Stingray Tracking Devices – Who’s Got Them

The ACLU put together an interesting web page (see here).  By surfing the web, they have put together a map with information – as best they have at the moment – of what states are using Stingrays to track citizens and what states are not. I say citizens and not crooks because a Stingray will collect data on every cell phone in say a 1 or 2 square mile area, as long as their cell phone is on.  What we don’t know is the specifics of that.  For example, does it just collect data for one carrier at a time or any phone, any carrier?



The map is interactive – if you click on a state, it will give you links to web pages with articles about some agency’s use of Stingrays.

In addition to listing what state agencies are using Stingrays, the web page also links to federal agencies (such as the FBI, DEA and Secret Service, among others) that have solicitations for procuring Stingray devices.

I think the cat is out of the bag.  I am sure that there is some crook somewhere that does not know about the use of cell phone trackers, AKA Stingray, but certainly every big time crook is aware of it.  And I think most citizens also understand that a cell phone is a homing beacon for them and the only way to stop that is to remove the battery (yes, turning it off doesn’t work – the baseband radio may still be on.  Sorry iPhone users).

Amazon has a couple of dozen different Faraday bags to stick your phone and other electronic goodies in to contain the radio waves and shield it from EMPs (electro magnetic pulses).  I guess it is a big business.

It would be nice if department and agencies would explain how they use them and how they manage the data that they capture for citizens who are not suspected of any wrong doing.

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