RT: Police Using Harris Corp “Stingray” Cellphone Tracking System for Lesser Criminals

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RT Correspondent Alexey Yaroshevsky reports how police are pursuing criminals with cellphone tracking technology.

Reports are coming forward stating that police departments in major cities like New York and Baltimore are using the “Stingray” cellphone tracking system to follow and arrest individuals for petty crimes and misdemeanors. Alexey Yaroshevsky has more from New York City.

Florida-based Harris Corporation, which manufactures the Stingray, has been selling government agencies an entire range of secretive mobile phone surveillance technologies from a catalogue that it conceals from the public on national security grounds. Alexey Yaroshevsky reports that police departments have been signing non-disclosure agreements that prohibit discussing how the technology works.

The use of the surveillance technology can cause evidence to be thrown out of court because some use of the “Stingray” technology can be ruled unconstitutional.

“Stingray,” which is a crude looking electronic box, can be covertly set up virtually anywhere—in the back of a vehicle, such as a police car. The Stingray can be configured to monitor a targeted radius to collect hundreds of unique phone identifying codes, such as the International Mobile Subscriber Number (IMSI) and the Electronic Serial Number (ESM). The device gives police the ability to hone in on specific phones of interest to monitor the location of the user in real time or use the spy tool to log a record of all phones in a targeted area at a particular time.

The device can also intercept the content of communications using software known as “FishHawk” which allows police to eavesdrop on communications. Software known as “Porpoise” is sold on a USB drive, which can be plugged into a laptop connected to transceivers (radios) and possibly Stingray to monitor streams of text messages.

“Gossamer” is a small portable device that also mimics a cell tower to acquire IMSI and TMSI cell phone codes. The Gossamer functions like the Stingray, but can also perform denial-of-service attacks on phone users to block certain phone subscribers from making or receiving phone calls.

“Triggerfish” is an eavesdropping device that can intercept mobile phone conversations in real time, and pinpoint the location of the cell phone. The device is reported to be capable of acquiring data on 60,000 phones in a single session.

“Amberjack” is an antenna that is used as an accessory with Singray, Gossamer and Kingfish. The device includes a magnet mount, which can be attached to the roof of a police car.

“Hailstorm” is possibly a more advanced Stingray-Kingfish device that improves communications with actual wireless companies for improved data management over the Internet.

Protesters in Chicago believe they have witnessed use of some of this technology equipment by Chicago police during protest events.

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