Google's real-time traffic app Waze is being criticized by some law enforcement officials who say its police-spotting feature could endanger officers. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is among the critics.
Beck said Tuesday the app could be used by criminals to target police or to evade officers.
"It is not always in the public’s best interest to know where police are operating," Beck said. (Moron, we already do, at every police station, in every clearly identifiable police vehicle)
"There is a criminal element," he said, "who are able to ply their trade and craft more effectively by knowing where police are.” (and how much does Beck get as an annual bonus based on ticket revenue, and making ticket quotas, a definite motivation to keep people from avoiding police speed traps?)
Compare that to the police using Stingray to spy on and track, without warrants, the locations of anyone with a cellphone.
A secretive cellphone spy device known as StingRay, intended to fight terrorism, was used in far more routine LAPD criminal investigations 21 times in a four-month period during 2012, apparently without the courts' knowledge that the technology probes the lives of non-suspects who happen to be in the same neighborhood as suspected terrorists.
As L.A. Weekly first reported in September, LAPD purchased StingRay technology sometime around 2006 with federal Department of Homeland Security funds.
The portable StingRay device impersonates a cellphone tower, electronically fooling all nearby mobile phones — not just the suspect's phone — to send their signals into an LAPD computer. That signal reveals to police the location of phones in real time.
But the technology sucks up the data of every cellphone in the area, and these innocent phone owners never know police are grabbing their information.