Regulating Stingray Technology

The Civil Liberties Committee of the Chicago Council of Lawyers has called on the state of Illinois to regulate the government’s use of Stingray technology. On January 20, 2016, Representative Ann Williams of Chicago introduced Illinois House Bill 4470 to regulate the use by government bodies of cell site simulator devices. A similar measure is being introduced in the Illinois Senate under the sponsorship of Senator Daniel Biss. These “stingray” surveillance devices mimic the towers to which cell phones connect. The device tricks cell phones within its range to connect to it, instead of to legitimate towers. The technology can be used to obtain the identifying number of a “target” phone, but in the process collects identifying information from all other cell phones in the area. You may read the Committee’s statement here.

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