We Know Terrifyingly Little About How Cops in New York Track Cell Phones

By Max Rivlin-Nadler | Vice.com
February 18, 2016

nypd cell phone trackerFor the past several years, police departments across America have been using a nifty new piece of technology to trace the location of suspects. IMSI-catchers—commonly known as “StingRays” after the most popular brand name—are small boxes that gather all cell signals in a given area by mimicking a cell phone tower. And they’ve grown increasingly popular even as the federal government has issued stricter guidelines as to where and how the technology should be used.

But thanks to bizarre non-disclosure agreements struck between the FBI and the manufacturer of the StingRay, the Harris Corporation, the devices are rarely entered into evidence as part of a criminal case. That often leads to prosecutions marred by glaring holes as to exactly how the cops knew where a person was located, defense lawyers argue. The New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are strictly barred from speaking about the use of StingRays, even under court order, and even if their use is central to prosecution.

Read more here: http://www.vice.com/read/what-we-know-about-how-cops-in-new-york-city-track-cell-phones

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