Stingray

Arizona Considers Rules Limiting StingRays

A new bill is making its way through the Arizona statehouse that would set up rules for how law enforcement can use cellphone tracking technology like StingRays. The bill was brought to the State Senate by the Attorney Generals office.

The text of the bill requires law enforcement to get a warrant before using cellphone tracking technology and provides a ten-day window for law enforcement to execute the warrant. The same set of rules apply for law enforcement requests for information from a cellphone company.

“The proposed legislation would put Arizona at the forefront of protecting individual privacy rights, while simultaneously helping police to keep our communities safe,” Mia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office told CivSource. “SB 1342 will help guide law enforcement as they use modern technology to investigate cases involving child abduction, terrorism, and drug trafficking.”

The full text of the bill is available online and is being co-sponsored by Senators Worsley; Borrelli; Burges; Fann, and Pratt. The measure, which was introduced on January 31, is currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee.

StingRays and other cellphone trackers have become popular surveillance technologies used by law enforcement to track the communications and movement of individuals without them knowing. If a StingRay is being used cellphone signals and information pass through it without registering the device just as they would switching between cell towers. The use of this technology has been the source of fierce criticism by privacy advocates. The ACLU previously filed suit in Arizona, attempting to get information on when and how law enforcement uses this technology to determine if it’s a violation of civil liberties and the fourth amendment.

Both Illinois and Washington have already passed laws restricting the use of StingRays and additional measures are being considered in other states.