Urban Shield trust fund lists $7,634 for legal expenses. However, the nature of those expenses was redacted by the Alameda County Sheriff. Two round trip tickets to Israel were expended from the Urban Shield trust fund in 2008, but […]

Nov 222017
 
Alameda County Sheriff Installed License Plate Reader at Highland Hospital Emergency Room Entrance

The Center for Human Rights and Privacy recently discovered that the Alameda County Sheriff installed a license plate reader at the entrance to Highland Hospital’s emergency room. The information was included in a list of 29 agencies that submit license plate reader to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), a local joint fusion center. However, when the East Bay Times asked about its license plate readers in February 2017, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office reported that it had about six license plate readers, mounted to patrol cars and didn’t mention the license plate reader at Highland Hospital. Although the […]

Aug 052017
 
Solano County Sheriff Gets Initial Funding for Project Skynet

With a nod to Terminator’s self-aware computer network, the Solano County Sheriff in Northern California has applied for and received partial funding for Project Skynet, a network of surveillance cameras and automated license plate readers (ALPRs). Project Skynet would install 160 ALPRs and 124 surveillance cameras at 66 locations throughout Solano County. In its response to a request for public records, Daniel Wolk, Deputy County Counsel for Solano County noted, “this is at the proposal stage and specifics, including camera locations, have not been decided upon.” Like the ring of stationary ALPRs around the City of Piedmont, the goal of […]

Oct 252016
 
Harris' Aerial Surveillance System Demonstrated at Urban Shield 2015

Harris Corporation demonstrated its CorvusEye aerial surveillance system at the annual Urban Shield event organized by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in 2015. The aerial surveillance system was used as part of a water supply sabotage scenario at Dunsmuir Reservoir in Oakland. The CorvusEye aerial surveillance system was developed by defense contractor Exelis, which Harris Corp. purchased in 2015. According to Harris’ web site, CorvusEye can provide continuous monitoring and tracking over a 2.7 square mile (7 square km) are during the day and 1.2 square miles (3.1 square km) at night. Harris’ CorvusEye is a competitor to the system […]

Oct 252016
 
Militarization of the East Bay Regional Park Police

The East Bay Regional Park District Police received machine guns and a grenade launcher from the U.S. military under the 1033 program. According to documents released in response to a public records request, the East Bay Regional Park District Police received 10 M16 rifles and an M79 grenade launcher in December 2013 and January 2014. The weapons are likely used by the department’s SWAT team, which also has a BATT armored personnel carrier.

Sep 052016
 
Half of Alameda County Sheriff's Office Surveillance Cameras Installed on Private Property

Half of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s 10 surveillance cameras have been installed on private property, including gas stations, a liquor store, and a pharmacy. The cameras are directed toward the street and intersections and do not appear to be intended to provide surveillance of the private property where they are installed. The first two surveillance cameras were installed on the Walgreens building located at 15850 E 14th Street in unincorporated San Leandro. Five more surveillance cameras were installed later in 2007, including one overlooking the Lighthouse Worship Center, one at a 7-11, and one between two houses on Elgin Way. […]

Sep 012016
 

     A broad coalition of local and state advocates are calling upon Governor Jerry Brown to issue an Executive Order directing Attorney General Kamala Harris to take jurisdiction and control over the investigations of all allegations arising out of the involvement of any member of a law enforcement agency with the rape victim identified as Celeste Guap.         Public safety requires public trust.  We find ourselves in the midst of a crisis in public safety. The very police officers that are charged to protect and serve the public have been exposed as engaging in a conspiracy of sex trafficking. […]

May 132016
 
Larkspur Installs License Plate Cameras for Mass Surveillance

Three stationary license plate cameras were recently installed on East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkpur as part of a Regional Automated License Plate Regional Network (also called strategy and strategic plan) supported by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) and funding from the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative. The cameras record images of vehicles and license plates traveling in each direction along East Sir Francisco Drake Boulevard near the intersection with Larkspur Landing Circle. The Central Marin Police Authority (CMPA) applied for the $132,553.96 Fiscal Year 2014 grant as part of a Regional Automated License Plate Reader […]