The subject of cell phones and geolocation data was brought up by several senators at a Joint Committee hearing concerning the 6 January Capitol protests. At the hearing, Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) both had pointed questions for FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Lee told Wray that he was concerned citizens were being “inexplicably” contacted by FBI agents who knew of their presence in the district “with no other explanation, perhaps, other than the use of geolocation data.”

“Are you geolocating people, through the FBI, based on where they were on January?” Lee asked Wray.

“I think there may be some instances in which geolocation has been an investigative tool, but I can’t speak to any specific situation,” Wray responded to Lee’s question.

“What’s your basis for authority?” Lee asked. “Are you using national security letters?”

“I don’t believe in any instance we are using national security letters for investigation of the Capitol.”

The FBI has aggressively pursued investigations and charges against 6 January Capitol protesters, making over 350 arrests so far in connection with the event. Many believe the FBI’s actions have crossed a line into unconstitutional criminalization of political protest. 

The FBI is also drawing scrutiny over how it is abusing authorities to hunt down, identify, and apprehend those who may have been at the protest.

During the Senate hearing, Lee queried Wray about possible FISA court involvement, which Wray denied. He also asked whether the FBI was using warrants “predicated on probable cause.”

“We certainly have executed a number of warrants in the course of the investigation of January,” Wray said. “All of our investigative work in response to the Capitol [protest] has been under the legal authorities that we have in consultation with the [DOJ] and the prosecutors.”

Senator Hawley asked the FBI Director if his position on the use of geolocation data is that he doesn’t know whether the bureau has “scooped up” geolocation data and metadata cell phone records from cell phone towers. “Do you not know, or are you saying maybe it has or maybe it hasn’t? Tell me what you know about this.” 

“So when it comes to geolocation data specifically—again, not in a specific instance, but just even the use of geolocation data—I would not be surprised to learn—but I do not know for a fact—that we were using geolocation data under any situation with connection with the investigation of [January ],” answered Wray. “But again, we do use geolocation data under different authorities and specific instances.”

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  1. a1achiropractic 1 year ago

    They are basically saying that they can do what they want, when they want and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

  2. Eagle11 1 year ago

    I don’t know about other parts of the country, but in my area the bucket trucks have been spending a lot of time on those telephone poles and near traffic lights in intersections. From what I saw it bagan during the lockdown and ‘stay at home’ edicts.

    That continues to this day.

    We haven’t had any earthquakes or hurricanes or bombing raids lately that would knock down trees and damage power lines, so I’ve got to believe it is surveillance related.

  3. John Wieczerza 1 year ago

    The FBI has now defined a new category of criminals called ‘Political Prisoners’ that’s where the people arrested at the capitol hill protest fall into.

  4. None of the government has interests. Gerald, have great respect for you. Why not get Dane Wington to do a peace on Geo Engineering. Or you could recommend we check out The Dimming. Your anger feed them, they love anger and fear, so they can control us. Why don’t you talk about babies they kill and drink their blood? That is how puppet masters are controlled. Talk about the Black Sun and The Dragon Family World War for dominance? Trump is Black Sun and Biden and Harris are controlled by The Dragon Families?!

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