- Dec 2015
THE INTERCEPT HAS OBTAINED a secret, internal U.S. government catalogue of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices used by the military and by intelligence agencies.
MANY OF THE DEVICES in the catalogue, including the Stingrays and dirt boxes, are cell-site simulators, which operate by mimicking the towers of major telecom companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Today nearly 60 law enforcement agencies in 23 states are known to possess a Stingray or some form of cell-site simulator, though experts believe that number likely underrepresents the real total. In some jurisdictions, police use cell-site simulators regularly. The Baltimore Police Department, for example, has used Stingrays more than 4,300 times since 2007.
“The same grant programs that paid for local law enforcement agencies across the country to buy armored personnel carriers and drones have paid for Stingrays,” said Soghoian.
Police cite the war on terror as their reason for purchasing surveillance equipment. But they use it for domestic cases, including minor ones.
“The full extent of the secrecy surrounding cell-site simulators is completely unjustified and unlawful,” said EFF’s Lynch. “No police officer or detective should be allowed to withhold information from a court or criminal defendant about how the officer conducted an investigation.”
- Apr 2015
A further notification was then sent to commanding officers stating that references to enemy had now been changed to “criminal elements” in guard communications.
Still heavily problematic. We're talking about citizens exercising their first amendment rights.