Tech tool offers police ‘mass surveillance on a budget’

By GARANCE BURKE and JASON DEAREN

September 2, 2022 GMT

Local law enforcement agencies from suburban Southern California to rural North Carolina have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool, at times without search warrants, that gives them the power to follow people’s movements months back in time, according to public records and internal emails obtained by The Associated Press.

Police have used “Fog Reveal” to search hundreds of billions of records from 250 million mobile devices, and harnessed the data to create location analyses known among law enforcement as “patterns of life,” according to thousands of pages of records about the company.

Sold by Virginia-based Fog Data Science LLC, Fog Reveal has been used since at least 2018 in criminal investigations ranging from the murder of a nurse in Arkansas to tracing the movements of a potential participant in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The tool is rarely, if ever, mentioned in court records, something that defense attorneys say makes it harder for them to properly defend their clients in cases in which the technology was used.

The company was developed by two former high-ranking Department of Homeland Security officials under former President George W. Bush. It relies on advertising identification numbers, which Fog officials say are culled from popular cellphone apps such as Waze, Starbucks and hundreds of others that target ads based on a person’s movements and interests, according to police emails. That information is then sold to companies like Fog.

“It’s sort of a mass surveillance program on a budget,” said Bennett Cyphers, a special adviser at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy rights advocacy group.

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This story, supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, is part of an ongoing Associated Press series, “Tracked,” that investigates the power and consequences of decisions driven by algorithms on people’s everyday lives.

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The documents and emails were obtained by EFF through Freedom of Information Act requests. The group shared the files with The AP, which independently found that Fog sold its software in about 40 contracts to nearly two dozen agencies, according to GovSpend, a company that keeps tabs on government spending. The records and AP’s reporting provide the first public account of the extensive use of Fog Reveal by local police, according to analysts and legal experts who scrutinize such technologies.

Federal oversight of companies like Fog is an evolving legal landscape. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission sued a data broker called Kochava that, like Fog, provides its clients with advertising IDs that authorities say can easily be used to find where a mobile device user lives, which violates rules the commission enforces. And there are bills before Congress now that, if passed, would regulate the industry.

“Local law enforcement is at the front lines of trafficking and missing persons cases, yet these departments are often behind in technology adoption,” Matthew Broderick, a Fog managing partner, said in an email. “We fill a gap for underfunded and understaffed departments.”

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RMR Science Systems Inc. Offers Update on Proposed Business enterprise Blend with Turnium Technological know-how Group, Inc.

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – April 8, 2022) – RMR Science Systems Inc. (TSXV: RMS.P) (“RMR” or the “Firm”) is delighted to supply an update with respect to the arm’s length company mix of RMR and Turnium Technology Group, Inc. (“Turnium”), pursuant to which RMR will acquire all of the issued and superb securities of Turnium (the “Transaction”). On completion, the Transaction will represent a reverse just take-about of RMR by Turnium which will represent RMR’s “Qualifying Transaction” below Plan 2.4 – Capital Pool Firms of the TSX Undertaking Exchange, with the resulting firm to be renamed “Turnium Technological innovation Group Inc.” (the “Ensuing Issuer”).

Non-public Placement

In relationship with the completion of the Transaction, on April 8, 2022, Turnium completed a private placement of: (i) the brokered sale of 2,764,984 membership receipts (the “Subscription Receipts”) for combination gross proceeds of C$1.54 million at a rate of C$.56 per Subscription Receipt (the “Brokered Presenting”) and (ii) the non-brokered sale of 3,145,643 Membership Receipts for combination gross proceeds of C$1.76 million at a price of C$.56 for each Subscription Receipt (the “Non-Brokered Providing”, and collectively, with the Brokered Supplying, the “Private Placement”). The Membership Receipts were made and issued pursuant to the terms of a subscription receipt arrangement (the “Subscription Receipt Settlement”) involving Computershare Believe in Organization of Canada, as membership receipt agent, RMR, Turnium, Eight Cash and Canaccord Genuity Corp., on behalf of the Agents (as outlined below). Each individual Membership Receipt will be immediately converted on the fulfillment of particular escrow release situations established forth in the Membership Receipt Agreement, into a Turnium device (each individual, a “Turnium Unit”) comprised of a person Turnium common share and one particular-half of one Turnium prevalent share acquire warrant (each and every whole warrant, a “Turnium Warrant”). Each and every Turnium Warrant will entitle the holder thereof to invest in one particular widespread share of Turnium at a cost of C$.75 for each Turnium prevalent share on or right before April 8, 2024.

8 Capital and Canaccord Genuity Corp. acted as co-guide brokers for a syndicate of brokers, which included Echelon Prosperity Associates Inc. and iA Non-public Prosperity Inc. (collectively, the “Brokers”) pursuant to the conditions of an company agreement among Turnium, RMR and the Agents (the “Company Arrangement”). Pursuant to the phrases of the Agency Agreement, in consideration for their services in relationship with the Brokered Giving, the Agents been given (A) a money commission equivalent to: (i) 7.% of the combination gross proceeds of the Brokered Presenting excluding proceeds from subscribers on a president’s record as well as (ii) 3.5% of the gross proceeds of the Brokered Supplying from subscribers on a president’s record (the “Funds Fee”), and (B) these types of number of agents’ warrants (the “Payment Selections”) as is equal to: (i) 7.% of the mixture quantity of Subscription Receipts issued beneath the Brokered Providing excluding Subscription Receipts issued to president’s list subscribers and (ii) 3.% of the aggregate amount of Membership Receipts issued below the Brokered Giving

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