PenLink has been selling tracking technology to cops for years, but its software has come under increased scrutiny as smartphones have come to dominate nearly every aspect of Americans' lives. Infamously, activists during the Ferguson Black Lives Matter protests in said their phones seemed to conveniently stop working when certain police vehicles drove near them — and reporters later unveiled records suggesting cops were, in fact, listening in on activists' private communications while the demonstrations unfurled.
It's unclear if any of PenLink's technology was used in that case. In , CityLab reported that most of America's largest police departments have quietly obtained phone-snooping tech without much — or, in some cases, any — public disclosure over the past decade. Other smaller nearby police departments, including Hialeah, have contracts with PenLink, however. Previously, MPD has said that if it needed to intercept a suspect's phone, the department would file a request with county police — but now, the city says county cops have restricted outside departments' access to the software for budgeting reasons.
So now MPD wants its own spying technology. Previously, county officials had been less than forthcoming about the situations in which cops were using PenLink's systems to surveil Miamians. But in statements sent to the city's procurement department, MPD claims cops will use the service to find missing persons and "violent offenders" throughout the city.
In cases of major catastrophes and major cases, as in Officer-involved incidents or major violent cases, the City of Miami would request the assistance of our Partner Police Departments. All the local municipalities and Federal Agencies within South Florida utilize the Pen Link system; therefore to give us full compatibility we would need to utilize the same Pen Link system. The city says the software can intercept telecommunications data — meaning phone calls and GPS data from cell towers — as well as IP data, including web search information.
City documents state the system is capable of "live interception" and can be rapidly deployed to track moving targets essentially in real time.
Cell Phone Surveillance Apps to Monitor Your Children
PenLink's site says the PLX system lets cops easily map out data swiped from cell phones and create charts and graphs of suspects' social networks and location histories. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also use PenLink software to track people. You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter s - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Police-reform advocates for years, however, have warned that as cell-tracking and spying technology has proliferated, courts and city governments haven't placed enough restrictions or checks on when cops are allowed to remotely snoop through people's phones. Around the turn of the new millennium, cell trackers were mostly the purview of military officials and federal law enforcement agents.
But like most new types of military technology, local police officers have gained increased access to the software in recent years. MPD, for example, has also long used the service Cellebrite , which can extract data saved on phones obtained by the department. PenLink, in contrast, intercepts data sent between phones and nearby cell towers. A PenLink brochure attached to the city's procurement application states that the PLX system can "investigate beyond phone calls"; "collect, analyze, and export massive amounts of social media and internet communication data"; "collect pen register and wiretap intercepts in real-time for tracking, live-monitoring, and analysis"; and "load large quantities of communication data from an array of file types and conveniently store them in a single database.
All rights reserved. Copy9 is a more evolved cell phone parental control software to help you look after your kids. Service availability, features and functionality vary by device and software version. Walmart Pay is now available in all stores with the Walmart app.
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