LAPD Using Controversial Spy Tool to Listen to Cellphone Conversations of "Non-Suspects"

The LAPD used a cell phone monitoring device designed for counterterror purposes in routine criminal investigations 21 times in just four months last year, LA Weekly reported.


Using federal funds the police department obtained the Stingray technology, which allows police to track mobile phones in real time, with the purported intention of using the device to monitor terror suspects. However, notes LA Weekly, the device was used in “13 percent of the 155 ‘cellular phone investigation cases’ that Los Angeles police conducted between June and September last year” — including for burglary, drug and murder investigations.

The device works by masquerading as a cell phone tower and tricks your phone into connecting to it. The authorities can then determine, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported, “who, when and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.”

Stingrays raise particular issues when it comes to privacy, as the technology catches data from every cellphone in the area, including from phone users unrelted to the police investigation. These individuals would never know they are subject to police monitoring.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.