Details Emerging On Stingray Technology, Allowing Feds To Locate People By Pretending To Be Cell Towers

from the without-warrants-of-course dept

More details are emerging on yet another secret program used by federal law enforcement to locate people using their mobile phones… but without obtaining warrants. The WSJ has the scoop on what’s generically referred to as Stingray tracking devices (even if the actual products go by a few names, and only some are actually called Stingrays). They appear to be devices that mimic mobile phone towers. The feds use them hoping to have the phones of people they’re tracking connect to the device (instead of a real mobile phone tower), and then using signal strength to figure out how far away they are. Do that a few times and you can triangulate someone’s location, even if they’re not making a call, and without having to ask the telcos for any location info (which, so far, they’ve been more than happy to turn over anyway).

They apparently used this technology to arrest a guy named Daniel David Rigmaiden, but he’s now causing some trouble. That’s because he’s asking for the details of how he was found, and the court seems equally concerned that this was done outside of the bounds of the Fourth Amendment. It won’t surprise you to discover that law enforcement regularly uses such Stingrays without a warrant. Apparently, the court is skeptical of the government’s claim that it doesn’t need a warrant to use such a device:


In a February hearing, according to a transcript, Judge Campbell asked the prosecutor, “Were there warrants obtained in connection with the use of this device?”

The prosecutor, Frederick A. Battista, said the government obtained a “court order that satisfied [the] language” in the federal law on warrants. The judge then asked how an order or warrant could have been obtained without telling the judge what technology was being used. Mr. Battista said: “It was a standard practice, your honor.”

Judge Campbell responded that it “can be litigated whether those orders were appropriate.”

Last week, the feds argued that they should not have to explain how they tracked Rigmaiden, because it would reveal too much information “since its public release could harm law enforcement efforts by compromising future use of the equipment.” So, we can’t tell you if the tracking system we use violates the 4th Amendment, because, you know, you might stop us from using it. Very compelling, but all too typical of law enforcement these days. Hopefully the court rejects the argument.

Later in the article, various law enforcement officials say that they can use the device since it only detects location, but doesn’t eavesdrop. That’s pretty questionable. The 4th Amendment doesn’t make such a distinction. In fact, reading the 4th Amendment:


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It would seem that using such a device to locate a person in their house without a warrant seems to clearly violate the text of the Amendment. Hopefully the court will agree.

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Comments on “Details Emerging On Stingray Technology, Allowing Feds To Locate People By Pretending To Be Cell Towers”

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94 Comments
John Doesays:

Re: Re:

That is a very good question. The Constitution is the highest law in the land and yet there is no punishment for those that violate it. If there was, I can guarantee stuff like this would be thought about long and hard before doing it. Instead, the government can violate the Constitution at will knowing that nothing can or will be done once they are caught.

Re: Re: Re: Re: What Constitutional Right is That?

You’re sending out electromagnetic radiation. Light is electromagnetic radiation too. Pretty soon you’ll by saying it’s a violation of your constitutional rights if anybody just looks at you.

Defense Attorney: “Officer, how did you find my client?”
Officer: “I saw him walking out of the Denny’s on 5th Ave.”
Defense Attorney: “Did you have a warrant to look at him or were you intercepting his electromagnetic emanations in violation of his constitutionally protected rights to reflect light privately?”
Officer: “What???”

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What Constitutional Right is That?

Actually intercepting light is also a violation of someones constitutionally protected rights to reflect light privately if there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy where they are reflecting light. The police cannot put visible light cameras in your home, for example, to record such light without a warrant. “In plain sight” is the exception, not the rule.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: FCC

Question: Are these “Stingrays” passive devices – i.e., do they just listen? – or do they also transmit? If they just listen, I don’t think they can be considered disruptive.

If they transmit, tough, it’s a lot more troubling. No only are they disrupting normal communications, but, if they act as regular cell towers, there is also the possibility of eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle-attacks on a (supposedly) secure channel.

Re: Re: Re: Re: FCC

The way they do this is that the cell phone connects to this device instead of the real cell tower.

“A stingray works by mimicking a cellphone tower, getting a phone to connect to it and measuring signals from the phone.”

It doesn’t explain if it’s a man-in-the-middle thing and the signal continues on to a real tower, or if the signal stops there. Ether way, it doesn’t sound like a legal device.

