The Indiana State Police paid $373,995 for a device that could allow authorities to capture cell phone data from unsuspecting individuals, according to a newly released document obtained by the Indiana Star.
The device, known as a “stingray,” may work by tricking an individual’s cell phone into thinking it is a cell tower, which results in the phone connecting to it. The stingray could possibly then capture location data and call records, among other information.
According to the Indiana Star, which obtained the information through a public records request, “officials at Indiana’s largest police agency aren’t saying what they do with the technology; they’re mum on whose data they’ve collected so far; and they’re not talking about what steps they take to safeguard the data.”
“[T]hey won’t even say whether they ask a judge for a search warrant before they turn the equipment on,” the newspaper reported Sunday.
[sharequote align=”center”]”…won’t even say whether they ask a judge for a search warrant before they turn the equipment on.”[/sharequote]
Instead, officials reportedly insist they can’t disclose such information because doing so may endanger public safety.
Legal director of the ACLU of Indiana Kenneth Falk said the device could raise serious questions.
“What sort of reassurances can the agency make to those people their data is being destroyed, not maintained indefinitely, not abused for any purpose?” Lanosga told the Indiana Star. “I think there are a lot of serious questions about that that demand the agency publicly address what it’s doing with these types of techniques and equipment.”
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