New York Civil Liberties Group Obtains LEO Records Showing Abusive Use of Stringray Technology….

Stingray technology is a data tool for capturing cell phone communication and tracking cell phone users. Stingray Systems mimic cell tower signals and capture the content of targeted cell phone users.

The New York ACLU went to court to force Erie County Sheriffs’ to disclose details about the law enforcement use of Stingray Technology. What they uncovered is alarming. In 46 out of 47 examples law enforcement never sought a warrant to use Stingray intercepts, and in 46 out of 47 examples the same law enforcement used Stingray tools to track the movements of “suspects” – again without warrants or court oversight.

(NYCLU April 7, 2015) — The New York Civil Liberties Union released today records it received from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on its use of ”stingrays,” devices that can track and record New Yorkers’ locations via their cell phones. The records showed that of the 47 times the Sheriff’s Office used stingrays in the past four years, it apparently only once obtained a court order, contradicting the sheriff’s own remarks.

stingray tower

“These records confirm some of the very worst fears about local law enforcement’s use of this expensive and intrusive surveillance equipment,” said NYCLU Staff Attorney Mariko Hirose. “Not only did the Sheriff’s Office promise the FBI breathtaking secrecy to keep information about stingrays as hidden as possible, it implemented almost no privacy protections for the Erie County residents it is sworn to protect and serve.”

Stingrays can collect information on all cell phones in a given area as well as precisely track particular phones, locating people within their own home, at a doctor’s office, at a political protest or in a church.

In March, a Supreme Court Justice ruled that the Sheriff’s Office must disclose information about stingrays after the NYCLU sued the office for failing to follow the law and respond to public information requests about how it uses the devices.

The court ordered disclosure of all existing records requested by the NYCLU, including purchase orders, a letter from the stingrays’ manufacturer, a confidentiality agreement with between the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, a procedural manual and summary reports of instances in which the device was used.

The records reveal that:  (continue reading)

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This entry was posted in 1st Amendment, 2nd Amendment, 3rd Amendment, 4th Amendment, 6th Amendment, Abusive Cops, Big Stupid Government, Dept Of Justice, media bias, Notorious Liars, Police action, propaganda, Spying, Typical Prog Behavior, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to New York Civil Liberties Group Obtains LEO Records Showing Abusive Use of Stringray Technology….

  1. czarowniczy says:

    Oooooookay – let’s ask ‘why did the FBI give this expensive and delicate equipment to the SO?’. Is the county such a hotbed of criminal activity that the equipment had to be deployed by the Feds and employed by the SO? If the Feds gave the equipment to the SO how much info was the FBI requesting and was their purpose to have the SO gather the info instead of the FBI so that the FBI might have DoJ gin up to validate the use in any potential court proceedings of what might be otherwise illegal information?
    The FBI/DoJ just wouldn’t up and palsy-walsy give a SO equipment like this unless they had some deep ulterior motive – inquiring minds want to knwo ‘what?’. You betcha that any FOI requests made to the FBI/DoJ will be stonewalled and/or redacted to death.

    Like

    • texan59 says:

      The ACLU mentioned that they wonder what the $350K spent on the Stingray was being used for if the FBI can tell the SO to quash some arrests so as not to disclose info about the technology. Wonder who actually paid for it?

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  2. CrankyinAZ says:

    And where else is this happening? It ain’t just Erie Co., NY…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Be Ge says:

    yet and still, steganographic and/or encrypted phones are not at all popular. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BitterC says:

    I assume this is going on all over the country. Have seen plenty of headlines about these devices in the last year or so. Just another example of how illegal spying on citizens is being used for non national security issues to prosecute run of the mill crime. I speak of the NSA trove of communications being illegally gathered being shared with fed and local agencies. That is one slippery slope and these stingrays are scary intrusive (if you have a cell phone…heh, heh I’m prolly one of the few around here that don’t).

    What bothers me the most is the idea that the FBI is essentially telling local leo to perjure themselves or drop any case they cannot make without divulging their use. Mr Orwell is just shaking his head. From link in OP:

    •Its confidentiality agreement with the FBI requires the Sheriff’s Office to maintain almost total secrecy over stingray records, including in court filings and when responding to court orders, unless the Sheriff’s Office receives the written consent of the FBI.
    •Its confidentiality agreement with the FBI also instructs the Sheriff’s Office that the FBI may request it to dismiss criminal prosecutions rather than risk compromising the secrecy of how stingrays are used.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Roy says:

    Down the bunny hole we go!

    Like

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