October 16, 2019

Law Enforcement Use of Cell – Site Simulation Technologies: Privacy Concerns and Recommendations

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*Editor’s Note* – Nothing to see here. Move along. Your Congress is at work doing all the stuff you think YOUR political party is going to fix. Bwahahahahahahaah

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Advances in emerging surveillance technologies like cell-site simulators – devices which transform a cell phone into a real-time tracking device–require careful evaluation to ensure their use is consistent with the protections afforded under the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The United States’ military and intelligence agencies have developed robust and sophisticated surveillance technologies for deployment in defense against threats from foreign actors. These technologies are essential to keeping America safe.

Increasingly though, domestic law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels are using surveillance technologies in their every-day crime-fighting activities. In the case of cell-site simulators, this technology is being used to investigate a wide range of criminal activity, from human trafficking to narcotics trafficking, as well as kidnapping, and to assist in the apprehension of dangerous and violent fugitives.

Law enforcement officers at all levels perform an incredibly difficult and important job and deserve our thanks and appreciation. While law enforcement agencies should be able to utilize technology as a tool to help officers be safe and accomplish their missions, absent proper oversight and safeguards, the domestic use of cell-site simulators may well infringe upon the constitutional rights of citizens to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as the right to free association. Transparency

and accountability are therefore critical to ensuring that when domestic law enforcement decide to use these devices on American citizens, the devices are used in a manner that meets the requirements and protections of the Constitution.<<<Read More>>>

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