Warrentless Stringray surveillance deemed unconstitutional

from the Free Thought Project

Thanks to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the warrantless use of cell-site simulators, known as Stingrays, is now considered a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

“Police should now be on notice,” said staff attorney Nate Wessler of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, as The Intercept reported. “Accurately explain your surveillance activities to a judge and get a warrant, or risk your evidence being thrown out.”

This potentially precedent-setting decision upheld an earlier ruling by Baltimore Circuit Judge Kendra Ausby. According toThe Intercept, “the trial court had suppressed evidence obtained by the warrantless use of a Stingray — the first time any court in the nation had done so.”

In a separate case before the courts in April last year, the revelation by a Baltimore police detective that the department had used Stingrays 4,300 times in eight years alarmed privacy-rights advocates around the country

[read more here]

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