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Stingrays disproportionately affect low income neighborhoods

The use of stingray phone tracking technology is sweeping up a disproportionate number of low income and non-white citizens, according to The Atlantic.

The devices, which capture cell phone signals, are used by law enforcement in surveillance efforts. But the simulators only give approximate locations, resulting in dragnets that pit police against innocent bystanders. And, according to The Atlantic's investigation – that mapped police data from Baltimore, Milwaukee and Tallahassee – the preponderance of activity overwhelmingly targeted non-white and low-income communities.

For instance, 90 percent of activity mapped in Baltimore took place in majority non-white Census block groups, where residents are largely African-American. And 70 percent occurred in areas where the median annual income was less than the city's median, the report found.

While FBI Director James Comey stated last year that Stingrays are used to track “the bad guys,” the data indicates low-level criminals are being targeted, not the terrorists police cite as justification for using the technology.

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