1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Congress introduces bill to require a warrant for Stingray deployment

By William Gayde ยท 7 replies
Feb 24, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. The Stingray, known technically as a Cell-Site Simulator, has sparked controversy at every step of its secretive career. The device allows anyone using it to listen in on phone calls, read text messages, and sniff all mobile and location data of cell phone users in its vicinity.

    It works by latching on to existing cell towers and then rebroadcasting their signal to unsuspecting users around it. Cell phones can't detect if they are talking to the real cell tower or the Stingray, so this makes it perfect for a man-in-the-middle attack by police or government agencies looking to gather information about a particular group.

    Naturally, the power to digitally wiretap a phone should come with strict legal requirements, but that hasn't always been the case. There have been numerous documented cases of police departments using them on crowds without a warrant. In an effort to regulate these devices, the House and Senate Oversight Committees have introduced bills requiring a warrant in order to use the Stingray device.

    The call to action was brought up last year, but the first bills were introduced this week. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) act would require a warrant for all domestic law enforcement agencies to track the location and movement of individual Americans. While this legislation is focused on location tracking and not so much on data collection, it's a step in the right direction.

    Mobile technology evolved much faster than the legislation regulating it. With these newly proposed bills, the DOJ's guidelines would become statutory requirements and not just a piece of paper. Police departments would need to get a warrant to use the device instead of just being able to use them on a whim. As one representative put it "this bill sets out clear rules to make sure our laws keep up with the times."

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    What brought this on? Is Trump now worried that all his discriminatory, sexist, racist, derogatory, clandestine, sexually suggestive, childish, profanity filled conversations, of which there are probably too many to count, may be laid 'bare' for all to hear?
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,719   +2,517

    Long overdue. The next step should be a complete accounting of which data services (Google, Microsoft, etc) have created back doors for the benefit of the intelligence community. Its truly mind-boggling just how indifferent the previous two administrations were when it came to accountability for wiretapping activities. Hopefully things will be different going forward.
  4. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +72

    My obamaphone/trumpphone is using one I think. I won't tell you how I know. It started with george bush senior because he was head of the cia, so don't exactly blame the present people.
  5. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 871   +393

    Always blown away how the vast majority of people are pro-criminal.
  6. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    Always blown away by the people who think the Bill of Rights is 'pro-criminal'. DAMN THE 4TH AMENDMENT!
  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 871   +393

    We are watching you. Don't do what you are planning on doing. We know.
  8. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Addict Posts: 183   +72

    That is because something they need to rely on criminal activity in order to survive where their government would not help them and on the contrary would "punish" them to be good citizen. In other word some peoples are better treated with criminal than their own government.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...