Watch: ‘Dirt boxes’ let the government steal your data – and they’re now in Texas

What’s going on?

You already know that owning a cell phone means your data is being collected in some way. But did you realize the government is using a wide net to collect people’s personal data – and not exactly being transparent about it?

The Texas National Guard reportedly has two RC-26 military aircraft equipped with devices that can record and listen to calls; stop phones from sending or receiving calls; track the user’s location; and collect a host of other data.

Yikes. What else should I know?

On today’s show, writer Dan King explained why you should be worried about these “dirt boxes,” government devices that imitate a cell phone tower and can steal your private information without a warrant. The device is known as a “dirt box” because it’s made by Digital Receiver Technology (DRT).

How common are dirt boxes?

The American Civil Liberties Union says around 26 different states use these devices that mimic cell phone towers at either the local or state level, while 13 federal agencies use dirt boxes to gather information as well. But the government’s process is so secretive that it’s hard to know how many agencies and states have dirt boxes in place.

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