Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cops must now get a warrant to use stingrays in Washington state | Ars Technica

Cops must now get a warrant to use stingrays in Washington state | Ars Technica: "Law enforcement officials in Washington state will now be required to get a warrant before deploying a stingray, according to a bill that was signed into law by the governor on Monday after unanimously passing both houses of the state legislature. Washington’s law, which takes effect immediately, is not the first in the United States, but it may impose the most stringent requirements. A handful of states, including Virginia, Minnesota, and Utah have similar laws on the books. Washington’s, though, imposes extra requirements that compel police to describe the technology and its impact in detail to judges—presumably despite any nondisclosure agreement that those agencies may have with the FBI and the dominant manufacturer of the devices, Harris Corporation. Both the FBI and Harris have previously refused to respond to Ars’ direct questions. FURTHER READING ROBBERY SUSPECT PULLS GUILTY PLEA AFTER STINGRAY DISCLOSURE, CASE DROPPED "What's the point of gathering evidence if you're not going to use it?" The secretive surveillance devices are not only used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. During the act of locating a phone, stingrays also sweep up information about nearby phones, not just the target phone. Stingrays typically spoof a cell tower and force phones to connect to it, often by making the handset step down to 2G, which does not require encryption."

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