Alert readers will remember that we’ve written about these cell-phone “dragnet” devices before: boxes deployed by government agencies that mimic the activity of cellular relay towers, and interact with thousands of phones at a time recording information about which numbers are in contact.
The boxes don’t just react, either. They can induce dormant phones to activate and reveal recordable information. (More on that in a moment.)
In 2014, the U.S. Marshals Service swooped down on the police department of Sarasota, FL to prevent documents about the use of “Stingray” devices from falling into the hands of the ACLU, after ACLU made a FOIA request for the records.
At least 12 federal agencies are known to be among the minimum 56 government agencies in the U.S. that possess Stingray devices. The federal agencies include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, and NSA – prompting the obvious question whether these federal military agencies are using the devices to collect signals intelligence on U.S. persons. (Keep in mind: until 3 September 2015, or just 53 days ago, federal agencies could use Stingrays for collection without a warrant. The Secret Service still can.)
Read more at LibertyUnyielding