A Peek Inside the FBI’s Unprecedented January 6 Geofence Dragnet

THE FBI’S BIGGEST-EVER investigation included the biggest-ever haul of phones from controversial geofence warrants, court records show. A filing in the case of one of the January 6 suspects, David Rhine, shows that Google initially identified 5,723 devices as being in or near the US Capitol during the riot. Only around 900 people have so far been charged with offenses relating to the siege.

The filing suggests that dozens of phones that were in airplane mode during the riot, or otherwise out of cell service, were caught up in the trawl. Nor could users erase their digital trails later. In fact, 37 people who attempted to delete their location data following the attacks were singled out by the FBI for greater scrutiny.

Geofence search warrants are intended to locate anyone in a given area using digital services. Because Google’s Location History system is both powerful and widely used, the company is served about 10,000 geofence warrants in the US each year. Location History leverages GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth signals to pinpoint a phone within a few yards. Although the final location is still subject to some uncertainty, it is usually much more precise than triangulating signals from cell towers. Location History is turned off by default, but around a third of Google users switch it on, enabling services like real-time traffic prediction. 

More…

h/t Sarge

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If you were there on January 6th and had a cell phone, you have been flagged. The question is only when you will be arrested.

David DeGerolamo

      
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Louis Jenkins
Louis Jenkins
2 months ago

The cell phone is the biggest key in the battle against tyranny. People do not realize they should leave this device behind when participating in meetings, rallies, or training sessions. Do you not think our government can take note when two, three, four or more people come together?

realwesterner
realwesterner
2 months ago

Taking one’s cell phone EVERYWHERE is functionally self-harm. Hopefully digitally and electronically addicted people will figure it out. Someday. Maybe..

tom finley
tom finley
2 months ago
Reply to  DRenegade

I cannot and will not adjust to their level of evil, let us keep it simple, they want our way of life destroyed an us with it. I cannot co-exist with these vile vermin, not gonna happen.

strider 777
strider 777
2 months ago

THE FBI’S BIGGEST-EVER investigation…” Yes, and I’m sure the Framing Bureau of Iniquity is very proud of that.

Craig H. Cosgray
Craig H. Cosgray
2 months ago

WIRED has always been a leftist op.
FYI

CTR Wolfman
CTR Wolfman
2 months ago

Google is not the only game in town. All the telecom carriers gave google the eye-pees of cell phones in a “certain area.” Note: remeber it was fashionable to see a clip on cell phone w/the blinking light? That blinking light was the carrier pinging your cell phone. Then, google went in the back doors of those phones to verify location via the on board gps systems.

Suburban Dude
Suburban Dude
2 months ago
Arch Stanton
Arch Stanton
2 months ago

Someone has already flushed the country. We’re in the swirl.

Arch Stanton
Arch Stanton
2 months ago

Things are so corrupt that I believe Joe Biden could murder Donald Trump on live broadcast and not be prosecuted. It’s past time to let loose the kraken.