The Secret Cell Phone Surveillance that Casts a Wide Net

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Local police and sheriff's departments are using the Stingray — a mobile device that can track all our cell phone calls. The small electronic device that mimics a cell phone tower picks up both the location — and the communications — of any cell phone nearby. It's being used by law enforcement across the country for surveillance of criminal suspects. They don't need a warrant. But the cops can't talk about how they use Stingray because they signed non-disclosure agreements. Do they monitor suspects only or everybody nearby? How long do they keep the records? Obvious questions they say they can't answer. Some elected officials — and the ACLU -- want to know: is Stingray violating the personal privacy of innocent people?

Photo: Elvert Barnes




Warren Olney