War Zone Surveillance Technology Is Hitting American Streets

Credit: Byron Tau

Big Brother isn’t just watching you: He’s using your cell phone, smartwatch, wireless earbuds, car entertainment systems and license plates to track your location in real time.

Contracting records and notes from local government meetings obtained by NOTUS show that federal and state Homeland Security grants allow local law enforcement agencies to surveil American citizens with technology more commonly found in war zones and foreign espionage operations.

At least two Texas communities along the U.S.-Mexico border have purchased a product called “TraffiCatch,” which collects the unique wireless and Bluetooth signals emitted by nearly all modern electronics to identify devices and track their movements. The product is also listed in a federal supply catalog run by the U.S. government’s General Services Administration, which negotiates prices and contracts for federal agencies.