Are these devices smart enough to not let others connect to it, or are the cops getting information for everyone in range?

freaksays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FCC

Cell phones usually connect to multiple cell phone towers, so the signal ‘stops’ there, because it’s also getting through in several other ways.

The devices, though particular types/brands may vary, only allow a connection to a single phone. Allowing for more connections -> more expensive hardware.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: FCC

Modern hardware is good enough to allow multiple simultaneous connections – it’s what cell towers do. You can buy cheap off the shelf nano or pico cell tower equipment (like that used in malls) and it fits into a briefcase.

The signal could stop at the fake tower, but it could also be relayed if they want to try a man in the middle (for voice intercept), but this is much more complicated and the equipment needs to be more sophisticated than for just ID or locating.

freaksays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: FCC

“A stingray works by mimicking a cellphone tower, getting a phone to connect to it and measuring signals from the phone. It lets the stingray operator “ping,” or send a signal to, a phone and locate it as long as it is powered on, according to documents reviewed by the Journal.”

Yes, it is transmitting. It is not a passive device which needs to be placed a real cell phone tower and can decode the signals, it is a device which mimics a cell phone tower and actively sends out signals.

Lancesays:

Re: Re: Big fat deal!

One problem with the cell-tower impersonation ploy could be the lack of response by devices, other than the target device. Given that we can’t be told how the “Stingray” works (we wouldn’t want the bad guys to know), how can I have any confidence that my call to 911 isn’t going into some black hole that the Stingray is creating?

And wouldn’t it be ironic if the police kept someone from getting help, because they were too intent on skirting around the process of getting a warrant?

Butcherer79says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Big fat deal!

It appears my guess above was/is wrong, from the rest of this thread, as I understand it, the cell will attempt connection with this tower as well as multiple real towers, not that it hijacks the call and then passes it on. I presume it will keep the connection until it is out of range? As it is not from the network’s company I doubt it can transmit on their behalf.
So if it is just finding the phone and not transmitting I don’t think that can be called interception.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Big fat deal!

how can I have any confidence that my call to 911 isn’t going into some black hole that the Stingray is creating?

They’re using (or could use) common off-the-shelf equipment to do this, most likely. You could do the exact same thing.

Also assuming that (for cost reasons) they’re using the most inexpensive solution for their problem — tracking cell phones — then they aren’t creating a black hole at all. The cell phone contacts the fake tower, the fake tower says “I can’t handle your call”, the cell phone uses a different (real) tower. You can still make calls to 911 or anywhere else.

If they are also listening in on conversations, they have to use slightly (but not outrageously) more expensive equipment. This acts as a full on tower and actually handles the call. To avoid interfering with the call, it would pass the data on to another tower and be a Man in the Middle.

Jeff Rifesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Big fat deal!

The cell phone contacts the fake tower, the fake tower says “I can’t handle your call”, the cell phone uses a different (real) tower.

To do this, the fake tower would also have to say “I am part of the ‘whatever’ network”, which means it would be easily identifiable as a fake, unless it is lying by using a real network (Verizon, Sprint, etc.), or the cellular carriers are part of this charade.

Also, if it transmits anything back on regulated frequencies, it must be licensed by the FCC, regardless of whether it is used by law enforcement (e.g., police radios are regulated by the FCC).

Butcherer79says:

Re: Re: Big fat deal!

It should be a free country, until you take away rights by your use/abuse of said freedom.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure which side of the argument my opinions fall; I haven’t really got a problem if, by these actions, they’ve stopped criminal activity which is taking away others rights. Though if that was the case, I would presume a warrant would be relatively easy to obtain. Is this just laziness on the part of law enforcement? If so, then it would seem to have backfired if the chap who was arrested now has a get out of jail free card due to this laziness.
Is there ever a valid reason to take such short cuts if there’s even the slightest chance that that very same short cut can be used to harm your case against the accused?
If they make it legal to trace/track people without a warrant, how long do we wait before the use this technology on a massive scale as anopther ‘big brother’ tool to know where everyone is all of the time?
That said, is it a problem to know where everyone is all of the time if they’re not doing anything illegal?
So many questions, so little time…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Big fat deal!

