Cities won't talk about spying devices disguised as cell phone towers

Stingrays are cell phone tracking and monitoring devices disguised as cell phone towers. Harris, the corporation that sells the majority of stingrays, "profited an average of over $533 million in each of the last five years," according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ars Techica reports that "Harris requires its law enforcement clients to sign ... nondisclosure agreements that forbid those agencies from publicly revealing whether they use the stingray."

Look, we got the cyperpunk dystopia of our dreams! Cities won't talk about spying devices disguised as cell phone towers

(Image: Cogdogblog CC share-alike)

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  1. How long before people get so fed up that they start ripping these things out of the ground?

  2. Just to be clear, Stingrays are compact, portable spying devices that act electronically like a cell tower. They are not physically disguised as a cell tower, just in case the photo of a physical cell tower gives people the wrong idea.

  3. Uh, more likely, those cell towers are for different cell providers. You know they don't all share the same towers, right?

    Once again, stingrays are portable spying devices. When cops want your data they don't even need one of them, they can just demand it from the cell providers. Stingrays are just handy because they can take it anywhere for real-time results and skip that pesky paperwork that gets all of those darn civil libertarians (aka citizens) all riled up if they discover it.

  4. Aren't ALL cell phone towers essentially spying devices now?

  5. dobby says:

    There was a back and forth dialogue between the neo900(uber geeky community full hardware upgrade for the amazing Maemo linux N900 phone) team and Richard Stallman over at on including a plug in POCSAG pager circuit for the prototyping port and having an app that could call back numbers paged to you when you desired. It turned a mobile phone into an untrackable passive receiver until you were ready to activate the GSM system and make an outgoing call. The exchange got bogged down in discussing the firmware upgradeability of the modem chip module but it was interesting that RMS was actually showing interest in finally owning a mobile phone.
    It might be inconvenient forcing all incoming calls to hit voicemail first, but especially at protests and the like it breaks the utility of these police state gadgets.

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