AIR EDGAR HOOVER

FBI Flying Secret Spy Planes Over Cities

The FBI flies small planes with videocameras and cellphone trackers above as many as 30 cities—without anything resembling a warrant, the AP reports. The low-flying aircraft are registered with fake companies. The bureau insists its secret spy fleet is only used for specific investigations and that cellphone-locating devices, called Stingrays, were used sparingly, although the AP reports it “found in recent weeks FBI flights orbiting large, enclosed buildings for extended periods where aerial photography would be less effective than electronic signals collection.” A bureau spokesman said the program wasn’t secret and that the planes “are not equipped, designed, or used for bulk-collection activities or mass surveillance.”