Appeals Court: It Doesn’t Matter If Cops Used A Stingray

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a person wanted by the law has no right to complain how he was caught, even if it was the result of warrantless use of a stingray.

    Probable cause to arrest Patrick predated the effort to locate him. From his perspective, it is all the same whether a paid informant, a jilted lover, police with binoculars, a bartender, a member of a rival gang, a spy trailing his car after it left his driveway, the phone company’s cell towers, or a device pretending to be a cell tower, provided location information. A fugitive cannot be picky about how he is run to ground. So it would be inappropriate to use the exclusionary rule, even if the police should have told the judge that they planned to use a cell-site simulator to execute the location warrant.
     
  2. MongGrel

    MongGrel [H]ard|Gawd

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    Stingrays exist ?

    I jest a bit of course.
     
  3. Gorankar

    Gorankar [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So they decided that how the Leos found out, and gather evidence of the crime matters, and that how they found the criminal, does not?
    This makes sense. The method of locating a person you already have a warrant for should not really matter within reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
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  4. nightfly

    nightfly 2[H]4U

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    I thought they meant this: [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
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  5. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm assuming someone who has no influence in law said this.....

    I hope so at least.
     
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  6. MongGrel

    MongGrel [H]ard|Gawd

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    One of the coolest cars ever made.

    Even trying to find a Heavy Metal corvette opening is a PITA these days, won't bother.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
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  7. MongGrel

    MongGrel [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've always loved them in the past never owned one myself.

    I used to work with a guy that owned one with a 327 with twin 4 barrels in it that got third place in the Indy car show that year.

    Was a damned sweet car, he rarely drove it and did a rare burn out in front of my house one day, that thing could melt tires.

    They are as beautiful as some Jaguars in the past, in different ways.
     
  8. Gorankar

    Gorankar [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The information was not used to convict, merely to find and apprehend.
     
  9. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think that is the key thing in this case. Finding to arrest vs using information to convict.
     
  10. drakken

    drakken [H]ard|Gawd

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    the rico act says otherwise... I really would not want to help a guilty person but a cop can not beat up every second person until someone tells were the suspect is...
     
  11. Gorankar

    Gorankar [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Do you consider using a stinger to locate a fugitive, the same as beating the location out of someone?

    Does a fugitive have a right to keep their location private?
    Should a fugitive go free, should his conviction be overturned, not because he was convicted on evidence collected without a warrant, but because his persons was located without a warrant?
     
  12. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't get why it has to do with beating up anyone, seeing as a stinger doesn't do that either. It's more like they just sent out a lot of police officers to go knocking on doors and asking "Have you seen this boy?"

    [​IMG]
     
  13. topcat989

    topcat989 Hamarabe Lover

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    I thought thy meant this

     
  14. topcat989

    topcat989 Hamarabe Lover

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  15. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Bad assumption.

    But, the important distinction here is that the use of the Stingray did not produce evidence to use in establishing criminal conduct, but instead provided his location, so that his arrest could be effected per a warrant previously issued.
     
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  16. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I am not sure what you mean by this.

    I for one have a very dim view of people who try to characterize the search mechanism of a Stingray to searching all those other phones in the area. The machine is just connecting and then dumping the connection until it connects to the correct targeted phone and the information captured isn't really sensitive information. I believe they constitute a reasonable tool as long as they are not actually listening into any conversations until such point as they connect to the targeted phone.

    On the other hand, although in the past, Stingrays couldn't even listen to the conversations, and today they can, the reality is that all technology is evolutionary and changing. There need to be specific limitation placed on these devices when they are used in a Law Enforcement role as opposed to a foreign intelligence role. These devices need to be characterized and assigned a specific "Class" rating that, for example, works in the following manner.

    Class 1 Cell Site Simulator = Is capable of locating a "targeted" cell phone but is not capable of intercepting or recording communications content, is suitable for LE location tracking purposes only.
    Class 2 Cell Site Simulator = Is capable of locating a "targeted" cell phone and is capable of intercepting and/or recording communications content, is suitable for LE location tracking purposes and gathering judiciary evidence when authorized by Judicial Warrant.
    Class 3 Cell Site Simulator = Capabilities are protected knowledge and are not lawful devices for use by US Law Enforcement Agencies.

