Apr 132015
 

In a February 13, 2015, response to my public records request, the Boston Police Department indicated that it had records responsive to my request, but “The information you have requested is exempt from disclosure by MGL c. 4 s. 7(26)(f) and (n). Disclosure of the information contained in these documents would not be in the public interest and would prejudice the possibility of effective law enforcement.”

As the public records request only asked for information related to Harris Corporation equipment, this indicates that the Boston Police Department has a Harris Corporation cell site simulator, probably a StingRay.

Apr 132015
 

In a February 18, 2015, response to my public records request, the New York Police Department indicated it had records responsive to my request, but “In regard to the documents(s) which you requested, I must deny access to these records on the basis of Public Officers Law Section 87(2)(e)(iv) as such information, if disclosed, would reveal non-routine techniques and procedures.”

This indicates that the New York Police Department has a cell site simulator.

Apr 132015
 

In a March 26, 2015, response to my public records request, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office provided a heavily-redacted copy of a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI dated May 29, 2012. Based on the number of pages, the non-disclosure agreement appears similar to non-disclosure agreements between the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and between the FBI and the Erie County Sheriff.

The non-disclosure agreement refers to “wireless collection equipment/technology manufactured by Harris Corporation,” which indicates that the equipment is likely a StingRay.

In a followup response to my public records request, dated March 27, 2015, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office provided four heavily-redacted documents from Harris Corporation:

Apr 102015
 

In an April 7, 2015, response to a public records request, the Kern County Sheriff released a quotation from Digital Receiver Technology dated April 8, 2009, for a DRT 1201B 0402/PRS Wireless Receiving System. This came after the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved allocating $193,030 in State Homeland Security Grant Funds (agenda consent item CA-37) at its meeting of December 9, 2008. The background material for this item noted that “The vendor will not permit public disclosure of the equipment features.”

The quotation describes the DRT 1201B as:

Consisting of the following items: 4 RF tuners. 2 wideband processor modules, and embedded/GUI software for all supported wireless formats. Includes Alaska software and a two year hardware warranty are also included. With this configuration, including the TEX and DEX modules, there is 8 empty slot for future processing modules. Unit comes with a DELL 8600 or equivalent laptop to control and operate the unit.

The quotation also describes the DF20C-1 antenna kit as:

Direction Finding antenna, nine 3-inch antenna elements, DRT DF software, Pinpoint geolocation software, DF manual, GPS antenna, 25-ft. cable. This antenna will do direction finding on all cellular formats.

At its meeting on June 7, 2011, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved (agenda consent item CA-75) an agreement with Digital Receiver Technology for training.

As part of a previous public records response, the Kern County Sheriff also released Digital Receiver Technology’s General Terms and Conditions of Sale, revised May 9, 2006.

Apr 092015
 

In a March 19, 2015, response to my public records request, the Los Angeles Police Department responded, “To the extent that any such records may exist…they would constitute official information.” The letter goes on to state that all requested documents are exempt under California Government Code section 6254(k) and section 6255 without indicating whether such records exist.

However, a little research shows that on August 2, 2005, the Los Angeles City Council approved the purchase of a cell phone tracking system from Digital Receiver Technology for an amount not to exceed $260,000. Background material for the agenda item stated, “Most vendors only offered a product that could track phones issued by one or two cellular service providers. Conversely, DRT’s equipment can track and monitor all cellular phone traffic, making it the most advanced product on the market.” Digital Receiver Technology was purchased by Boeing in December 2008.

On April 29, 2010, the Chief of Police wrote a memo to the Police Board of Commissioners to approve a donation of $347,050 from the Los Angeles Police Foundation for a Harris StingRay II system, three high-power Harpoon amplifiers, a laptop, an Amberjack antenna and training. On July 6, 2010, the Los Angeles City Council formally accepted the donation.

Media coverage:

Apr 082015
 

In a March 30, 2015, response to my public records request, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office claims that requested records are exempt from disclosure – without actually making a determination that the records actually exist. With respect to a non-disclosure agreement between the FBI and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the letter states:

Pursuant to California Government Code 6254(f) ” … Records of intelligence information or security procedures of, the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice …. ,” are exempt from disclosure, therefore this part of the request is denied.

 Based on the response, it is all but certain that the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has a cell site simulator. An appeal has been filed to obtain the non-disclosure agreement and determine what type of cell site simulator it possesses.

Apr 082015
 

In an emailed response to public records request, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office released a lightly-redacted copy of its non-disclosure disagreement with the FBI. The document is dated December 7, 2012, and uses the same template of the NDA between the FBI and the Erie County Sheriff that was released by the ACLU on April 7, 2015.

