Documents obtained by Muckrock under a FOIA request revealed a deputy at the Broward County Sherriff’s Office in Florida was eager to purchase Hacking Team surveillance equipment between 2012 and 2013.
Deputy Shannon Belanger told a Hacking Team sales manager in an email “I can’t see how we can survive without it,” following a demonstration of the product that could obtain phone conversations, pictures, text, and social media credentials.
Belanger also requested documentation to present at a finance meeting and arranged for a “proof of concept” demo for the command staff.
A department spokesperson told Muckrock that the department didn’t purchase the software and that the initial interest was on the part of Belanger who received permission to coordinate the demonstration.
Muckrock also found that the New York Police Department, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and University of California, Santa Barbara Police Department had also reached out to Hacking team for in-person product demonstrations.
Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained documents showing the widespread use of stingrays by Florida law enforcement.