Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy are investigating why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is using a cellphone tracking system in its investigations. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has already admitted they are using this technology but did not say in what capacity. The technology, known as cell-site simulators, send out a signal similar to a cell tower which could fool your cellphone into connecting to it. The technology does not monitor phone conversations but it does gather information (including text messages) about the device and can track the devices location as it moves.
“We were surprised to learn that IRS investigators may be using these devices,” Mr. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Mr. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, wrote in the letter. “While the devices can be useful tools for identifying the location of a suspect’s cell phone or identifying an unknown cell phone, we have previously expressed concerns about the privacy implications of these devices.”
The worry from some is if the IRS is using the new tool responsibly? Americans are already spooked by the amount of surveillance being conducted by agencies like the NSA and FBI now if the IRS is doing it to privacy is all but gone. Perhaps the Senators inquiry will amount to something and answers to questions are transparent and clear. But we are living in a new age and digital privacy is a hard commodity to come by.
What do you think of the IRS using cell-site simulators? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter and check out the video below about cell-site simulators.