rt.com Law enforcement officials in Florida have used ‘Stingray’ surveillance to track cell phone locations on more than 1,800 occasions, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). And they did it without obtaining warrants. The discovery was made after the ACLU filed a public records request with over 30 Florida law enforcement agencies in 2014 to find out how police were using surveillance tools to track down cell phone users. A May 2014 email obtained by the ACLU shows the equipment, commonly known as ‘Stingray’ after a popular brand, was used over 1,800 times – often in robbery, burglary, and theft investigations. However, not a single investigation was related to national security. The Stingray tool, also known as a “cell site simulator,” can mimic cell phone towers and force phones in the area to broadcast information that can be used to identify and locate users. The devices are small enough to fit in a police vehicle and can even be carried by hand. They can identify telephone numbers, unique identifying numbers, and the locations of all cell phones in range. They can also log the phone numbers called and texted by a connected phone.
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