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Does Cellphone-sweeping 'StingRay' Technology Go Too Far?

Civil liberties groups are increasingly raising objections to the suitcase-sized devices known as StingRays that can sweep up cellphone data from an entire neighborhood.

Posted: Nov 25, 2017 10:03 AM

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas are among scores of police departments across the country using highly secretive technology developed for the military that can track down suspects by using the signals constantly emitted by their cellphones.

Civil liberties groups are increasingly raising objections to the suitcase-sized devices known as StingRays that can sweep up cellphone data from an entire neighborhood. Some versions of the technology can even intercept texts and calls. Part of the problem is the devices can also collect data from anyone near the person being tracked.

About a dozen states now have laws requiring warrants to use the technology. A judge in New York City last month ruled the NYPD must have an eavesdropping warrant to use the device.

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