The U.S. government has just confirmed, for the first time, that secret cell phone tracking devices have been discovered in the Washington D.C. area.
They are called "International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers," and the Department of Homeland Security says they can be used to track and monitor cellular user signals, calls, and messages.
This is not a conspiracy theory, but instead was confirmed to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon in a letter from DHS.
The AP reports:
"For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages.
The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies—which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves—have been silent on the issue until now."
Senator Wyden asked DHS if the federal government is able to detect these devices, and the agency replied it is unaware of any current government technology to do so.
DHS also says it has "not been able to determine" who might have placed or been using the "identity catchers."
Very interesting... and mysterious.