Los Angeles PD Spy Tool Being Used to Tap Your Cell Phone?

StingRay (a surveillance tool) is Secretly Being Used Without Warrants?

In today’s uncertain times it seems privacy, although important, is taking a bit of a back seat when it comes to wanting to know what we need to know. Up until recently we mostly thought that all of the high tech spying stuff was done by the NSA or maybe the FBI. But now it seems as though everyone is getting into the act.  I guess you don’t have to feel all that guilty anymore about monitoring your kids cell phone activities.

“When you consider the scoundrels the FBI chases down every year — terrorists and serial killers and badass drug kingpins — David Rigmaiden has to be one of the dullest on the list. He’s currently in federal custody in Arizona, charged in a long-running scam that netted millions from bogus tax returns.

Still, the Rigmaiden case is being watched closely because of a tool the FBI used to catch him. The device, called a StingRay, would seem right at home in any spy flick.

Suitcase-sized and portable, StingRays are used by law enforcement to track mobile phones in real time. The device electronically impersonates a cellphone tower and dupes the mobile phone into connecting through its own antennae.

Documents obtained by L.A. Weekly through the Freedom of Information Act show that the Los Angeles Police Department is quietly using the StingRay. (Police in Miami, Fort Worth and Gilbert, Ariz., also are known to have the devices.)

LAPD refuses to discuss how it uses the powerful tool, perhaps copying the FBI’s playbook, which argued in the Rigmaiden case that revealing too many details would cause serious harm to future investigations.

The department, through a spokesperson, refused to comment on the device, despite repeated requests from the Weekly. Through the department’s Discovery Unit, which handles requests from the public and media under the California Public Records Act, LAPD also declined to reveal any information on how the devices are used. Continue reading…

We All Know What The NSA Has Been Doing

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