Highest Rated Comments

MediaJustice14 karma

Stingray is a type of cell site simulator. In other words, it's a cell phone interceptor, that acts like a cell phone tower and dupes any cell phone within its range to communicate its data. Our cell phones are constantly communicating with cell phone towers and this device essentially mimics one. In doing so it can extract information from your phone including things like call logs, text messages, GPS location etc. Stingray is one version of this and the most popularly known but there are others.

MediaJustice10 karma

Stingray devices have the capacity to capture metadata that includes numbers dialed, duration of calls, etc. It can also intercept SMS messages, active calls, and data such as websites visited. Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great explainer on these types of devices: https://www.eff.org/sls/tech/cell-site-simulators

MediaJustice5 karma

Part of the danger with Stingray devices is that they aren't used in targeted ways. If deployed in a neighborhood, it captures the data of any cell phone in range. If deployed at a peaceful protest, people exercising their right to free speech are being surveilled without their knowledge. So the more accurate answer to your question is we don't know the repercussions because we don't know if we've been caught up in the dragnet of a Stingray. Baltimore PD for example doesn't have a written policy on data retention, so it's likely they hold on to data they captured for as long as they want.

MediaJustice4 karma

Adding that part of the purpose of filing this complaint about BPD is to address the harm that these devices can cause to free speech. There's a chilling effect that happens to political speech which we bring up in our complaint. I haven't been retaliated against as a result of the filing, but this complaint isn't for us, it's for the thousands of Black residents living in Baltimore who unwillingly are being impacted by the use of these devices. In light of the recent Department of Justice report on Baltimore PD's pattern or racist policing, Stingray devices only further increase the harm being done against the Black community.

MediaJustice4 karma