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United States Cellphones Government Privacy

New Illinois Law Limits Police Use Of Cellphone-Tracking Stingray (go.com) 34

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes a report from ABC News: A new Illinois law limits how police can use devices that cast a wide net in gathering cellphone data... [Stingray] gathers phone-usage data on targets of criminal investigations, but it also gathers data on other cellphones -- hundreds or even thousands of them -- in the area. The new law requires police to delete the phone information of anyone who wasn't an investigation target within 24 hours. It also prohibits police from accessing data for use in an investigation not authorized by a judge.

A dozen other states have adopted such regulations, and Congress is considering legislation that would strengthen federal guidelines already in place... Privacy advocates worry that without limits on how much data can be gathered or how long it can be stored, law enforcement could use the technology to build databases that track the behavior and movement of people who are not part of criminal investigations.

Earlier this month a U.S. judge threw out evidence gathered with Stingray for the first time, saying that without a search warrant, "the government may not turn a citizen's cell phone into a tracking device." The ACLU has identified 66 agencies in 24 states using Stingray technology, "but because many agencies continue to shroud their purchase and use of stingrays in secrecy, this map dramatically underrepresents the actual use of stingrays by law enforcement agencies nationwide."
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New Illinois Law Limits Police Use Of Cellphone-Tracking Stingray

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems lately that the old-fashioned "file a report" for each shot fired isn't adequate oversight. Give any officer in a non-assault/SWAT role a limited magazine.

  • Nothing a rubber stamp, and/or "hose" [commondreams.org] can't fix

  • I live in Illinois and around here the legislation usually is whatever takes the most money from people who live here. I'm astounded that this passed.

    • They are scared the courts will outlaw them completely. Or simply wait until they have a long list of cases done without a warrant, and then the court says "no warrant, no conviction".

      So the politicians decide they would set up a bunch of rules pre-empting a judicial censure of the police.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The actual truth is fairly interesting.

        During the "budget stalemate", the republican governor continued to call the democrat-dominated legislature into special sessions for the purpose of passing a budget. Since both sides were so far apart, very few, if any, republican members of the legislature bothered to show up for most of the sessions. This left the democrats that were there with nothing to do regarding the budget.

        The governor refused to deal with legislation that was budget-related unless it was a

  • The real problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Sunday July 24, 2016 @10:07PM (#52572873)

    is there is absolutely no control over the use of these products. Once any information is obtained, intelligent agencies just use parallel construction or other methods to convict someone. Had they not had access to the use of these devices, surely many many prosecutions would be impossible or alleged crimes unknown.

      Cop having these devices are like foxes guarding hens.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What the hell kind of device can be legally used that impersonates a cell tower?

    How about if manufacturers of such devices are required to have a full audit trail of daily/weekly usage which must be uploaded to a trusted intermediary/escrow before it the crappy device is unlocked for the next usage. That way when creeps who have access to these devices think their wives are cheating on them go ballistic and start listening in on everything and everyone to find out, then their illicit usage will at least be

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's okay, if the state won't allow it, then ask the feds to do it. They'll do anything.

  • There's a New Illinois now?
  • The new law requires police to delete the phone information of anyone who wasn't an investigation target within 24 hours. It also prohibits police from accessing data for use in an investigation not authorized by a judge. How do you plan to audit if they've deleted the information? And, oh, you mean like the fourth amendment? This is the kind of law that means nothing -- it's not intended to curb police activity, but make people feel more complicit. If anything, we should give U.S. District Judge Willia
  • Said no intelligence, police, or government agency ever.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Said no intelligence, police, or government agency ever.

      But they all say it. It's getting them to actually DO it that's the hard part.

    • Nor did any private company.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Privacy advocates worry that without limits on how much data can be gathered or how long it can be stored, law enforcement could use the technology to build databases that track the behavior and movement of people who are not part of criminal investigations.

    License Plate Readers do this already.

  • This is actually a good thing. In order to get these devices ruled as Unconstitutional (as they obviously are), they have to make it to the Supreme Court. In nearly every previous case where a court has seen the technology presented for argument, it has been swooped up by federal agencies and barred from court discussion under secrecy and missing evidence. Illinois has codified the technology into law, making it simpler to challenge the legality of these devices and difficult to swoop in and disappear wi
  • Is a state law like this able to limit federal agencies usage of stingray?
  • by Rexdude ( 747457 ) on Tuesday July 26, 2016 @03:21AM (#52580353)

    ..called AIMSICD [github.io]. It alerts you to when you're possibly connecting to a fake cell tower, and can be configured to instantly disable the phone radios if that happens. I've tried it, but no idea if it works as claimed since I'm not in the US.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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