Charles Lewis

By Charles Lewis

August 4, 2018

I just read the following article in the July issue of “Criminal Legal News,” “Cell-Site Simulators: Police Use Military Technology To Reach Out And Spy On You,” by Christopher Zoukis. The article is about CellSite Simulators. This according to CLN was technology that was developed by the military to fight foreign terrorists.

According to CLN, “Cell-site simulators, also known as stingrays, trick cell phones into connecting to the device instead of an actual cell tower. Police operating the devices can track the location of all connected cellphones within a certain radius, (500 meters, 547 yards) and also can potentially intercept metadata about phone calls (the number of calls made and length of the call), the content of the calls and text messages, as well as the nature of data usage-including brower information.All of this takes place unbeknownst to users whose cellphones have been hijacked.”

It is absolutely mind-blowing to know that your local police force could possibly have a device that they can use to track and listen to cell phones in say a hundred block radius. Stingrays are also used by the FBI, ATF, DHS, ICE, DEA, NSA and US Marshalls. CLN also wrote “Cell-site simulators are suitcase-size devices that mimic the signal of actual cellphone towers-they even emit a stronger signal than legitimate towers. And, because cellphones are programmed to seek the best signal, all phones within the radius of the signal will connect to the device.

“Despite he growing popularity of these powerful devices, little is known about their exact capabilities. Perhaps more importantly, even less is known about what police are doing with their stingrays.”

Some of hundreds of protesters condemn justice system outside Detroit home where police killed Terrance Kellom,19, in 2015. Photo: Kenneth Snodgrass

Can you imagine stingrays in the hands of corrupt cops? Can you imagine what they could do with a device like that? Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to keep information about stingray capabilities, and use, secret.

The Harris Corporation has worked with the FBI to create a NonDisclosure Agreement (NDA) that prevents local and state law enforcement agencies from revealing any information about the stingrays, including its very existence.

Your local police department could be using this device right now without your knowledge. There is nothing to stop rogue officers with access to stingrays from spying on those running for public office. Imagine what a rogue officer could do with highly sensitive information illegally obtained about a particular public official? A rogue officer could determine the outcome of many political positions with the right information. The moral of this story is watch what you say on your cell phone because your conversations are not personal or private. And, watch what you text. If you don’t want to end up in a compromising situation say nothing that will hurt you.

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