Courts may hear challenges to secret cell tracking devices after new ruling

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Legal experts say that the landmark Supreme Court decision protecting cell phone privacy does not have any immediate implications for the use of cell tracking devices, known as stingrays.

But the court’s ruling could point the way forward for future judicial consideration.

Relatively little is known about how, exactly, stingrays are used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, although new documents have recently been released showing how they have been purchased and used in some limited instances. Worse still, cops have lied to courts about their use. Not only can stingrays be used to determine location, they can also be used to intercept calls and text messages.

Brian Pascal, a research fellow at the University of California, Hastings, told Ars that he didn’t think that this new ruling would impact metadata gathered via stingrays. FBI spokesperson Christopher Allen sent Ars a recent affidavit outlining the agency's position on why so little information has been publicly disclosed.


Courts may hear challenges to secret cell tracking devices after new ruling