Track 115 Aircraft The #FBI Uses For #Surveillance

Posted: June 4, 2015 in Tech

An investigation published by the Associated Press has revealed that the FBI “is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology.” Interestingly, to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the FBI registered these aircraft under “at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services.”

We were curious as to whether we could identify the exact planes the FBI was using for surveillance, so we dug into the FAA’s dataset of registered aircraft in Enigma. Following the AP’s report that most of these fake companies were registered to post office boxes in Bristow, Virginia, we filtered the dataset to just these records. We then filtered out the list of 17 unique companies associated with these addresses ( four more than reported by the AP) as well those at an office park in Greenville, DE.  In a fashion typical of other Government spying programs, the names of these companies almost all contain cryptic acronyms:

  • OBR LEASING
  • KQM AVIATION
  • OTV LEASING
  • NBY PRODUCTIONS
  • PXW SERVICES
  • PSL SURVEYS
  • NG RESEARCH
  • FVX RESEARCH
  • RKT PRODUCTIONS
  • LCB LEASING
  • NBR AVIATION
  • KLJ AVIATION
  • OTV LEASING
  • YAMASEC USA LLC
  • PSL SURVEYS
  • AV FLIGHT INC
  • NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP

This returned a list of 115 aircraft which you can view in Enigma. By reconciling these flights with FlightRadar24, we were able to view their recent flight paths. Almost all seem to exhibit a similar pattern in which they repeatedly circle over a particular area of interest.

Full Story @ [enigma.io]

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