Threat Intelligence

Court opinion shows Fla. police tracked hundreds of cell phones without warrants

For the first time, a police department admitted to using a “stingray” surveillance device without a judge-issued warrant in order to pinpoint a suspected criminal's location.

CNET reporter Declan McCullagh discovered the subtle detail within a recent court opinion over a 2008 sexual battery case in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Florida police department attributed their secrecy to a non-disclosure agreement it signed with the tracking devices' vendor, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The manufacturer wasn't explicitly disclosed. However, the ACLU speculates it is the Florida-based Harris Corporation.

In addition to the Tallahassee case, the police conceded to using the device at least 200 other times since 2010 without a warrant, Wired reported. The ACLU filed a motion for public access to investigate the devices' use across the state.

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