Newly released documents definitively show that local law enforcement in Washington, DC possessed a cellular surveillance system—commonly known as a “stingray”—since 2003. However, these stingrays literally sat unused in a police vault for six years until officers were trained on the devices in early 2009.
“It’s life imitating The Wire,” Chris Soghoian, a staff technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, told Ars. “There’s an episode in Season 3 where [Detective Jimmy] McNulty finds a [stingray] that has been sitting on the shelf for awhile.”
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request sent to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC), Ars received dozens of documents pertaining to the acquisition and training of stingrays and related upgrades. Vice News received the same documents, reporting on them last Friday.
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