It’s a problem. It’s illegal. All law enforcement officials who’ve used it, should be imprisoned for violating civil rights guaranteed by the constitution, which they’ve sworn to uphold. By requesting, purchasing and making use of said devices, they are violating the law, and therefor must be punished to the full extent thereof. I’d consider it treason myself, as it attacks the very foundation of our country’s freedoms. It attempts to tear the very fabric of our laws.

Richardsays:

Re: Re: Big fat deal!

pretend to be lighthouse, I stand near the shoreline with a flashlight and spin slowly. ITS A FREE COUNTRY!

That is only legal because you don’t do it very well – if you were to do an accurate simulation of a specific lighthouse (in the days before GPS and earlier marine nav systems when these things mattered) you would be arrested and face severe penalties for endangering shipping.

Spaceboysays:

“and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause”

I read that to say that if someone is suspected of doing something illegal, and if there is sufficient probable cause, then a warrant can be obtained for whatever purpose.

In other words, if there is probable cause then they should be able to get a warrant pretty easily. While I think these devices have a use, I wonder what they are doing with the data they collect. Are they used for a given phone number to track it? Or are they just collecting data and sifting? If the latter is true what are they doing with all the other location data? If they are retaining it then I can see why people are up in arms over this.

Also, when a cell phone connects to it, does that mean that the cell phone is unable to make and receive calls because it’s not an actual cell tower?

Betasays:

"The secret police" are hated with good reason.

‘…The feds argued that they should not have to explain how they tracked Rigmaiden, because it would reveal too much information “since its public release could harm law enforcement efforts by compromising future use of the equipment.” So, we can’t tell you if the tracking system we use violates the 4th Amendment, because, you know, you might stop us from using it. Very compelling…’

To be fair, I think it’s more like “we can’t tell you how our system works, because then the public would know how to beat it”. A slightly less egregious argument, though still false; the police should not have the power to keep such secrets. My right to know what they’re doing trumps their desire to know where I am.

Richardsays:

Re: Re: "The secret police" are hated with good reason.

we can’t tell you how our system works, because then the public would know how to beat it

It’s a really bad idea to assume that the public don’t know how it works. Any good security person knows that security by obscurity is a bad idea. The really big criminal fish wil find out how it works – and then have an edge over you because you still assume they don’t know.

The response to the above should be – we’ll force you to tell the public because that will force you to do a proper job and not be so lazy.

ltlw0lfsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: "The secret police" are hated with good reason.

The really big criminal fish wil find out how it works – and then have an edge over you because you still assume they don’t know.

Chances are the really big criminal fish had a hand in developing and implementing the system. There is nothing they need to find out because they already know. The same folks that developed Rape-Scan and other technological weapons against freedom and the constitution.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: "The secret police" are hated with good reason.

The really big criminal fish wil find out how it works – and then have an edge over you because you still assume they don’t know.

And the little ones, too. You can easily get all the information you need yourself through Google. Really, this kind of equipment has been around for a long time, and the information you need to use it (or even to build it) and detect it is hardly a secret. If they’re keeping it a secret to prevent countermeasures, they failed years before they even thought of doing this.

Anonymoussays:

Here’s the deal. If you want to be “safe”, you shouldn’t walk around with a device that is constantly broadcasting a signal that can be captured and used from outside of your house, your car, whatever. The radio signal is received in a public area, they don’t have to go into the house to modify the phone to do this sort of thing.

Turn off the phone, they cannot track you. Leave the phone on, you may as well put a big blue flashing light on top of your house.

Remember, the airwaves are the “public” airwaves, not the private airwaves.

Matthewsays:

Re: Re:

I have to admit, this was my first impression of this technology as well. Perhaps there is some technical detail that escapes me. By analogy, suppose I were to stand on my balcony and shout conversations with people on the street. If a police officer walked by and, misrepresenting his own identity, convinced me to share my identity with him, would that be a violation of my rights? So a cell phone can shout louder than I can and some special technology is required for the police to have a conversation with it. That doesn’t change the fact that my device is broadcasting identifiable information, ostensibly with my approval.

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s illegal to listen in on someone while they are on a cordless phone even though the signal is going several hundred feet in all directions. Same with cell phones. The reason for that is that it’s illegal to intercept any wireless communications that are encrypted. Your wireless phone is, your Bluetooth devices are, your cell phone is; broadcast TV/radio isn’t, nor is CB radio.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Excuse the new icon. Different PC.

