Seattle Police Deactivate Wi-Fi Spy Grid After Privacy Outcry
SPD admit mesh network was never turned off after DHS testing phase
Paul Joseph Watson
November 13, 2013
Following a privacy outcry concerning a wi-fi “mesh network” being installed in Seattle with DHS funding that has the capability of recording the last 1,000 locations of anyone in its vicinity, the Seattle Police Department announced last night that it is temporarily deactivating the network.
As we highlighted yesterday, the $2.7 million dollar system, a series of white wi-fi boxes affixed to utility poles with which authorities had planned to blanket the entire city, can track cellphones even if they are not connected to the network. The system can also collect a mobile user’s IP address, mobile device type, apps used, current location and even historical locations.
Infowars subsequently obtained documents from a government insider that revealed how the mesh network was far more than just a means of tracking people’s locations, it was also linked with DHS fusion centers and collected a “wealth of information” from the cellphones of people in the coverage area.
The Seattle Police Department responded to the controversy by announcing that it will temporarily deactivate the network, which was rushed through the Seattle City Council with virtually no oversight, and allow public scrutiny of the system before proceeding.
“The wireless mesh network will be deactivated until city council approves a draft policy and until there’s an opportunity for vigorous public debate,” SPD spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said last night, adding that turning off the system involves, “a little more than just flipping a switch.”
“Our position is that the technology is the technology,” Whitcomb added, “but we want to make sure that we have safeguards and policies in place so people with legitimate privacy concerns aren’t worried about how it’s being used.”