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Government Privacy The Courts Transportation Technology

Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops To Deceive Judges About Surveillance Tech 251

Advocatus Diaboli sends this excerpt from Wired: Police in Florida have, at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, been deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of a controversial surveillance tool to track suspects, according to newly obtained emails (PDF). At the request of the Marshals Service, the officers using so-called stingrays have been routinely telling judges, in applications for warrants, that they obtained knowledge of a suspect's location from a 'confidential source' rather than disclosing that the information was gleaned using a stingray.
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Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops To Deceive Judges About Surveillance Tech

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  • Re:And? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @11:26PM (#47291361)

    It won't stop until the DoJ actually starts handing out serious penalties instead of a slap on the wrist for this sort of behavior. I'm talking jail time.

    It's only illegal if they counseled the cops to do this in a specific case. If they just told the cops that's what they should do in general, then it isn't a crime.

  • Signal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SleepyHappyDoc ( 813919 ) on Sunday June 22, 2014 @12:25AM (#47291563)

    I seem to remember an old jailbreak app for iPhones, called Signal I think, that triangulated positions of the cell towers you were connected to and plotted them on a map. I wonder if something like this could be used in an app, to warn people when a stingray was capturing their signal. If your app "remembers" the positions of towers, and it suddenly sees a new one, or it sees one that is not stationary, seems to me that'd be a good sign that something wasn't right. Is this possible, or am I misremembering?

    Even better would be if the app connected with others to create a crowd-sourced database of where and when they are used.

  • The feds are scared (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Sunday June 22, 2014 @01:07AM (#47291673)

    The feds are probably scared that if state cops release all this info (or allow it to be brought up in a court where defense lawyers could get the info in questioning), it could A.Allow the bad guys to figure out how to detect these devices (and therefore not do anything incriminating over their phones when they detect one or possibly even find ways to avoid the monitoring all together by e.g. switching carriers for their throwaway phones) or B.Give the bad guys information they could use to get a judge to say "you need a warrant to do what you did, you didn't get one therefore your evidence is inadmissible"

  • Re:Signal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by turp182 ( 1020263 ) on Sunday June 22, 2014 @08:34AM (#47292535) Journal

    Here's more info regarding the link that NormalVisual provided.

    Spidey is an Android app that tracks the cell towers available at a location and can supposedly notify you when new towers show up (or at least identify them by comparing against prior scans).

    I've been trying to use it, but I can't get it to pick up more than one tower at a time, in downtown St. Louis (I would expect several towers to be visible).

    Here's a presentation about the application: []

    Here's the download link for the app: []

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