Popular Resistance - A suitcase-size surveillance tool commonly called a StingRay that mimics a cellphone tower, allowing authorities to track individual cellphones in real time. Users of the device, which include scores of law enforcement agencies across the country, sign a non-disclosure agreement when they purchase it, pledging not to divulge its use, even in court cases against defendants the device helped capture.
Those restrictions remain in place despite a decision last year by the police in Charlotte, North Carolina, to disclose to judges more details about the device’s use in criminal cases and laws in several states that require warrants whenever the device is employed.
A report this week by the House Reform and Government Oversight Committee raised new concerns about the devices’ popularity. “Cell-site simulator use inside the United States raises far-reaching issues concerning the use, extent and legality of government surveillance authority,” it said.