The Buzz: About that FBI Wi-Fi network on your cell phone...

July 10, 2014 

RB Tower Bridge Dinner

If your mobile device detects the “FBI mobile surveillance” Wi-Fi network around the Capitol, it’s not another potential political sting by G-men. Just ask Chris Russo.

RANDALL BENTON — Sacramento Bee file

  • Budget watch

    California’s general fund ended the fiscal year in the black for the first time since June 2007, according to the state controller’s monthly cash report. Revenue as of June 30, the final day of the fiscal year, exceeded spending by about $4.3 billion, enough to pay off outstanding loans and leave a balance of about $1.9 billion, according to the report. The state has previously borrowed money, including from internal special funds, to address fluctuations in revenue.

    – David Siders

Too many took a shine

to this Wi-Fi network

Perhaps you’ve roamed the Capitol grounds and noticed that your smartphone picked up this Wi-Fi network: “FBI mobile surveillance.”

Perhaps the listing jogged nervous memories of the FBI’s recent undercover stings on the state Capitol, the ones that involved secretly recorded conversations of agents offering bribes to state Sens. Leland Yee and Ron Calderon. The two Democrats were indicted earlier this year in separate cases alleging corruption, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic weapons.

Chris Russo can allay your fears.

He owns Russo’s Shoe Repair, right across the street from the Capitol. Russo said he got tired of people pulling on his Internet service and slowing it down. So he changed his Wi-Fi network name from “Shoes” to “FBI mobile surveillance.”


“Nobody tries to hack into my Wi-Fi,” Russo said.

The FBI wouldn’t say whether it ever uses a Wi-Fi network name as obvious as “FBI mobile surveillance.”

“We don’t talk about our tools and techniques,” said Gina Swankie, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Sacramento office.

– Laurel Rosenhall

Worth repeating

“I’m keeping an open mind, hoping that there will be people with suggestions to improve it.”

CHUCK REED, San Jose mayor, visiting the Capitol to shop his pension overhaul measure.

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