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posted by mrpg on Wednesday January 03 2018, @08:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the call-911 dept.

Information obtained via right-to-know request revealed The New Jersey State Police spent at least $850,000 on stingray devices from Harris Corp.

Authorities didn't respond to NBC10's request to discuss the use of the technology described in more than 100 pages of invoices and other heavily redacted documents detailing the devices purchased. Jeanne LoCicero, deputy legal director ACLU of New Jersey, asked for the same documents that NBC10 sought and received the same response from the department upon further inquiry.

[...] New Jersey State Police department's lack of transparency on the device is not uncommon from what has been seen with other law enforcement agencies at both the local and federal level when similar requests have been made.

Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/850000-spent-on-harris-corp-stingrays-by-new-jersey-state-police/article/733485/


Original Submission

Related Stories

DHS Finds Unauthorized Use of "Stingrays" (IMSI Catchers) in Washington, D.C. 44 comments

In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged that unknown users are operating IMSI catchers in Washington, D.C.:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is acknowledging for the first time that foreign actors or criminals are using eavesdropping devices to track cellphone activity in Washington, D.C., according to a letter obtained by The Hill.

DHS in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) last Monday said they came across unauthorized cell-site simulators in the Washington, D.C., area last year. Such devices, also known as "stingrays," can track a user's location data through their mobile phones and can intercept cellphone calls and messages.

[...] DHS official Christopher Krebs, the top official leading the NPPD, added in a separate letter accompanying his response that such use "of IMSI catchers by malicious actors to track and monitor cellular users is unlawful and threatens the security of communications, resulting in safety, economic and privacy risks."

DHS said they have not determined the users behind such eavesdropping devices, nor the type of devices being used. The agency also did not elaborate on how many devices it unearthed, nor where authorities located them.

Also at Ars Technica and CNN.

Related: Police: Stingray Device Intercepts Mobile Phones
ACLU Reveals Greater Extent of FBI and Law Enforcement "Stingray" Use
US IRS Bought Stingray, Stingray II, and Hailstorm IMSI-Catchers
EFF Launches the Cell-Site Simulator Section of Street Level Surveillance
NYPD Making Heavy Use of Stingrays
New York Lawmakers Want Local Cops to Get Warrant Before Using Stingray
New Jersey State Police Spent $850,000 on Harris Corp. Stingray Devices


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @11:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @11:12AM (#617127)

    Meh at least they didn't steal it from people off the street, That is a big improvement

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @11:19AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @11:19AM (#617132)

    You live in a fascist state propagated by people that supported Hitler congratulations you lost WWII 60 million people died for nothing

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @11:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @11:42AM (#617135)

      But only six million of them counted.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @01:58PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @01:58PM (#617146)

    Any idea what one of these costs? Did the cops get a good quantity price break, or were they suckered into buying "retail"?

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:17PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:17PM (#617154)

      The cops *are* the retail market for these things... They're even dumb enough to sign the NDA that Harris enforces which -amongst things- contains a gagging clause prohibiting the purchaser from talking about the device.
      I mean, in an open and democratic society, you'd think these types of shenanigans wouldn't happen, but then again, the US is neither an open nor a democratic society.

      In an open and democratic society, the job of the police is to make the life of citizens easier.
      In an authoritarian society, the job of the citizens is to make the lives of the police easier.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:25PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:25PM (#617158)

        So what you are saying is that Harris needs some competition?

        Anyone interested in an open source "Stingray"? Not sure how to solve the broadcast license problem, but there is plenty of prior history of other pirate radio stations.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:42PM (#617165)

          Surely Republicans (you know, the ones who are against any type of government regulations) wouldn't force anyone to bear the burden of needing a broadcasting license, now would they? I don't see your problem...

          I'm more in the market for a powerful and reusable EMP device. (I'm still not quite sure what to do with my casio watch - hey... who's knocking on my door and why is my phone suddenly glitchi^H^H^H [carrier lost])

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @02:52PM (#617167)
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday January 03 2018, @07:07PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 03 2018, @07:07PM (#617291) Journal

    Why is Stingray so secret? Why can't it be discussed? Defendants cannot question the secrecy of Stingray. If they do, and get very far in court, then the case against them is dropped rather than reveal any information.

    Law enforcement agencies won't discuss whether they have or use Stingray.

    Why is this?

    Two theories.

    Theory 1

    In order to work Stingray must have something like credentials or cryptographic keys that enable it to impersonate various cell phone network towers. These keys / credentials are stolen. If these were revealed:
    1. anyone else with suitable equipment could also implement a Stingray (but not for long . . .)
    2. the network operators would revoke those credentials throughout their network so that all mobile devices in their network would reject those fake towers -- thus completely breaking Stingray.

    Theory 2

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .

    the cellular network protocols were designed. The world was far less hostile. Much less was invested in developing security beyond obvious basics. Exotic attacks of APTs were considered infeasible and outlandish.

    Under this theory Stingray works by exploiting vulnerabilities in how the network works. Basically, it is possible to trick your phone into using a fake cell tower. In order to fix this, bright shiny new protocols would need to be designed. It would take years to implement this throughout the entire network(s). Mobile transceivers would only be upgraded by attrition.

    Either way . . . if the secret of Stingray gets out, then nerds, yes nerds! could build their own Stingrays! This would soon allow poor people to be snooping on rich and powerful people. Chaos would ensue. The entire planet would end in flames.

    --
    Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @08:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03 2018, @08:27PM (#617331)

      Ah yes, technology that we can only leave in the safe hands of BATMAN! I guess cops where all black too these days, so what the hell let them have it too!

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