Surveillance

FBI To Defend Cell Phone Tracking in Court

What do we have to hide?

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation's secretive "Stingray" surveillance technology that allows police to surreptitiously track the locations of cell phones and other mobile devices will itself go on trial in an Arizona courtroom tomorrow afternoon.

Attorneys representing the U.S. Department of Justice are expected to defend warrantless use of stingray devices, which trick mobile devices into connecting to them by impersonating legitimate cell towers. Prosecutors yesterday filed court documents saying stingrays were used in investigations in Arizona and Wisconsin going back to 2008.

In the legal skirmishing leading up to tomorrow's three-hour hearing, federal attorneys have told U.S. District Judge David Campbell that the defendant in this case, Daniel Rigmaiden, did not have reasonable "privacy expectations" in the whereabouts of his Verizon mobile broadband card and "thus the agents in this case were not required to obtain a warrant."