By Deborah Dupree | Examiner | Jul. 27, 2011
Innocent victims of surveillance, raising eyebrows when pressing loved ones to understand their persecution and seemingly unheard when urging Congress to act on their being stalked or spied on by people using cell phone technology to track them, had a note of hope Tuesday when Matthew Olsen, new head of the National Counterterrorism Center, admitted it is possible that the USA PATRIOT ACT gave the federal government powers to use cell phone data to track Americans inside the United States, according to the general counsel for the National Security Agency (NSA).
"There are certain circumstances where that authority may exist," Olsen told the Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing reported The Wall Street Journal.
Such "revelations of illegal NSA surveillance activities are no surprise to a growing number of people whose lives have been disrupted and destroyed by the high-tech CoIntelPro styled efforts of America’s intelligence communities," stated Magnus Ollson who studied Promotion Marketing Micro/Macro at Harvard University.
After Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. asked Olsen whether the government has the authority to "use cell site data to track the location of Americans inside the country," using a similar reply to the question of whether an individual is in a relationship, Olsen said, "It is a very complicated question."
The intelligence officials are working on a memo with a better answer for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. wants that memo for the Committee's first hearing in September.
When carrying a cell phone, it constantly sends signals about where its owner is, as Time U.S. reported in September 2010:
"It "pings" nearby cell-phone towers about every seven seconds so it can be ready to make and receive calls. When it does, the phone is also telling the company that owns the towers where you are at that moment — data the company then stores away indefinitely.
"There is also a second kind of locational data that phone companies have, thanks to a GPS chip that is embedded in most smart phones now. This is even more accurate — unlike the towers, which can only pinpoint a general area where you may be, GPS can often reveal exactly where you are at any given moment within a matter of meters."
"There are some good reasons for this, which is why the government is actually forcing the phone companies to do a better job of knowing where you are. In the name of improving emergency services, the Federal Communications Commission will require phone companies to meet benchmarks in 2012 for how closely they can pinpoint a caller's location.
"About 90% of Americans are walking around with a portable tracking device all the time, and they have no idea," said Cristopher Calabrese, an American Civil Liberties Union's Washington office lawyer said.
Surveillance issues expert and author of Satellite Tyranny
, Paul Baird says even more Americans are unaware of other advanced satellite surveillance and the related "harassment" technologies available to covert government agencies and organised crime syndicates.