Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When Does Good Police Work

Become a Violation of Rights?

At least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a suitcase-size device that costs as much as $400,000 and acts as a fake cell tower. The system, typically installed in a vehicle so it can be moved into any neighborhood, tricks all nearby phones into connecting to it and feeding data to police

About one in four law-enforcement agencies have used a tactic known as a "tower dump," which gives police data about the identity, activity and location of any phone that connects to the targeted cellphone towers over a set span of time

Gone Fishing!

In October 2012, in Colorado, a 10-year-old girl vanished while she walked to school. Volunteers scoured Westminster looking for Jessica Ridgeway.  Local police took a clandestine tack. They got a court order for data about every cellphone that connected to five providers' towers on the girl's route. Later, they asked for 15 more cellphone site data dumps.  Colorado authorities won't divulge how many people's data they obtained, but testimony in other cases indicates it was at least several thousand people's phones.  The tower dump data helped police choose about 500 people who were asked to submit DNA samples. The broad cell-data sweep and DNA samples didn't solve the crime.



No comments: