Nine years later police finally admit StingRays spy on innocent people


Finally in the year 2015, NINE years later DHS/Police admit StingRays are spying on innocent people.

Also, it’s ironic that only after the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) issued StingRay usage guidelines did they admit they’ve been used to spy on innocent people. Watch the video below to find out about the recent changes to StingRay usage:

Click here to read about the DOJ, FINALLY requiring a warrant to use StingRays.

Here’s some background info. on StingRay surveillance, they were first patented in 2001 and cost$68,479 for the original Stingray; $134,952 for Stingray II.

An Arstechnica article claims law enforcement first began using them in 2004:

“Federal authorities have spent more than $30 million on Stingrays and related equipment and training since 2004, according to procurement records. Purchasing agencies include the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, the Army, and the Navy. Cops in Arizona, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and California have also either purchased or considered purchasing the devices, according to public records. In one case,procurement records (PDF) show cops in Miami obtained a Stingray to monitor phones at a free trade conference held in Miami in 2003.”

Fast forward NINE years later to October 2015:

cover memo sent to prosecutors finally admits that StingRays (a cell site simulator) can be used to identify the telephone numbers of “all powered-on phones in the immediate vicinity 
 … it should not encompass digital digits as that would entail surveillance of all persons in the vicinity of the subject.”

According to the ACLU:

“The court documents raise questions about DOJ’s new guidelines. DOJ announced that going forward it will seek a warrant based on probable cause to use a StingRay, subject to certain exceptions. In addition to an exception for “exigent circumstances” (a well understood exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement), the new guidelines also create a potentially expansive exception for undefined “exceptional” circumstances.”

“What does DOJ think might count as an “exceptional” but apparently not “exigent” circumstance?

What does all this mean? It’s depressingly easy for police to obtain a warrant and continue to use StingRay’s to spy on anyone…

As ProPublica points out police can get a court to sign off on an order that only requires the data they’re after is “relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation“— a lesser standard of evidence. Police can also get historical phone records with an administrative subpoena, which doesn’t require a judge’s approval.

Tim Dees a former cop reveals this disturbing fact:

There are judges that will sign about anything a cop puts in front of them, and others who actually read the affidavits before signing them. If the police are serving a lot of search warrants that turn out to be a dry hole (which happens to everyone now and then), it’s time to put some pressure on the judges to up their game.”

“In my experience, abuses of the search warrant process most often take place in rural environments, where the signing judge is a part-time, non-attorney magistrate who has a long-standing and less-than-impartial relationship with the cops. That kind of arrangement invariably leads to civil rights violations.”

3 thoughts on “Nine years later police finally admit StingRays spy on innocent people

  1. You don’t have to wait nine years for a confession. Be confident that if the spying technology exists, the spooks are going to be using it, and no one gives a rat’s anus about the fourth article, your privacy, or any theatrical court proceedings.

    Your constitutional rights don’t exist anywhere other than the paper they’re written on. The endless debate distracts you from the fact that in the end, you have no rights, and you’re just a lowly serf living under a brutal dictatorship.

    1. All true. People should never, ever assume the law protects their rights. Protecting the rights of the innocent is the purpose of all legitimate law, but we’re living in a police state in which the law exists as a weapon used against the public for the protection of political power and maintenance of the status quo. At this time the sole limit on the government’s power is its desire to maintain the appearance of legitimacy in the eyes of the sheep. Even that facade is wearing very thin.

      Cell phones should never be carried anywhere that privacy is desired, even if turned off. Same with laptops or any other devices capable of wireless networking.

      Most people know that many cell phones now have non-removable batteries. The only way such a phone can’t be tracked is if it’s placed inside a Faraday bag. (The phone should be turned off before putting it inside to avoid draining the battery.) The shielded bag will prevent any signals from entering or leaving the phone (test it to be sure). The phone can be taken out of the bag if needed, but at that point its location can be determined.

  2. True. Every invention ever devised that can
    be used by the psychopaths to spy on the people
    can and will be used as much as possible.
    Any oversight is purely a smokescreen.
    Best thing to do is be knowledgeable
    about the technologies as much as possible.
    And that’s getting very difficult.


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