With GSM and UMTS at least there is a short period at the start of every single call where it’s not encrypted. It’s a necessity to enable the phone and tower to talk enough to agree on a radio channel and encryption from then on. I don’t know well enough about CDMA/EVDO

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Chronno, they aren’t listening to converstaions. They are only looking for the ID tag for a given phone, nothing more. That is a digital broadcast, which has to be able to be seen by the cell tower.

There is no monitoring of encrypted voice communication.

Please try to stay focused on what they are doing, not what you are scared someone might do one day.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Chronno, this isn’t a “tower”. The actual requirement to decode cell phone calls is pretty high, fairly expensive, and reasonable complex to set up and operate correctly. You need to look at the “temporary” cell tower trucks that the various companies use, they are huge and complex pieces. see:

http://www.cellxion.com/SpecialtyProducts.aspx

However, it is easy enough to transmit and receive only the “control” channel, which is likely what these devices do. They aren’t trying to intercept the calls, they are only looking for the phone being active. They don’t need the user to make a phone call to be able to see the phone, as the phone is routinely connecting to and updating which towers it can see.

Looking at the equipment in the story, it is clear they cannot decode any calls. They are only mimicking a single function of a tower to ping a device and find it’s signal level.

Chargonesays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

while it’s possible that it does, i can see all sorts of practical reasons why that would Not be encrypted.

i mean, every single tower and phone has to be able to decrypt it anyway, and the key would have to be standard across devices or something because it’s basically a ‘hey, i’m over here. ask me for the pass word so i can access your functions!’ type message. that key would have to work cross-network, too. so it’s highly likely that, due to the only meaningful differences being cost and that one bit of legal protection for their Customers, the cellphone companies wouldn’t do it.

not that i actually know what the case is, of course. so it doesn’t really answer your question, but does explain the logic. (i hope. if i did it right.)

DH's Love Childsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

In CDMA and GSM (including UMTS and LTE), encryption is part of the call setup process. When the phone is in standby mode, it sends a beacon with basic identifiying information (mobile number primarily) to help the system locate it when someone calls it. This beacon information is unencrypted, as is the beacon being sent from the tower to the phone and would be very easy to intercept and analyze.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

The 4th amendment protects persons not airwaves. Is there a reasonable expectation of privacy while carrying a cell phone that’s powered on? Absolutely, yes. It doesn’t matter that you’re using ‘public’ airwaves or that the phone constantly sends out a radio signal, a reasonable person would expect their location to be private even if they had a cell phone on at the time.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Laser based listening devices are just picking up audio vibrations of the publicly visible parts of your windows so obviously using one to intercept a conversation that took place in private is completely in keeping with the 4th amendment. I mean the signal is received in a public area, they don’t have to go into the house to modify it to do this sort of thing.

Listen?says:

Re: Re: 4th Amendment

I’m not certain that you have to “say” anything to be tracked, found, and monitored. Seems to me you’ve been unreasonably searched and this is a 4th Amendment violation against your person. A bonafide breach of your rights.

“They” need to get a warrant. If they can’t get a warrant then they must stop being lazy and get more proof. If they can’t get more proof then they must stop (being fucks). They must stop being facilitators of the American Deconstruction.

Call me Alsays:

I find the US Constitution to be kind of fascinating. It was written so long in the past that many aspects of modern society hinge on technologies undreamt of at the time of writing.

This is perhaps a decent case in point. Law enforcement try to claim that this is specifically provided for in the 4th amendment. I would have thought that the spirit of the amendment would certainly apply to this kind of situation, if not the specific wording.

Anonymoussays:

The Stingray is a variant of hardware offered by Harris, and its use as a generic term came from ubiquity amongst law enforcement. These devices can be passive or active, both within short ranges.

More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMSI-catcher

Law enforcement normally have legislative powers to transmit in a frequency band owned by telco. Actual use of the equipment for surveillance is subject to varying levels of legislation in different countries depending on whether they’re IDing a target, locating a target, or eavesdropping.

freaksays:

People in the comments here need to realize that cell phones connect to multiple towers.

That’s how telcos can locate you, (since the towers log everything), which is the information that police would go to a telco with a warrant for.
Without connecting to multiple towers at once, your exact location would be very difficult to determine.

