FBI Sky Spies Weekly Update [Aug 4 – 10]
They used 15 of the 100 aircraft in the surveillance fleet, compared to 52 aircraft during the last seven day period the North Star Post audited.
This represents either much more limited aerial surveillance activity, or a tightening of the availability of flight tracking data, or a combination of both. The Post primarily uses FlightRadar24, a public aviation tracking website that it is not difficult for aircraft owners and operators to pull tracking data from, typically with a request to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or to the website owners themselves.
Regardless, the same cities that are always seemingly targeted by this surveillance program were targeted once again; Seattle, Oakland, Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas, cities near Baltimore and Washington D.C. As well as smaller cities such as Sterling Heights, northeast of Detroit, MI; Sterling, VA (as it was in the last audit); and Woodlawn, MD just to name a few.
Despite the drop in activity of this program compared to the previous seven day period, the overall operation still potentially effects millions of Americans. The FBI has admitted to exploiting cell phones, tracking their users location and more data under this program, and the capabilities of that technology are vast. The other equipment on-board their aircraft, including ultra high resolution imaging hardware, combined with cell phone surveillance can create an extremely in-depth view into the lives of everyone within a large square mileage area below.