Cell Site Simulator Census
A mapping of police departments and agencies nationwide that are using IMSI catcher (Stingray) technology. Included in this mapping is a focus on the policies, procedure and contractual agreements that department’s are formulating as they adopt the controversial surveillance device.
- Awaiting Acknowledgement: Blue
- Awaiting Response: Purple
- Rejected: Large Red
- Completed: Green
- No Responsive Documents: Small Red
- Payment Required: Yellow
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With a New York Judge upgrading the warrant requirement for a cell site simulator from probable cause to eavesdropping, it is important to take a look back at our census and the data researchers have compiled about these invasive surveillance tools.
About a month ago we uncovered Oakland Police’s new cell site simulator agreement with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, which gives them access to the powerful HailStorm, an updated version of the Harris Corporation’s infamous StingRay. In those documents we saw that Fremont Police Department was also going to take up Alameda County on their offer to use the device, so we filed a request - they got back to us last week with their own records, and it appears they have completed the necessary steps to begin using the device.
Oakland Police and Alameda County District Attorney enter into five year cell site simulator sharing agreement
A recently released Memorandum of Understanding from December shows that Oakland Police have entered into a five year no-cost contract for utilization access of the Alameda County District Attorney’s cell site simulator surveillance equipment.
Iowa is not a state that has been reported as having StingRay surveillance devices, which is why were surprised when the Department of Public Safety responded to our Cell Site Simulator census with a $147.90 invoice for records processing fees. After payment and some waiting, we finally received Iowa’s response, and instead of a fresh batch of records to pore over, what we got was another example of expansive exemptions used to withhold information about these devices.
Attend any of the protests over inauguration weekend? Wondering if your phone was surveilled doing so? Unfortunately, with law enforcement’s continued silence about cell site simulators use, it’s almost impossible to know.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has had StingRay cell site simulator devices since 2012, according to recently released documents.
Florida police records shows extensive use of cellular surveillance - without ever mentioning StingRays
In May of 2014 the Florida ACLU filed a FOIA request to Sarasota PD for their documents on Stingrays. However, just days before the ACLU was due to inspect the documents, the United States Marshals Service swooped into Sarasota and rushed off with almost all of SPD’s Stingray records. We say almost, because this strange collection of records that SPD recently gave us is evidently is everything the Marshals missed.
In perhaps the most compelling response to our cell site simulator census yet, the Sunrise Police Department in Florida has informed us that for just south of $13,000, we can get our hands on 13,915 emails and other electronic records of the controversial devices - the largest trove we’ve yet seen.
Rochester Police Department in New York responded to our Cell Site Simulator Census with a rare look into the pricing and packaging of the cellphone surveillance tech: a completely unredacted quote list of Harris Corporation products.
As part of a nationwide FOIA census for cell site simulator surveillance devices, the Virginia State Police responded with new documents detailing their acquisition and use of the DRT 1183C, commonly referred to as a DRTbox. Included in the release is the utilization log, detailing the 12 times that the VSP have used this equipment since May 2015.
When we filed requests with police departments across the country for their use of cell site simulators, we expected some pushback. Nonetheless, we were taken aback when Maine State Police made it into a matter of national security.
After release of embarrassing exchange, Baltimore Police make requesting emails more difficult - and expensive
After the release of an email exchange in which an officer mocked a teenage sexual assault victim, Baltimore Police Department appears to have changed their policies so that getting emails is a much more difficult - and prohibitively expensive - process.
Curtis Waltman sent this request to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security of Tennessee