Adamsays:

Re: Re:

People in the comments here need to realize that cell phones connect to multiple towers.

That’s how telcos can locate you, (since the towers log everything), which is the information that police would go to a telco with a warrant for.
Without connecting to multiple towers at once, your exact location would be very difficult to determine.

Unless your lucky like me and you live in a area with crap signal. I connect to a maximum of 3 towers at once if I’m really lucky, and that still only gives me 1 bar of service on 3G. On edge it only connects to one tower but I have full service 😀

out_of_the_bluesays:

As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

Number is hedged in quotes because may be a way to locate SIM cards separately. Important is police had evidence from internet records that ID’d a device, and since doesn’t appear that suspect would learn of their efforts from the phone service provider, then a warrant to that company was in order. Think that’s a nice razor for you.

But since the purpose is to object to evidence gathered after locating, I doubt it’s critical to the case. It’s not /initial/ information. Police didn’t just ping phones at random. It’s a questionable step but the answer is they’ve probably found the guy who made off with $4 million, and this isn’t that severe a breach of 4th in comparison. — This is a legalistic objection by someone with big bucks for a lawyer. Police do worse at most traffic stops. But /questions/ such as this are focused on.

Chronno S. Triggersays:

Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

I was wondering the same thing, how did the get the hardware address (or phone number) that would be required to track the phone?

However, illegal activities during any part of the investigation throws doubt on the entire investigation and can invalidate it. Thus, any reasonable doubt about the hardware used should be investigated itself.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

First off, you have to understand that this isn’t something done without probably cause. Police aren’t driving around randomly intercepting cell phone calls to see what is going on.

This stuff is as a result of having a phone number (possibly from an informant, or from other services), and obtaining a warrant for phone records (and other information relative to the phone, such as it’s ID etc, which the cell phone company would turn over based on a warrant, issued with probably cause).

From there, the rest is simple.

Chronno, I think you are trying to read way more into this than is going on. Probably cause, no call decrypting, warrants… it’s a slam dunk and certainly doesn’t appear on the surface to violate any of the relevant amendments. No information (except that transmitted over the public airwaves with the permission of the phone’s owner) were used.

If he turned off his phone, the police would not have been able to track him. He chose to have a cell phone, he chose to leave it on, and he chose to have it broadcast. What more is required here?

DCX2says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

So if police can do it without a warrant, that means that Joe Sixpack ought to be able to do the same thing, right?

If this was a slam dunk, then there wouldn’t be any reason to hide it. Police aren’t shy about admitting they use wiretaps (when they remember to get warrants). Quite the contrary, warrantless location info is actually controversial and not settled case law.

However, I liken the usage of this technology to acquire a suspect’s location to the use of thermal imaging to see inside a home. And in Kyllo vs. U.S., the Supreme Court ruled that such thermal imagery constitutes a search.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

First, they can’t do it without a warrant, because they wouldn’t have the relevant phone information.

The reason to hide it is that it is an incredible advantage. Almost every criminal in the US is carrying cell phone, which repeatedly and often announces over the public airwaves it’s presence, location, and so on. Letting the criminals knows that this system is being used would likely lead to the criminals disabling their phones or “trading” phones around to make it look like they are in different places.

Thermal energy is different from a cell phone in functioning. It requires police to look at an individual house and “see” things that are happening inside of it. A cell phone is transmitting a signal on public airwaves that could be received by anyone in public places, without even knowing which house to look at. They aren’t the same at all.

DCX2says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

“Letting criminals know the system is being used”

This is a bunk argument and you know it. Criminals know they can be wiretapped and the government doesn’t hide that ability. Criminals know that the government has gotten location info from telcos without warrants, thanks to multiple stories in the news, some of which were covered right here on Techdirt. Even criminals in movies shut their phones off to avoid detection. The horse has left the barn.

“Thermal energy is different from a cell phone in functioning.”

I disagree. Both are electromagnetic energy (one is infrared, one is microwave). Both signals originate from places known to have an expectation of privacy (e.g. in your home). Infrared is a “public airwave” (AFAIK it’s not regulated by the FCC, whereas cell phone frequencies actually are regulated). Infrared can also be received by anyone in a public place with the appropriate tools.

