Secretive Stingray surveillance tool can also block phone calls

By: | Post date: December 30, 2016 | Comments: No Comments

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GovTech. The Stingray mimics an actual cell tower, so all phones in the vicinity link to it.  Besides the obvious problem of warrantless, mass surveillance, if someone needs to place an emergency phone call, that call might not go through the Stingray, placing innocent lives in danger.  While some of the devices do allow 911 calls to pass through, most non-emergency calls do not.

“It’s hard to know with certainty how many innocent cellphone users have experienced jamming due to police use of cell-site simulators. Federal restrictions on information about their use prevents collecting such details.”

The article notes that 68 gov’t agencies are running around with these $40,000 spy tools.  The FBI alone uses 194 of these cell-site simulators.

It seems that the eagerness to acquire more powerful spy goodies outstrips law enforcements’ ability or desire to control their use.