Cell site simulator acquisition and use (Illinois State Police)

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Illinois State Police of Illinois.
Tracking #




From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 to 11), I hereby request the following records:

## Background ##

Cell site simulators, also known as IMSI catchers, IMEI catchers, GSM interceptors, covert cellular tracking equipment, and digital analyzers, impersonate a wireless service provider's (i.e., mobile phone company's or cellular phone company's) cell tower, prompting mobile phones and other wireless devices to communicate with the simulators instead of with the real cell towers. These devices are often called "Stingrays," the name of one such device produced by Harris Corporation, along with their AmberJack, BlackFin, KingFish, Gossamer, LoggerHead, and TriggerFish devices.

Cell site simulators are commonly used in several ways: to collect unique numeric identifiers associated with each mobile phone in a given geographic area, to determine the precise location of a mobile phone when numbers associated with it are known but only a rough idea of its location is known, or to intercept phone calls and SMS messages.

Each of these uses raises privacy concerns, the most obvious of which is presented by the interception of voice and SMS messages. Collecting unique identifiers of all phones in a particular area inevitably collects location data on many innocent people who are suspected of no crime. Determination of the precise location of a specific phone can reveal that the phone, and thus the person who operates it, is in a constitutionally-protected place, such as a home, that has traditionally been immune from search without judicial approval via search warrant. The locations of people's mobile phones reveal a variety of personal information, such as: with whom they associate, where they assemble, where they spend their days, where they spend their nights, when they are home alone, where they protest, where they worship, and health care providers they visit.

It has been widely reported in recent months that law enforcement agencies use these devices while hiding their use from the public and from the courts.

Despite widespread public interest in the use and misuse of cell site simulators, the public lack information about your agency's use of these devices or about your agency's policy for such use. Information is needed so the public can determine whether use of cell site simulators by your agency complies with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and with Washington law.

## Request ##

Pursuant to Chapter 42.56 RCW, the Public Records Act, I request:

1. Records regarding your agency's acquisition of cell site simulators, including but not limited to invoices, purchase orders, contracts, loan agreements, evaluation agreements, solicitation letters, correspondence with companies and public agencies that provide the devices, and similar documents.

2. Records regarding any offer, proposal, arrangement, agreement, or memorandum of understanding with Missouri State Highway Patrol ("MSHP"), Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), U.S. Marshals Service, FBI's Data Intercept Technology Unit ("DITU"), Missouri Information Analysis Center ("MIAC"), Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center ("STIC"), or any corporation, to borrow, permanently acquire from, or use any cell site simulator owned or possessed by the MSHP, FBI, U.S. Marshals, DITU, MIAC, STIC, or corporation

3. All nondisclosure agreements with Harris Corporation, Digital Receiver Technology (DRT, formerly Utica Systems, now a subsidiary of Boeing Corporation), Septier Communication Limited, Proximus LLC, any other corporation, and any state or federal agencies, regarding your agency's actual or potential possession or use of cell site simulators

4. Records regarding policies and guidelines governing use of cell site simulators, including but not limited to 1) when, where, how, and against whom they devices may be used, 2) logging, retention, purging, use, and auditing data stored in or communicated from the devices, 3) under what circumstances administrative warrant, judicial warrant, or other legal process must, should, or should not be obtained prior to, during, or following direct or indirect use of the devices, 4) under what circumstances the existence or use of the devices must, should, or should not be revealed to judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, criminal defendants, or the general public., and 5) parallel construction techniques for use in avoidance of disclosure of the initial method of discovery of information gained initially by use of cell site simulators

5. Training materials for use of cell site simulators

6. Records regarding any communications or agreements with wireless service providers (i.e., mobile phone carriers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, CREDO Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, Ting, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin Mobile, etc.) concerning use of cell site simulators

7. Records regarding any communications, licenses, waivers, or agreements, with federal or state communications regulatory agencies (e.g., Federal Communications Commission, Missouri Public Service Commission, Illinois Commerce Commission, etc.) concerning use of cell site simulators

