Police remain secretive about cell phone tracking tool

03/24/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Washington – Police are keeping mum on details surrounding a cell phone tracking tool that is reportedly being used throughout the U.S. to help find suspects, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). The technology called Stingray, is a suitcase sized tracking device manufactured by Harris Corp that mimics a cell tower. Some suggest that the secrecy surrounding the use of the device may go against some government transparency laws.

The Stingray device tricks area cellphones into transmitting data to police as opposed to nearby cell towers. Documents pertaining to when and where these devices are used are heavily censored, in part due to nondisclosure agreements.

There has been an ongoing debate about surveillance programs and the use of private information obtained about people through the use of technology such as the Stingray, when they have not been suspected of any crime.

David Cuillier, the University of Arizona’s journalism school director and a national public-records laws expert, is quoted by the AP as stating of the issue, “I don’t see how public agencies can make up an agreement with a private company that breaks state law… We can’t have the commercial sector running our governments for us. These public agencies need to be forthright and transparent.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Washington Legal News

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