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The Spy In Your Pocket

Cell phone surveillance technology has outpaced policy and public awareness. MuckRock is investigating precisely how law enforcement across the country use cell phones to locate and track individuals.

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Revisiting the Cell Site Simulator Census

Revisiting the Cell Site Simulator Census

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.

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Fremont Police opts into similar cell site simulator contract as Oakland

Fremont Police opts into similar cell site simulator contract as Oakland

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.

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MuckRock's guide to protests and FOIA: The day before

MuckRock’s guide to protests and FOIA: The day before

In a democracy, the power of the people comes from the ability to hold their government accountable. We’re launching a project to provide a comprehensive list of FOIA resources that will help you to prepare, participate, and investigate protests. Today, we’ll be looking at what to know before the protest starts.

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Revealing exemptions in Iowa's withholding of StingRay docs

Revealing exemptions in Iowa’s withholding of StingRay docs

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.

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Were police snooping on Women's March protesters' cellphones? Too many departments won't say

Were police snooping on Women’s March protesters’ cellphones? Too many departments won’t say

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.

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