    So I agree in a a way with this Judge but I would amend it by saying simply, if LE wants to use these devices then they must come clean about what they can do. If they want to keep the capabilities a secret, then they can leave them in the hands of Military Intelligence services and go back to the old ways of getting the job done.
     
  17. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sweep half the town's communication to catch one guy... well this wont be abused. /s

    But the ends justify the means I guess, sweep 3000 people, catch one guy and violate the 4th amendment rights of 2999, China would love to buy one of these.
     
  18. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Look man, they fire up the Stingray, enter the ESN or MSID into the device for the phone they want to find, and the Stingray starts connecting to phones in the area, dumping them if they are not the correct phone, until it connects with the targeted phone. Then they use the direction finding capability to track down where the phone is in order to locate the phone's owner and catch them. If the are going to gather evidence with the device they may listen and record any conversation the guy may have while they are connected.

    Now if it were me and I was a cop out to catch and arrest some bad guy, I am not going to be browsing along trying to make sense or even record all of those phones as I "sweep" through them. It would take forever and come on, what are the real odds that you are going to come across anything remotely incriminating in even a minute or two of a conversation. Hell know, even if my device had that capability that isn't what I am out there to do. I am out there to find the guy I have a warrant to arrest so that is what I want to happen. Get that guy's phone to connect to my Stingray so I can chase him down and get cuffs on him so I can get on to the next case or my next doughnut.
     
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  19. /usr/sbin

    /usr/sbin Successfully Trolled by Megalith

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    If this is how it works then I'm generally OK with it, for locating someone without a warrant to use a stingray for such purpose. IE. using the device to physically find someone to arrest them on outstanding warrants, but not gathering additional evidence used for prosecution in the process.

    If they are going to gather evidence then they should have to get a warrant, period. No exceptions.
     
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  20. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Any tool has the potential to be abused. Just because it has the potential doesn't mean it shouldn't be used.

    There are already multiple laws on the books regarding recording of conversations and use as evidence. Most states require all parties in the conversation to agree to being recorded, with remaining states requiring at least one party consent. The only exceptions are warrants and emergency (i.e. hostage) situations. It is also for this reason security cameras generally don't record audio.
     
  21. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Very true, but where's the checks and balances in this case? It's very broad, and there's no proper disclosure involved. Who watches the watchers?

    On principal it's fine but seems to be opening a can of worms on mass surveillance if left unchecked imho.
     
  22. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The checks are right there. Evidence cannot be obtained without a warrant. Evidence obtained using evidence that was obtained without a warrant also become invalidated in court. If police got evidence by using your phone conversation, that evidence cannot be used against you.
     
  23. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well that assumes no cop has another agenda, they're human. We're already seen examples of the NSA employees stalking exes or collecting nudes and such for example. If there's a human element involved then there needs to be proper checks and balances I think, and it seems like there's not enough monitoring in place to avoid abuse.

    And no, you don't want the police to police itself, self auditing doesn't work so well for any organization in general, and apparently judges these days are not cutting it if they rubber stamp everything in the name of efficiency or whatnot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  24. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Lets hope that's how it works in practice and we don't end up with someone getting "targeted" behind the scenes out of malice or by association etc, say a reporter or civil rights activist and such. That's how some democracies died.

    We'll see.
     
  25. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That point will be reached when there is comprehensive internet censorship in the US.
     
  26. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Here's a question for you: Say that during the capture of the suspect, farther evidence is found. Is that evidence admissible in court, or should it be tossed because it was obtained via illegal means?
     
  27. Gorankar

    Gorankar [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It should be tossed if there was no warrant to use the device to gather evidence. That is not how it was used. It was used to find and take custody of a fugitive.
     
  28. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Than I think we are in agreement you and I. At least on these points.
     
  29. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I am fairly sure that the evidence would be accepted if it was found during the arrest process (i.e. drugs found in pockets during processing, etc). No different from arrests made by other methods I assume. Important thing is that they used it to find him and arrest him immediately, and not used to track him for an extended period of time.
     
