#FBI Says Local Cops Can Talk About #Stingray In New Statement

Posted: May 16, 2015 in Tech

The FBI has released a statement regarding the use of stingrays, which apparently claims the opposite of what its nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with local law enforcement actually says.

According to The Washington Post, which quoted from but did not publish the statement on Thursday, the FBI doesn’t actually prevent local law enforcement from disclosing stingray use.

Ars received a copy of the statement from the FBI early Friday morning and is publishing it in full here for the first time.

Among other things, it says:

The NDA should not be construed to prevent a law enforcement officer from disclosing to the court or a prosecutor the fact that this technology was used in a particular case. Defendants have a legal right to challenge the use of electronic surveillance devices, and not disclosing their use could inappropriately and adversely affect a defendant’s right to challenge the use of the equipment.

Not only can stingrays, or cell-site simulators, be used to determine location by spoofing a cell tower, but they can also be used to intercept calls and text messages. Once deployed, the devices intercept data from a target phone as well as information from other phones within the vicinity. For years, federal and local law enforcement have tried to keep their existence a secret while simultaneously upgrading their capabilities. Over the last year, as the devices have come under increased scrutiny, new information about the secretive devices has come to light.

The statement comes just days after Washington state’s governor signed into law a new statute that not only requires that cops get a warrant before using a stingray, but that they fully describe its capabilities to judges in that warrant application and agree to provisions to minimize and destroy data captured from non-target phones.

Full Story @ [ARS Technica]

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