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In Privacy Win, Federal Judge Rejects 'Stingray' Evidence for First Time


In Privacy Win, Federal Judge Rejects 'Stingray' Evidence for First Time

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

For the first time, a federal judge has thrown out evidence obtained by police without a warrant using the controversial "Stingray" device that mimics cell phone towers to trick nearby devices into connecting with them, revealing private information.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley said the defendant's rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) used a Stingray to figure out his home address during a drug investigation.


I wonder if there's a way that a person can tell if they are being stingrayed. The # takes longer to dial or what?


Since I don't even own a cell phone let alone a smart phone, I'm almost hesitant to ask this question. Would it be possible to develop an app that could show a map of the towers your signal is going through? It'd be a big clue if it showed that tower sitting up the street from your house.


That would be assuming you have a smart phone. If you just have a regular flip-phone though?


For the average person, no. I've heard that there is technically some way that one can at least be pretty sure they are being stingrayed, but it was a very convoluted process that involved checking your airtime minutes against official phone usage from a cell tower, or something like that.

They are very powerful devices and no one really knows how much they are being used. Some attorneys have figured out that if you get a drug case and it seems like the police got really lucky in busting someone or if the defendant is baffled how they got caught, then usually if you question it enough they will just drop the charges rather than reveal they used a stingray.


Once in a while Big Brother loses a case... Great to see that there are still a few brave judges left!