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Tag: stingray

Judge: DEA May Not Track Cell Phones without a Warrant

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge delivered a major blow to the DEA’s use of Stingrays, which enable law enforcement to collect evidence by using fake phone masts.

U.S, District Court Judge William Pauley III said the use of Stingrays would violate the Fourth Amendment unless a warrant is granted, the Register reports. 

The decision comes after a Maryland judge made the same ruling in 2015.

“Absent a search warrant, the Government may not turn a citizen’s cell phone into a tracking device,” the judge said.

Stingrays enable authorities to listen to conversations and access information on phones.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Details of FBI’s Closely Guarded ‘Stingray’ May Soon Become Public

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI directed a local police department to drop criminal charges against a suspect in 2012 to avoid the public finding out about a secret device to track people, CNN reports.

The device, called the “Stringray,” allows investigators to find suspects by tracking their cell phones. The technology mimics a cell phone tower, tricking the phone into switching over to the “Stringray” while investigators access the location.

Judge Patrick H. NeMoyer in Buffalo, NY, has indicated he wants the FBI to turn over details of the secret technology that the bureau was using with Erie Police in Pennsylvania.

According to CNN, police used the device to track several criminal suspects, four missing people and a suicidal person.

But the judge believes the public has a right to know more details of the technology.

Judge Permits Use of Clandestine Cellphone Device Despite Privacy Concerns

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s use of a clandestine cellphone tracking device is a lawful surveillance tool, a judge has ruled, Slate.com reports.

The Stingray, as it’s called, is a transceiver that tricks cell phones into using a fake network.

Judge David Campbell dismissed concerns that the surveillance was overly intrusive.

The ACLU said the ruling “trivializes the intrusive nature of electronic searches and potentially opens the door to troubling government misuse of new technology.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Can FBI Tap Into Cell Phones without a Warrant? Arguments Begin in Federal Court Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s use of cell-phone tracking technology will go on trial this afternoon.

At issue is stingray devices, which use legitimate cell towers to connect to mobile devices, CNET reports.

Civil libertarians argue the devices violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to reasonable privacy and want to impose limits on them, in the same way that challenges forced restrictions on warrantless use of thermal imaging devices, CNET wrote.

Federal authorities say stingray devices are a useful tool in cracking crimes.

Law Enforcement’s Use of Cell Phone Tracker Device Fuels Constitutional Debate

By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES
Wall Street Journal

For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply “the Hacker.” Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device—a stingray—were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest.

Stingrays are designed to locate a mobile phone even when it’s not being used to make a call. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data gathered in their use, mainly to keep suspects in the dark about their capabilities, an FBI official told The Wall Street Journal in response to inquiries.

A stingray’s role in nabbing the alleged “Hacker”—Daniel David Rigmaiden—is shaping up as a possible test of the legal standards for using these devices in investigations.

The FBI says it obtains appropriate court approval to use the device. Stingrays are one of several new technologies used by law enforcement to track people’s locations, often without a search warrant. These techniques are driving a constitutional debate about whether the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but which was written before the digital age, is keeping pace with the times.

To read more click here.