Surveillance Nation: Five Companies in Florida That May Help the Government Spy On You

Categories: WTF Florida
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​Earlier this month, New Times reported on how South Florida cops routinely track people through their cell phone signals without getting a warrant first. Like cops around the country, they can do so thanks to a Melbourne, Florida-based company called Harris Corp. that makes cell phone spying devices for police agencies (a fact neither the company nor cops will openly discuss and we only learned about thanks to Wikileaks).

That story got us wondering: What other Florida companies could be helping the government spy on you? Turns out the Sunshine State is a hotbed for shadowy technology. Click through for five firms we found who might just be helping Uncle Sam keep tabs on you.

Before we jump into the list, it's worth noting: Companies aren't eager to talk about their surveillance products. We compiled this list from publicly available information on these firms' websites as well as from Wikileaks documents. Riptide sent emails to each of the companies to see if they would like to talk about their surveillance efforts; we haven't heard back yet but will certainly update the post if we do.

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5. Advanced C4 Solutions, Inc.
Started by Army and Air Force veterans and headquartered in Tampa, this company provides "joint, tactical and strategic communications support to ... government agencies and the private sector." These guys run cyber operations, intelligence analysis, technical intelligence and psychological operations, among other services, and 80 percent of their staff holds a top secret clearance. They mostly sell their services to military agencies, but that doesn't necessarily mean state and local law enforcement agencies don't ask for their help as well.

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PR.com
4. Isaac Daniel Group
The Isaac Daniel Group, a Miami-based company, made news back in 2009 when it released the Blue GPS--a shoe embedded with a GPS tracker. The shoes allow the exact location of their wearer to be tracked by family and friends via cell phone and even on Facebook. Dubbed the "social networking shoe", a pair retails for about $150. Not only that, the shoe has a button that, when pressed, can send a signal to a call center where an operator can alert emergency responders. IDG also makes biometric scanners for U.S. borders.


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11 comments
luldangs
luldangs

MariahShae and AnthonyC: I suppose you forgot to read the headline, which included the word "Could". Mr. Minsky isn't explicitly saying that these companies -are- spying on you, but how can you doubt that there isn't at least some chance that their services could be used as a tool for the surveillance state? And there is evidence that some of these companies have cooperated with the government for the purposes of "fighting the war on terror", hence the reason for the post.. It says the Isaac Daniel Group develops these shoes that have GPS devices and that you can call essentially dial 911 with them; now if you know anything about anything, you know that the personal data that you give to third parties can easily retrieved for law enforcement purposes, see The Stored Communications Act. 

MariahShae
MariahShae

I wasn't talking about the shoe post.  I am specifically only referring to private contracting companies similar to AC4S and FedSys that are doing work on "war on terror" outside of the US.  Also, I just feel that for this article to really prove it's point, Mr. Minsky should have put in some concrete evidence from other sources.  If he can prove each of those are actually spying on us or "helping the government spy on you" directly, I concede happily.

Guest
Guest

The evidence for Terremark, FedSys, AC4S, and Harris could be found in books like Top Secret America and Spies for Hire, and the Washington Post's and Wikileaks' spread on private companies who specifically do business with governments to gather information on their citizens. There's a huge difference between what's legal and what's ethical. Obviously the government can make whatever laws it wants and are therefore considered "legal" The Isaac Daniels Group though is a stretch although luldangs has a good point that corporations comply with government agencies' requests for information on customer data. Google is an obvious example. The standard with which the gov't uses to get this info is far less than what is spelled out in the 4th Amendment, equally troubling is that the law allows it too. Recall the NSA's warrantless dredging of the internet using AT&T, Verizon, etc. (briefly mentioned in the post).

Goebbels
Goebbels

Where do you see the word "could"?

luldangs
luldangs

Bah, it's not there, my mistake. But my previous statement still holds regardless...

MariahShae
MariahShae

I think more legitimate research should have neen done for this. Especially if you're going to target these groups to a wife audience. There's a good reason for security clearances and for you to suggest those private security & tech firms like AC4S and FedSys are essentially "helping the government spy on you" is farfetched to say the least. Did you only use Wiki & these places face websites for research? Come on, since when is stretching the truth and inciting false confusion considered real journalism?

Brian
Brian

Have you read the spy files on WikiLeaks... this is tame next to what the government and these companies admit they do on internal memos and presentation to the military.  They are data miners.  But hey, I am a good American so they can snoop all they want as far as I care but still.  We have laws in place for a reason, it becomes a slippery slope when we start acting like our enemies and restricting or manipulating data. 

MariahShae
MariahShae

Wife is supposed to be wide***(no pun intended)

AnthonyC
AnthonyC

How is a Gimmicky GPS tracking shoe that must be purchased and used by a consumer be something that helps the government spy on us?

That is a reach even for the New Times

Jeremiefuson
Jeremiefuson

They just send you a gift card for a free pair of kicks lol

Elpingu
Elpingu

omgomgomgomg.... hide yo wife, yo kids. Its about to get real nasty up in dis bitch. Can anyone ddos them? 

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