The user’s guide for one of Aruba’s recent software products states: “The wireless network has a wealth of information about unassociated and associated devices.” That software includes “a location engine that calculates associated and unassociated device location every 30 seconds by default… The last 1,000 historical locations are stored for each MAC address.”
For now, Seattle’s mesh network is concentrated in the downtown area. But the SPD has indicated in PowerPoint presentations—also acquired by The Stranger—that it hopes to eventually have “citywide deployment” of the system that, again, has potential surveillance capabilities that the SPD declined to answer questions about. That could give a whole new meaning to the phrase “real-time situational awareness.”
This is why you should always have wifi disabled, in “airplane mode,” turned off when not in use. Only turn on wifi for your device manually when you need to use a network. Doing this also extends battery life because running the radio interface uses a lot of juice. This network they built in Seattle would have great public benefit if it were open for all to use and there’s few engineering reasons why it can’t be. Since emergencies are rare may as well utilize it and then kick people off indiscriminately when the network truly is needed. I suspect however it’s not open for use by the rabble. Another blurb from the article:
It’s reasonable to assume that locally gleaned information will be shared with other organizations, including federal ones. An SPD diagram of the mesh network, for example, shows its information heading to institutions large and small, including the King County Sheriff’s Office, the US Coast Guard, and our local fusion center.
Fusion centers, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, are information-sharing hubs, defined by the Department of Homeland Security as “focal points” for the “receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing” of surveillance information.
At least if they’re going to spy provide some value to the spied upon “user.”