As of Thursday, U.S. federal law enforcement agencies will no longer be able to use a secretive cell phone surveillance technology without a warrant, as the Justice Department introduced long-awaited new rules on the controversial devices known colloquially as Stingrays.
The headline of this article gave me hope the Sheriff's Department in Sacramento County California, whose behavior often resembles Germany in the 1930s, might immediately be required to destroy their Stingrays. Then reading the exceptions not a doubt in my mind they will not only continue to be used, but on each occasion all use will be exigent circumstances.
Are parallel construction and reverse engineering the same thing, legally? Is a confidential informant also a cell tower simulator? Is a jailhouse snitch 75 feet tall? Does it take a mighty big dog to weigh a 140 lbs.? Can you hear me now?
There is no "if". It will be used.
And we already know "how": intrusively, violating the victims' rights.