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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.


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  • (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.

    The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
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  • (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!