Adam Bates on StingRay Surveillance

Mobile technology has brought uncountable conveniences into modern life, making it easier to locate new restaurants, get a lift across town, and listen to your favorite radio personalities on the go. On the flip side, some innovations have enabled both criminals and law enforcement to abuse technology, and use shadowy means to evade accountability. Adam Bates, a policy analyst with Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice, has been tracking the government’s surreptitious use of portable ‘Stingray’ devices, which can locate and obtain data from cell phones by masquerading as a cell phone tower (often without a warrant).  Many criminals and malicious hackers have long known about police surveillance of cell phones, and sought more covert methods of communication. Thanks to groups like the Cato Institute, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the ACLU, the rest of the public is now learning of the potential violations of their privacy taking place in the name of public safety in virtually every jurisdiction in the country. Adam explains how the use of Stingrays is undercutting our Fourth Amendment rights, and could be undermining efforts to put real criminals behind bars.