  30. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Agreed in spirit. But that goes everywhere and all you can do is deal with the bad apples when you find them. Locally, a few months ago, our County had a Constable who was stealing property from peoples' homes while he was out serving eviction notices. They caught him and arrested him and he was convicted and that is how you handle it. But you don't stop serving eviction notices or sending Law Enforcement to people's homes cause they might steal shit while they are there.

    And, I didn't see those examples of misuse by NSA employees although I did see another article on the subject. Of course I drew very different conclusions from it than most people do.
     
  31. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well actually this article was talking about how they claimed the FBI wanted local law enforcement to lie about having gained evidence from a Stingray. But this is almost understandable. Any time to take new technology that was developed and used in war time, and try and leverage that capability for law enforcement, you run into this problem. The developer knows it's big customer is the military, and the military wants the capabilities kept secret so the company adjusts and becomes very secretive about their product. Now along comes law enforcement who want to use this toy and they recognize that for as long as it's a secret it's a big advantage. But sooner or later the tool will get used to produce evidence and the evidence must go to court and until it all get's worked out some people are going to take the wrong approach and try to get away with the cowboy days a little bit longer. The developer doesn't want to piss off their big customer although law enforcement could be an even bigger customer.

    But our system is actually built for this. Appeals and juries and procedure and precedent, these are what makes it possible to find the right balance. Sometimes it takes awhile to work out but it usually does work out. Sux for the guinea pigs that get the short end at first, but no one said it's perfect.
     
  32. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    So let's take this to it's logical extreme: Cops are searching for someone who is believed to be a suspect in some crime. As of present, no evidence is found against that person, but a warrant is out for their arrest. Illegal means are used to serve that warrant, and in the process, evidence is found that indicates the suspect is guilty.

    Just saying, there is a slippery slope here. What seems cut and dry isn't always so clear.
     
  33. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Illegal means used to find a person? I think the arrest itself would be invalidated if such extremes were used, and far greater concerns should be raised. At present, the only illegal means I can think of is hacking into unrelated private surveillance systems and using facial recognition to find the target. Or breaking into every house to find the target without a warrant to enter said house or owner permission. As stated here, using the Stingray to serve a warrant is not an illegal means.
     
  34. Draax

    Draax [H]ardness Supreme

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    I thought it was just basic logic that the ends DO NOT justify the means.
     
  35. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is what I thought of while reading the article title:
    [​IMG]
     
  36. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I believe the end result of apprehending someone with a warrant for his arrest completely justifies the limited use of a Stingray to only determine location. The ends justifying the means depends in the ends and the means. Breaking into every home to catch someone is not a justifiable means.
     
  37. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    If illegal means were used to serve a warrant, then the person is going to walk, regardless if they found anything. That person also has the benefit of getting all that evidence thrown out, cause it was found illegally.

    I mean, they could literally find 50 kilos of cocaine in the room where they arrested the person and none of it could be used as evidence.
     
  38. Kalabalana

    Kalabalana [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hurray, legal precedence to not require warrants to invade privacy!!!!!! Finally, we get rid of that draconian system of law!
     
  39. Gorankar

    Gorankar [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Outside of the fugitive they had an arrest warrant for, who exactly had their privacy violated in this case?
     
  40. drakken

    drakken [H]ard|Gawd

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    So bad guy a has a phone with developer profile turned on, you don't know the phone number, the device id or mac address, you just happened to see in by cell tower 1... you turn on stingray and it listens to every phone conversation until you listen on bad guy a, conversation while your buddy next to you hears about two people disusing a private tip on company that is going to publicly announce something the next day and the stock price is going to shoot through the roof. He ignores the guy is supposed to track down to buy a bunch of shares then dump them half way through the day of the announcement to take advantage of the tip and the investors get really puzzled while they have a huge dip half way through the day and wonder if the people trading the stock are working for the company and the announcement is fake.

    The rico act would be that without a warrant for each of those people served ahead of time so they know that every they do is being monitored is abuse of power... thus a rico act violation... the criminal was on the tower maybe or maybe it was a sat phone, either way it is going through the other people's information on the tower that is the issue not the person they have a warrant based on evidence on hand. The whole point of calling it a warrant is so that people know you are not supposed to get one unless the situation warrants it.