And it does not require police to look at an individual house. They can easily scan many houses, for instance by flying overhead in a helicopter and aiming the thermal camera down below.

It could also be argued that this form of control tower spoofing allows the police to “see” inside many homes, by virtue of being able to locate a person who would not otherwise be visible.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

“Criminals know they can be wiretapped and the government doesn’t hide that ability.”

Yes, and this is why they use random pay phones, neighbors phones, and other methods for communication because it is incredibly hard to get warrants for every phone in a building or neighborhood.

“I disagree. Both are electromagnetic energy (one is infrared, one is microwave). Both signals originate from places known to have an expectation of privacy (e.g. in your home). Infrared is a “public airwave” (AFAIK it’s not regulated by the FCC, whereas cell phone frequencies actually are regulated). Infrared can also be received by anyone in a public place with the appropriate tools.”

One is naturally occuring, one is not. One is the results of a natural process, one intentionally broadcasts a signal far beyond any walls in order to get service. One requires that you know where to look for it, the other is broadcast widely over a significant area. One can be turned off, one cannot.

They are the same as a snake and a piece of string.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

Your ‘naturally occurring’ argument has no basis for distinction under the law. Just because the radio waves propagate father is not a significant difference nor is the fact that you can turn off the phone. They’re the same as a snake and another slightly different colored snake.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

So it’s ok to snoop on frequencies in the ‘cell phone signal’ range of the spectrum but not on the infrared range of the spectrum. There is no difference between the two. They’re both waves, they both propagate in a sphere into ‘public’ areas, and it’s irrelevant that the waves do that because the 4th amendment protects persons not waves.

Ron Rezendessays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

“First off, you have to understand that this isn’t something done without probably cause. Police aren’t driving around randomly intercepting cell phone calls to see what is going on.”

Citation requested

This is ALWAYS the first line of defense when our Constitutional rights are threatened or breached.

“It’s not like we didn’t have a reason…”

Well, it’s not like I don’t have any rights as a citizen!

Inevitably, the technology ALWAYS get misused by the people who are supposed to be working for us and protecting us.

I challenge anyone to show evidence of a single piece of modern technology (say, last 20 years)that has NOT been misused by authorities! Anyone up for that challenge?

Butcherer79says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: As they knew the phone "number", should have gotten a warrant.

“I challenge anyone to show evidence of a single piece of modern technology (say, last 20 years)that has NOT been misused by authorities! Anyone up for that challenge?”

The Segway human transporter, has been used by police, but not misused (as far as I have looked).
Aprilla’s Fuel cell bike, can’t find anything about authorities even knowing about it, let alone using/abusing it.

Thomassays:

"law enforcement".

will continue to use the technology anyway. Neither the local cops nor the federal spooks give a rats tushie about whether or not anything they do is legal or not.

The spooks firmly believes that they are justified in using any means available for catching “terrorists” (anyone muslim or arabic), child pornographers, drug dealers, and people who criticize the government.

Draksays:

Disturbing

I don’t find the use of this particular technology disturbing but rather the arguments against revealing its full capabilities. I would agree that we’re transmitting signals outside of our home by use of our phones and although we should be able to expect a certain level of privacy, even from our government, I personally do not. That being said the continual push to skirt the warrant process by our law enforcement has for a long time now been exceedingly scary. If they weren’t trying to hide their activity from oversight they’d not be afraid of oversight.
Protection from unreasonable search is reserved for citizens, not law enforcement organizations.

richpooresays:

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

I don’t believe the intent of the 4th ammendment was about what the government can know or listen to, but that they couldn’t come barging into your house and take your things. I don’t have a problem with people, police or whoever, listening. It is a free country and if some cops have figured out a good way to find suspects, that’s good. When they cross the line is when they start telling me what I can and can’t do.

Anonymous Cowardsays:

Fix the Rule


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,and an adversarial hearing and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Emphasis and addition mine.

Robertsays:

cell site simulators

Any cop that wants to use cell site simulators or stingaray with out warrants; Obviously he/she Hates the law that they took and oath to follow and if I was a justice I would be concerned about and i would investigate deeply and continually any officer that lies about his oath refusing to follow the hierarchy and chain of command and due process; as he makes him self equal to the people he is after not following the law. AS the one Justice said get a warrent

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