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Stingray phone stalker tech used near White House, SS7 abused to steal US citizens' data – just Friday things

Someone may have spied on smartphones in or near the White House using a fake cellphone tower – and miscreants are said to have abused SS7 weaknesses to swipe US citizens' private information, it emerged this week. On Friday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) revealed a letter he received from the US government's Department of Homeland …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jun 2018

You. FCC. Get out there and do something about these mystery bogus cell towers, huff bigwigs

Senior Congressmen have demanded "immediate action" over mysterious fake cell phone towers in Washington DC that they worry could be being operated by foreign governments. House Reps Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) this month sent a letter to Ajit Pai – the head of America's comms watchdog, …
Canada

Canadian court gives limited OK to warrantless Stingrays

Canada's domestic spy agency has won permission to continue using IMSI-catchers, in some cases without warrants, following a decision by the country's federal court. The legality of these so-called Stingray devices was challenged in a case questioning the conduct of a still-secret terrorist investigation, details of which have …
Stingray

Hey, cop! You need a warrant to stalk a phone with a Stingray – judge

Analysis A New York judge has this month told cops that they need to get a warrant before they can use a controversial Stingray phone-tracking gadget to hunt down suspects. Justice Martin Murphy of the Kings County Supreme Court said the New York Police Department (NYPD) could not use crucial evidence it gathered while trying to locate …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2017

Sorry eh? Canadian mounties own up: Yes, we own 10 IMSI-catchers

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has ‘fessed up to a long-held suspicion that it uses Stingray-style equipment to track mobile phones. At the same time, in an interview with public broadcaster CBC, Chief Superintendent Jeff Adam says IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity)-catchers that CBC News believes it spotted in …

Cops, Feds spaff $100m on Stingray cellphone snooping gear – and there's sod all oversight

American crimefighters spend huge amounts of cash on Stingray-like devices that impersonate cellphone towers to snoop on people – and with little or no oversight. That's the findings of an 18-month US congressional study, which revealed the Department of Justice (DoJ) has spent $71m on 310 cellphone-tracking units between 2010 …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2016
Photo by Andrew Cline / Shutterstock

Pre-Trump FCC – get a grip on mobe data caps, racist Stingray spying, urge Dem senators

Leading Democrat senators are pushing the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address a number of hot topics, including zero rating and the use of the Stingray cellphone-tracking technology, before the Trump Administration takes over in January. In a letter [PDF] sent Friday, seven senators including Elizabeth Warren …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Nov 2016
Stingray

Probe cops' Stingray phone masts, senators tell US comms watchdog

A group of US Senators has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate concerns that police stingray devices are causing illegally high levels of interference to wireless networks. In a letter addressed to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Senators Bernie Sanders (I‑VT), Ron Wyden (D‑OR), Al Franken (D‑MN), …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Oct 2016
Police search

US cities promise to crack down on police surveillance tech

A handful of US cities are banding together in an effort to change the way police acquire and use surveillance technology. The cities in the group – including New York, Washington DC, Seattle, and Milwaukee – say they will introduce bills to place additional reporting and approval requirements for the surveillance tools their …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Sep 2016

Baltimore cops: We flew high-res camera planes to film your every move

Analysis Police in Baltimore, US, have admitted hiring a third party to fly over the city, constantly recording events with high-resolution cameras. The admission comes after a Businessweek feature on the company, Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS), led to a condemnation of the practice by the ACLU's privacy expert and media …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Aug 2016
stingray

Baltimore cops accused of violating FCC rules with Stingrays

Three civil rights groups have filed a complaint with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the use of Stingray devices by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The filing [PDF] accuses police investigators of operating without a license and interfering with the cellular network, both while unfairly targeting …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

US drug squads told to get a warrant before tracking mobile phones

A US federal judge in New York State has pushed back against Uncle Sam's Drug Enforcement Agency's use of Stingrays, saying evidence collected by the fake phone masts isn't admissible. A Maryland judge ruled in 2015 that investigators need court-approved warrants to set up pretend cellphone towers that track people by their …

Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

Police in Maryland, US, used controversial cellphone-tracking technology intended only for the most serious crimes to track down a man who stole $50 of chicken wings. Police in Annapolis – an hour's drive from the heart of government in Washington DC – used a StingRay cell tower simulator in an effort to find the location of a …
Flying cars in The Fifth Element

Used a cell phone in NYC? The cops probably tracked you

Police in New York City used stingray mobile phone trackers on more than one thousand occasions since 2008. So says the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which obtained records from NYPD detailing their use of the devices while investigating cases. According to the NYCLU report, between 2008 and May of 2015 police used …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Feb 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Stingray stung: FBI told 'get a warrant'

The US Department of Justice has moved to quell the ongoing row over the use of IMSI-catchers like Stingray, with a new policy that requires a warrant before they're deployed. The policy, announced here, is designed to “establish a higher and more consistent legal standard and increase privacy protections” for the use of cell- …
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Baltimore lawyers vow to review 2,000 FBI Stingray snoop cases

Defense attorneys in Baltimore, US, are planning to reexamine 2,000 police arrests made with the assistance of Stingray – the cellphone surveillance equipment that identifies and logs mobile device owners within range. A group of lawyers including the city's public defender want to get a closer look at whether they can …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2015

Lawyer: Cops dropped robbery case rather than detail FBI's StingRay phone snoop gizmo

Prosecutors in St Louis, Missouri, have dropped a criminal robbery case to avoid revealing details of a controversial mobile phone surveillance program, a defense attorney has claimed. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the state dropped more than a dozen charges against three defendants just one day before police were …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

ACLU files new lawsuits in hunt for police 'Stingray' mobe-trackers

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California has filed another two lawsuits on Tuesday as the organisation's campaign to bring information about StingRay cellphone surveillance devices into the public domain continues. The lawsuits against the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the Anaheim Police Department …

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