A newly published e-mail from a Seattle police detective illustrates the bizarre situation that law enforcement finds itself in these days: apparently everyone knows about the cops’ use of stingrays, and yet no one can explain it.
The e-mails were published over the weekend by Andrew Charles Hendricks, a local privacy activist.
Stingrays, the common name for “cell-site simulators,” can be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. During the act of locating a phone, stingrays also sweep up information about nearby phones—not just the target phone. Earlier this month, Ars reported on how the FBI is actively trying to “prevent disclosure” of how these devices are used in local jurisdictions across America.
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