Fbi cell phone tracking

And recently, the US Marshals Service revealed that it had used the devices more than 6, times — but there was no indication it had used them to snoop on phone contents. We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. To learn more, review our Cookie Policy.

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Listen navigate down. News Programs navigate down. Podcasts navigate down. At least two Oklahoma law enforcement agencies possess or have used a controversial device, shrouded in secrecy, to track and collect information from cellphones , an Oklahoma Watch investigation found.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has owned such a device for years but said it has never been used. Nationally, local law enforcement agencies often sign non-disclosure agreements with federal agencies to not reveal the existence or use of these devices, thwarting efforts by civil rights organizations to monitor their usage.

The devices sell under brand names such as StingRay, Triggerfish or Gossamer. In other states, law enforcement officials have defended the simulators as valuable tools in fighting drug traffickers and gangs and in finding fugitives. Investigators are focused on gathering data from specific suspects, not on incidental calling data collected from other citizens, officials say.

The Bureau of Narcotics told Oklahoma Watch that it obtained a StingRay device seven years ago, but has never used it because of legal issues.

Stingray, DRTbox can collect cellphone data, but FBI says that's not how they're used

Bureau spokesman Mark Woodward confirmed the device was donated to the agency by a law enforcement equipment supply company. Prices for simulators can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Cops Tracking Us Through Our Cell Phones

Do we not need a warrant? The Oklahoma City Police Department has borrowed and possibly used a cell tower simulator. Paco Balderrama, spokesman for Oklahoma City police, said the department does not own a cell site simulator. On advice from its attorney, the department refused to provide additional information, including any other administrative documents not directly related to an investigation, such as requests to borrow the device.

Yes, law enforcement can spy on your cellphone. The FBI insists it's not doing it.

The attorney cited a law enforcement exemption to the Open Records Act. That section of the law, however, does not specifically exempt administrative records, such as agreements, expense records or personnel data. The FBI and U. Few people know Stingrays even exist -- or that federal agents and police across the country are increasingly using them to arrest people.


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It's a small device that mimics a cell phone tower, duping nearby cell phones into connecting to it rather than a real phone company tower. There's a growing privacy concern because while police use the Stingrays to track down an individual, they can potentially grab text messages and phone call data on thousands of innocent people.

In November, we learned that federal agents regularly fly planes nationwide that spy on Americans' phone calls. We also know police in at least 20 states use Stingrays, according to public records obtained by the ACLU. But everything else is a mystery because police agencies have non-disclosure agreements with the maker of Stingrays: the Harris Corporation based in Melbourne, Florida. They also have similar hush-hush contracts with the FBI.

There have been several examples of prosecutors dropping charges to keep quiet about Stingrays.