Newfangled machines, called cars, scared the hell out of horses and ran over pedestrians in the early 20th century as their numbers exploded from 200,000 to over 2 million.
By the time
Nothing has changed. New technologies spread practically instantly and take root with almost no legal oversight.
A surveillance tool, “
Responding to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, the New York Police Department has revealed it used “
The New York Civil Liberties Union, NYCLU, claims that this type of order does not protect civil liberties as does a warrant. A pen register order only requires the police to provide the information is relevant to an ongoing investigation of a crime they thing is about to be committed.
This is in contrast to a warrant. A warrant requires law enforcement to establish probable cause.
What is the
Built by Harris Corporation, the controversial cell phone surveillance device was initially developed for the military and intelligence community. The
Legal scholars, public interest advocates and judges have criticized the use of StingRay technology. These critics call the use of the devices
The newsletter, Electronic Frontier Foundation, has called the device an unconstitutional, all-you-can-eat data
The controversy stems mainly from the increased use behind the veil of secrecy. In 2014, police in
Law enforcement has resisted multiple judicial requests for information about how StingRay is used. In June 2014, the ACLU published information available from court records regarding the extensive use of StingRay by Florida police. In response, the United States Marshals Service seized the local surveillance records to keep them from becoming public in court.
How can you protect yourself against the
Activists, who often need secure communication for protests have used two apps, SnoopSnitch, and Android IMSI-Catcher Detector to warn of the presence of a StingRay in the vicinity.
A non-technical way around StingRay surveillance is just to leave the phone at home. However, if an activist wants to live tweet the protest, but doesn’t want the risk of cops electronically digging around in the phone, they often get a “burner smartphone” just for protests.
“If using a cell phone means being exposed to military-grade surveillance apparatus, the privacy of all New Yorkers is at risk,” says Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU.
Considering the NYPD’s troubled history of surveilling innocent people, it must at the very minimum place strict privacy policies and secure warrants before utilizing devices like StingRays that can trace people’s lives.