The NDA includes these references to public records requests:

7. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department shall not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, use or provide any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities) beyond the evidentiary results obtained through the use of the equipment/technology including, but not limited to, during pre-trial matters, in search warrants and related affidavits, in discovery, in response to court ordered disclosure, in other affidavits, in grand jury hearings, in the State’s case-in-chief, rebuttal, or on appeal, or in testimony in any phase of civil or criminal trial, without the prior written approval of the FBI. If the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department learns that a District Attorney, prosecutor, or a court is considering or intends to use or provide any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities) beyond the evidentiary results obtained through the use of the equipment/technology in a manner that will cause law enforcement sensitive information relating to the technology to be made known to the public, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department will immediately notify the FBI in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise.

8. In addition, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department will, at the request of the FBI, seek dismissal of the case in lieu of using or providing, or allowing others to use or provide, any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (beyond the evidentiary results obtained through the use of the equipment/technology), if using or providing such information would potentially or actually compromise the equipment/technology. This point supposes that the agency has some control or influence over the prosecutorial process. Where such is not the case, or is limited so as to be inconsequential, it is the FBI’s expectation that the law enforcement agency identify the applicable prosecuting agency, or agencies, for inclusion in this agreement.

Public records request acknowledgement from March 16, 2015

Public records request acknowledgement from March 30, 2015

Media coverage:
Law enforcement officials: Cell phone disclosures would hurt investigations – The Desert Sun, Feb. 15, 2014

Apr 072015
 

The source for this text is the non-disclosure agreement between the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI obtained by the ACLU.

U.S. Department of Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation

June 29, 2012

Scott R. Patronik
Chief
Erie County Sheriff’s Office
10 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202

Re: Acquisition of Wireless Collection Equipment/Technology and Non-Disclosure Obligations

LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE (LES): The information in this document is the property of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and may be distributed within the federal government (and its contractors), U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, public safety or protection officials and individuals with a need to know. Distribution beyond these entities without FBI Operational Technology Division authorization is prohibited. Precautions should be taken to ensure this information is stored and/or destroyed in a manner that precludes unauthorized access. Information bearing the LES caveat may not be used in legal proceedings without first receiving authorization from the originating agency. Recipients are prohibited from subsequently posting the information marked LES on a website on an unclassified network.

Dear Scott R. Patronik:

We have been advised by Harris Corporation of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s request for acquisition of certain wireless collection equipment/technology manufactured by Harris Corporation. Consistent with the conditions on the equipment authorization granted to Harris Corporation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state and local law enforcement agencies must coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to complete this non-disclosure agreement prior to the acquisition and use of the equipment/technology authorized by the FCC authorization.

As you are aware, law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on wireless collection equipment/technology to conduct lawfully-authorized electronic surveillance. Disclosing the existence of and the capabilities provided by such equipment/technology to the public would reveal sensitive technological capabilities possessed by the law enforcement community and may allow individuals who are the subject of investigation wherein this equipment/technology is used to employ countermeasures to avoid detection by law enforcement. This would not only potentially endanger the lives and physical safety of law enforcement officers and other individuals, but also adversely impact criminal and national security investigations. That is, disclosure of this information could result in the FBI’s inability to protect the public from terrorism and other criminal activity because, through public disclosures, this technology has been rendered essentially useless for future investigations. In order to ensure that such wireless collection equipment/technology continues to be available for use by the law enforcement community, the equipment/technology and any information related to its functions, operation, and use shall be protected from potential compromise by precluding disclosure of this information to the public in any manner including but not limited to: in press releases, in court documents, during judicial hearings, or during other public forums or proceedings. Accordingly, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office agrees to the following conditions in connection with its acquisition and use of the Harris Corporation equipment/technology:

1. By entering into this agreement, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office affirms that it has statutory authority to lawfully employ this technology and will do so only in support of public safety operations or criminal investigations.

2. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office assumes responsibility for operating the equipment/technology in accordance with federal law and regulation and accepts sale liability for any violations thereof, irrespective of the Federal Bureau of Investigation approval, if any, for the sale of the equipment/technology.

3. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will ensure that operators of the equipment have met the operator training standards identified by the FBI and’ are certified to conduct operations.

4. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will coordinate with the FBI in advance of its use of the wireless collection equipment/technology to ensure de-confliction of respective missions.

5. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will not distribute, disseminate, or otherwise disclose any information concerning the wireless collection equipment/technology or any software, operating manuals, or related technical documentation (including its technical/engineering descriptions) and capabilities) to the public, including to any non-law enforcement individuals or agencies.

6. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will not distribute, disseminate, or otherwise disclose any information concerning the wireless collection equipment/technology or any software) operating manuals, or related technical documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities) provided to it to any other law enforcement or government agency without the prior written approval of the FBI. Prior to any approved distribution, dissemination, or comparable disclosure of any information concerning the wireless collection equipment/technology or any software, manuals, or related technical documentation related to such equipment/technology, all materials shall be marked “Law Enforcement Sensitive, For Official Use Only – Not to be Disclosed Outside of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.”

7. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office shall not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, use or provide any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities) beyond the evidentiary results obtained through the use of the equipment/technology including, but not limited to, during pre-trial matters, in search warrants and related affidavits, in discovery, in response to court ordered disclosure, in other affidavits, in grand jury hearings, in the State’s case-in-chief, rebuttal, or on appeal, or in testimony in any phase of civil or criminal trial, without the prior written approval of the FBI. If the Erie County Sheriff’s Office learns that a District Attorney, prosecutor, or a court is considering or intends to use or provide any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities) beyond the evidentiary results obtained through the use of the equipment/technology in a manner that will cause law enforcement sensitive information relating to the technology to be made known to the public, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will immediately notify the FBI in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise.

Notification shall be directed to the attention of:

Assistant Director
Operational Technology Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Engineering Research Facility
Building 27958A, Pod A
Quantico, Virginia 22135
(703) 985-6100

and

Unit Chief
Tracking Technology Unit
Operational Technology Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Engineering Research Facility
Building 27958A, Pod B
Quantico, Virginia 22135
(703) 985-6840

8. In addition, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will, at the request of the FBI, seek dismissal of the case in lieu of using or providing, or allowing others to use or provide, any information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (beyond the evidentiary results obtained through the use of the equipment/technology), if using or providing such information would potentially or actually compromise the equipment/technology. This point supposes that the agency has some control or influence over the prosecutorial process. Where such is not the case, or is limited so as to be inconsequential, it is the FBI’s expectation that the law enforcement agency identify the applicable prosecuting agency, or agencies, for inclusion in this agreement.

9. A copy of any court order in any proceeding in which the Erie County Sheriff’s Office is a Party directing disclosure of information concerning the Harris Corporation equipment/technology and any associated software, operating manuals, or related documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities) will immediately be provided to the FBI in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise. Any such court orders shall be directed to the attention of:

Assistant Director
Operational Technology Division
Federal Bureau of investigation
Engineering Research Facility
Building 27958A, Pod A
Quantico, Virginia 22135
(703) 985-6100

and

Unit Chief
Tracking Technology Unit
Operational Technology Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Engineering Research Facility
Building 27958A, Pod B
Quantico, Virginia 22135
(703) 985-6840

10. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will not publicize its acquisition or use of the Harris Corporation equipment/technology or any of the capabilities afforded by such equipment/technology to the public, other law enforcement agencies, or other government agencies, including, but not limited to, in any news or press releases, interviews, or direct or indirect statements to the media.

11. In the event that the Erie County Sheriff’s Office receives a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) or an equivalent state or local law, the civil or criminal discovery process, or other judicial, legislative, or administrative process, to disclose information concerning the Harris Corporation wireless collection equipment/technology, its associated software, operating manuals, and any related documentation (including its technical/engineering description(s) and capabilities), the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will immediately notify the FBI of any such request telephonically and in writing in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels. Notification shall be directed to the attention of:

Assistant Director
Operational Technology Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Engineering Research Facility
Building 27958A, Pod A
Quantico, Virginia 22135
(703) 985-6100

and

Unit Chief
Tracking Technology Unit
Operational Technology Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Engineering Research Facility
Building 27958A, Pod B
Quantico, Virginia 22135
(703) 985-6840

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s acceptance of the above conditions shall be evidenced by the signatures below of an authorized representative and wireless collection equipment operators of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Sincerely,

Christopher M. Piehota
Special Agent in Charge
Buffalo Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Apr 072015
 

In a March 31, 2015, response to my public records request, the Monterey County Office of the County Counsel said that the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office had no responsive records.

After extensive review of Monterey County Sheriff’s Office records, it has been determined that there are no documents which are responsive to any of the categories contained in your Public Records Act request.

Apr 072015
 

In a March 23, 2015, response to my public records request, the Delaware Division of State Police, noted that it does have a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI for cellular telephone monitoring and surveillance equipment.

The letter states,

Law Enforcement Sensitive: the information in the nondisclosure agreement is the property of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and may be distributed within the Federal Government (and its contractors), U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, public safety of protection officials and individuals with a need to know. Distribution beyond these entities without FBI Operational Technology Division authorization is prohibited.

No information yet about when that agreement was signed or when the Delaware Division of State Police first acquired the equipment.