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Wyden questions FCC on Stingray interference on emergency services

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., questioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to determine whether Stingrays interfere with emergency services and medical devices.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Wyden asked if the agency has taken steps to ensure the cell site simulators neither interfere with 9-1-1 emergency services nor the communications and technology of innocent Americans.

The senator cited the FCC's jurisdiction over the technology and pointed out that law enforcement agencies on various levels haven't taken any steps to ensure the devices don't cause unnecessary harm despite their frequent use in local, state and federal courts.

“In addition to the purportedly stringent testing requirements imposed on cell site simulators by the FCC, federal law enforcement agencies have repeatedly represented to federal courts that these devices cause minimal interference,” Wyden said in the letter. “It is increasingly clear however, that those agencies take not active steps to establish the veracity of their claims.”

Se. Wyden then cited his own inquiries into the DOJ and DHS's use of the technology in which neither agency could provide information concerning the topic.

The senator went on to request specific information concerning what, if any, testing the agency conducts on the technology to prove the devices don't cause emergency service disruptions, if the agency even tests for disruptions on medical equipment, and what the laws apply to the certification of the technology. 

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