As law enforcement are trying to become increasingly more aware of crime and suspicious behavior, a new technology known as “Stringray” might be able to locate and hunt down suspects without them knowing. When this tech is used, texts and phone calls can be interecepted from large areas within the tower’s range. A handful of states are attempting to place limits on this act that many deem an invasion of unwarranted privacy.
Illinois became the latest state last week to introduce legislation that would involve the use of Stingray towers. Cell phones are basically tricked into thinking they are being rerouted to another tower that overrides actual cell phone towers.
The latest bill would require a warrant before the use of Stingray which any unwanted civilian texts and calls that were accidentally collected would need to be erased immediately. 4 out of the 23 states using this technology currently require a warrant for their use.
Several groups that look out for the protection of Civil liberties are concerned that these unwarranted acts could invade privacy rights. Once the law passes in Illinois, Federal rules such as acquiring a warrant would be required although sources say local police would not need to obtain said warrants.
Law enforcement officials state that this technology has helped them catch criminals. There isn’t much word on how and when this technology is used. It is believed that Federal agents do collect that data that has been intercepted by local authorities incase any outsider parties attempt to steal viable information.
One representative of Illinois, Ann Williams, is in favor of the legislation and at the same time hopes that rights are respected in this fast paced era that we live in.