The federal government’s stingray operations – which download private information from smartphones by imitating cellphone towers – long have been the source of concern, explains a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Worse yet have been revelations that the feds demand that local jurisdictions keep the existence of the operations secret.
But now a state is fighting back. A Mississippi bill would specify when and where the operations can be conducted and under what conditions.
Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center said the bill would ban the warrantless use of the devices.
“The proposed law would not only protect privacy in Mississippi, but it would also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state,” he explained.
Sponsored by state Rep. Steve Hopkin, it would “help block the use of cell site simulators, commonly known as ‘stingrays.'”
“These devices,” Maherry said, “essentially spoof cell phone towers, tricking any device within range into connecting to the stingray instead of the tower, allowing law enforcement to sweep up communications content, as well as locate and track the person in possession of a specific phone or other electronic device.”
The proposal, HB85, would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before deploying the spy machines.