Re: Stingray What I found interesting is that everyone has a fierce opinion in favor of requiring court supervision to use it. Yet I wonder how many of those same folks think it's completely OK to connect to an open access point without the owner's permission? Here's one excerpt from a reader's comment posted in response to that article:
...It's one thing to simply 'listen' to stray radio signals, since they are omnidirectional. It's another thing to physically (and literally) insert yourself between the communicating devices. Recording data - even just the header info - from thousands of innocent individuals - that the government isn't even interested in - raises this by at least an order of magnitude...While I understand there's a difference between connecting to an open access point and becoming a man-in-the-middle, to me it's a fine line and it's curious how we seem to hold a higher standard for government than ourselves. In that same response the reader also wrote:
...If it's legal for the government, without explicit permission from a court, to set up a man-in-the-middle tower to lie to connecting wireless devices about its identity and owner with the explicit purpose of recording information, then it's legal for the rest of us...To me it's paramount that we need explicit clarification regarding wireless communications. Not only do we need a bit of neutrality regulation, we also need to weaken any belief that it's legal to receive any signal within range of our receiver -- regardless of whether or not it's encrypted or secured. If a signal's purpose is not public broadcast, then we should have a legal framework that does not immediately assume that it's OK to receive it, much less interact with it, spoof it, fool it or use it in any way.
In closing, I think it's great authorities have the capability to locate suspects with this technology but they should do so only with the supervision of the court. We the people should also control the creation of these devices so that authorities don't need to delete unintended data. The device should be sufficiently "black box" so that authorities cannot use it to capture ALL cell phone data and then forget to delete such data after the case is closed. We're talking about a device that could easily be connected to the Internet. The device should be developed to require a case # and then it connects and retrieves the case so that only authorized cell phone data is recorded.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Trust but verify.