Are Chicago Police Using This Equipment to Monitor Protesters' Cellphones?

An Occupy Chicago protester sent in these photos of some ominous-looking equipment installed recently at the top of a street lamp across the street from Occupy Chicago HQ, at the corners of Jackson and LaSalle in Chicago's financial district. They write:

I don't really know what authority Chicago Police Department has to listen in to random people's cell phone calls, especially since Occupy Chicago has been particularly non-violent. Has been in place for 3 days, and witnesses reported that the poleman installing the gear looked way too happy to be installing this equipment.

The tipster goes on to say that they've begun to spot unmarked surveillance vans parking directly beneath the equipment, and multiple activists have noticed that "their cellular and 3G service have gone to shit since the install." With a G8 and NATO summit planned for Chicago in 2012, the CPD has been getting "lots of money for toys like this," they tell us.

If you have experience working with this sort of equipment, tell us what you know about it in the comments. Is Big Rahm watching us?

Are Chicago Police Using This Equipment to Monitor Protesters' Cellphones?

[Photo: Occupy Chicago]

Are Chicago Police Using This Equipment to Monitor Protesters' Cellphones?

[Photo: Occupy Chicago]

Are Chicago Police Using This Equipment to Monitor Protesters' Cellphones?

[Photo: Occupy Chicago]

Are Chicago Police Using This Equipment to Monitor Protesters' Cellphones?

A suspicious van sits spotted parked beneath the equipment. [Photo: Occupy Chicago]