Transit Police Are Accused Of Secretly Spying On Commuters’ Travel Plans, Texts And Emails (Updated)

By MassPrivateI

(Massprivatei wants readers to know that a lawsuit doesn’t mean ELERTS is spying on people. A Court must decide whether the allegations are true. Massprivatei is reaching out to ELERTS for a comment.)

A class action lawsuit in California, reveals that Transit Police are using a free “Bart Watch” app and Stingray surveillance to secretly spy on commuters texts and emails. (For more info. read pages 5-15 of the suit.)

Transit Police take their cues from other police departments, claiming they’re only interested in the public’s safety and security,

Safety and security is our top priority…BART Watch allows you to quickly and discreetly report criminal or suspicious activity directly to BART Police.

Unfortunately, these “See Something, Say Something” apps allow police to spy on everyone.

According to ABC7 News at least 10,000-50,000 people have downloaded the Elerts spying app. The lawsuit reveals that Transit Police are using Elerts to secretly collect everyone’s cellphone identification number, otherwise known as International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI).

While BART and ELERTS “represent that the app is a ‘discreet’ way of reporting issues…the defendants actually programmed the app to secretly collect transit users’ unique cellular identifiers, periodically monitor users’ locations, and track the identities of anonymous reporters,” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit warns that Transit Police also use Stingray surveillance to identify individuals and spy on their texts and emails.

To make it easier to spy on commuters, Elerts wants Transit Police to use their new “free” Text-A-Tip app.

The app can be branded with your Transit system logo and works with iPhone and Android smartphones. A convenient drop-down menu makes it easy for riders to indicate Report Type, such a: Assault, robbery, medical emergency or suspicious activity.

Transit Police across the country are spying on commuters

The “Bart Watch” surveillance app is made by Elerts corporation, who claims that they’re the number one incident reporting & alerting app in the country. They also claim that twelve Transit police departments are using their app.

image credit: Elert

Which means, there are at least twelve Transit Police departments spying on commuters.

According to an article in the Boston Business Journal, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has been using Elerts to spy on commuters since 2012.

Sneaky Transit Police across the country encourage commuters to download free versions of their “See Something, Say Something” apps.

Transit police use commuters fear of terrorism to get them to download their apps.

“Transit Police are always looking for new tools to empower riders and keep the system safe,” said MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan.

Two years ago, I warned everyone that “Public Transportation Commuters are Being Spied on Billions of Times a Day” but things have gotten worse.

Cops admit to spying on commuters’ travel plans

Two days ago, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Galesburg cop and DEA officer named Mings, who like a good little Bundist“goes every day to the Amtrak station to study the travel plans of passengers”.

Mings admitted that he targeted a woman who had been arrested more than SEVEN years ago for marijuana possession.

Mings also admitted “he didn’t know whether the arrest had led to prosecution, conviction, and punishment” but he still singled her out.

In law enforcement’s eyes, it doesn’t matter, if you’ve been arrested thirty, twenty or seven years ago, you’re still a criminal.

I recommend everyone read the Appeals Court ruling and see how police claim intimidation isn’t coercion and much more.

DHS has turned Transit Police into Terrorism Police

DHS’s VIPR teams work closely with Transit cops across the country.

This past March, the Minneapolis Metro Transit Police admitted they’ve been working with DHS’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams for more than a decade.

VIPR teams are meant to intimidate commuters and allow them to search people without a warrant, as this story from Chicago reveals.

Abby Seitz said VIPR teams were conducting random bag checks “They were standing in a row against the wall with the ticket machines,”Seitz said. “I did not see a single CPD officer in the line.They all had visible Homeland Security credentials…”

A few days ago, another Minneapolis Metro Transit cop was videotaped asking commuters about their immigration status.

Do you feel safer knowing police across the country are targeting and spying on commuters?

For more information about America’s “secret” railroad police read “Police State America’s National Railroad Police”. (To find out more about VIPR teams click here & here.)

You can read more from MassPrivateI at his site, where this article first appeared.

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

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