The Stingray Mobile Tracking device by Florida-based defense contractor Harris Corp is causing a lot of controversy, raising questions about whether this type of device violates Constitutional rights.
The Scary thing is that this devise is designed to locate a mobile phone even when it’s not being used to make a call.
Law enforcement, in particular the (FBI) Federal Bureau of Investigation considers these type of high tech devices to be a critical weapon in its investigative arsenal.
The Stingray’s role in nabbing the alleged “Hacker” could be a test of the legal standards for using these devices in investigations. The FBI claims it obtains appropriate court approval to use the device.
Stingrays are just one of several new technologies used by law enforcement to track a person’s location, are often used without a search warrant. These questionable techniques are driving a constitutional debate about the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but which was written long before the digital age, is keeping pace with the current technology.
“The Hacker” aka Daniel David Rigmaiden, will be in U.S. District Court of Arizona. Judge David G. Campbell will hear a request by Mr. Rigmaiden’s defense team to have information about the government’s secret techniques disclosed to him so he can use it in his defense. Mr. Rigmaiden, who maintains his innocence, says that using stingrays to locate devices in homes without a valid warrant “disregards the United States Constitution” and is illegal.
The Stingray works by mimicking a cellphone tower, getting a phone to connect to it and measuring signals from the phone.
It lets the stingray operator “ping,” or send a signal to, a phone and locate it as long as it is powered on. The device has various uses in addition to helping law enforcement locate suspects, including aiding search-and-rescue teams in finding people lost in remote areas or buried in rubble after an accident. Scary Stuff Indeed!