8. Records reflecting the number of investigations in which cell site simulators were used, the number of those investigations that resulted in prosecutions, and the number of those investigations that resulted in convictions

9. Records reflecting a list of all criminal cases, with docket numbers if available, in which law enforcement officers or other staff used or arranged for the use of one or more cell site simulators as part of the underlying investigations

10. All applications submitted to state or federal courts for warrants, orders, or other other authorization for use of cell site simulators in criminal investigations, as well as any warrants, orders, authorizations, denials of warrants, denials of orders, denials of authorization, and returns of warrants associated with those applications

11. Records regarding the use of cell site simulators in closed investigations

12. Date and docket number of any responsive records that are sealed

13. All associated metadata

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Phil Mocek

From: Steve Lyddon


FOIR #14-1573

On August 12, 2014, we received your request for the following:

Under the Freedom of Information Act, a public body may extend the time to
respond to a FOIA request by up to five business days for a limited number
of reasons. 5 ILCS 140/3(e).
We are extending the time to respond to your request by five days for the
following reason(s):

X The requested records are stored in whole or in
part at another location(s).

X Responding to the request requires that a
substantial number of specified records be collected.

X The request is couched in categorical terms and requires
that an extensive search be conducted for the records responsive to it.

X In order to determine whether the requested records are
exempt under Section 7 of FOIA or must be redacted in part before they are
disclosed, the documents must be reviewed.

X The Department cannot comply with the request for records
within the five business day time limit without unduly burdening or
interfering with operations.

The public body asserts the following facts in support of the above
reasons for an extension of time:

ISP has requested information from several different work locations, and
if information is located, must review the records for appropriate
exemptions prior to dissemination of any information.
This requires a review of several types of files to obtain the relevant

The Department will respond to your request by August 26, 2014

Lieutenant Steve Lyddon
FOIA Officer
801 South 7th Street, Suite 1000-S
Springfield, Illinois 62703

From: Steve Lyddon


MuckRock News
Phil Mocek
FOIR #14-1573

Re: Cell site simulator acquisition and use (Illinois State Police)

Lieutenant Steve Lyddon
Freedom of Information Officer
801 S. Seventh St., Suite 1000-S
Springfield, Illinois 62703-2487

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Mr. Lyddon:

I am in receipt of your letter of August 27. Please understand that many independent people use MuckRock. To deny my access to public records because someone else contacted you about those records using MuckRock is somewhat like denying one person who contacts you via the U.S. Postal Service records because someone else requested those records via USPS.

Please provide the records I requested in accordance with the law. If specific records responsive to my request can be referenced by URI, I am happy to retrieve them from there. To do so, I will need to know which records can be found at which URIs.

I expect segregable portions of otherwise exempt records to be provided. Please "black out" rather than "white out" any redactions you make.

Phil Mocek

From: Illinois State Police


The Illinois State Police has no further documents responsive to your
request. I have spoken to the staff at Muckrock News and have been
advised that all documents requested through Muckrock are posted to their
website. I have verified that this is, in fact, the case, as I easily
located the documents provide in the earlier FOIA Request by using a
simple Google search.

You have now asked for the same information multiple times, and we have
given the same responses. Therefore, pursuant to 2011 PAC 13590, any
further request from you regarding this subject will not receive a

Lieutenant Steve Lyddon
Freedom of Information Officer
801 S. Seventh St., Suite 1000-S
Springfield, Illinois 62703-2487

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Mr. Lyddon:

You have repeatedly denied me access to public records and, bizarrely, have cited your interaction with someone I have never met as the reason for this refusal. Please provide the records I requested as you are required by law. If they are already published on the Internet, a reference by URI, and if applicable, page numbers, would be satisfactory to me, if not compliant with the law.

Phil Mocek

From: Muckrock Staff

To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following request, copied below. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.