Tuesday, January 6, 2015

FBI Claim No Warrant Needed For Stingray Devices

From Ars Technica:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that court warrants are not required when deploying cell-site simulators in public places. Nicknamed "stingrays," the devices are decoy cell towers that capture locations and identities of mobile phone users and can intercept calls and texts.
There reasoning is that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public places. So, under that reasoning, once your telephone line reached a publicly accessible area, there would be no reasonable expectation of privacy in having your phone line tapped....

The problem with their reasoning is that they are attempting to stretch a rule governing what anyone could see or observe and apply it to a radio technology which, obviously, no one can see, smell, or hear. This argument didn't work with thermal imaging, and I'm going to guess that the use of stingrays will ultimately be struck down by the courts as well.

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