The U.S. Government Admits to Spying On the Public With Fake Companies

CS Globe

nsa spy

Once again, it has been revealed that agencies of the United States government are monitoring the population, using secretive technology with little oversight.

The Associated Press recently reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has been flying at least 100 planes across the country that are equipped with video and audio surveillance equipment. This includes the controversial StingRay cellphone surveillance technology.

Even more interesting is the fact that these planes are operated by fake front companies used by the government and are rarely given judicial approval. Some of these companies include FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. As the AP reported:

“The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. The FBI said it uses front companies to protect the safety of the pilots and aircraft.

It also shields the identity of the aircraft so that suspects on the ground don’t know they’re being watched by the FBI.

In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

The AP traced at least 50 aircraft back to the FBI, and identified more than 100 flights since late April orbiting both major cities and rural areas.

See also: How NSA can Spy on Any Wireless Network Anywhere

One of the planes, photographed in flight last week by the AP in northern Virginia, bristled with unusual antennas under its fuselage and a camera on its left side. A federal budget document from 2010 mentioned at least 115 planes, including 90 Cessna aircraft, in the FBI’s surveillance fleet.”

Following these latest revelations, the FBI held a confidential briefing with Congress to explain the program. Government officials present at the briefing told the AP that the operation was standard operating procedure and had only been used five times in five years.

Despite the program being unclassified, the FBI declined to release details on how many spy planes are in operation. The bureau did reveal that around 85 percent of the aircraft use infrared cameras. The remaining 15 percent use binoculars for surveillance.

During the mass demonstrations following the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore resident Benjamin Shayne noticed a curious plane flying overhead, circling the area repeatedly.

Shayne decided to ask the internet what it thought, tweeting, “Anyone know who has been flying the light plane in circles above the city for the last few nights?

A former employee with the American Civil Liberties Union happened to see the tweet and was able to identify the plane, a Cessna 182T, and its exact flight path and registered owner, NG Research, based in Bristow, VA.


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