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DHS Says It Found Stingrays Used for Spying In Washington

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Apr 3, 2018, 1:53 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

The Department of Homeland Security today said it has encountered cell site simulators being used in Washington, D.C., in what appears to be an effort to spy on Americans. The agency acknowledged the use of Stingrays, though it didn't say what type of devices they were, who was using them, how many were detected, nor where the devices were being put to use. Law enforcement agencies have long used Stingrays in an effort to track criminals. They work by tricking cell phones into connecting to the Stingray rather than nearby cell towers. Once connected, the Stingray can track location, calls, messages, and other data. The FCC formed a task force in 2014 to explore the use of Stingrays by spies, but it never produced a report or any concrete conclusions. According to the Associated Press, most foreign embassies in Washington have cell tower simulators in order to track those who approach the embassies. They have "free reign" because embassies exist on sovereign soil. Locating and shutting down rogue Stingrays would require a lot of funding and help from the FCC and carriers. The DHS hasn't said if it intends to do anything about the issue.




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