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A New York state judge has concluded that a powerful police surveillance tool known as a cell-site simulator, a device that spoofs legitimate mobile phone towers, is a “search” and therefore requires a warrant under most circumstances.
As a New York State Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn ruled earlier this month in an attempted murder case, New York Police Department officers should have sought a standard probable cause-driven warrant before using the invasive device.
The Empire State court joins others nationwide to reach this same conclusion.
In September, the  District of Columbia Court of Appeals also found that stingrays normally require a warrant, as did a federal judge in Oakland, California back in August.
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