JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Dec. 18, 2015) – A bill prefiled in the Missouri Senate would limit the warrantless use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications. Passage of the bill would not only protect privacy in the Show-Me, but would also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.
Sen. Will Kraus (R) prefiled Senate Bill 811 (SB811) on Dec. 14. Passage would help block the use of cell site simulators, known as “stingrays.” These devices essentially spoof cell phone towers, tricking any device within range into connecting to the stingray instead of the tower, allowing law enforcement to sweep up communications content, as well as locate and track the person in possession of a specific phone or other electronic device.
SB811 would require state and local law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before deploying a cell-site simulator device in most situations. It would also prohibit state and local police from assisting federal agents in any investigation utilizing a stingray without a warrant.
The legislation would allow warrantless use of a stingray when a communications device is reported stolen by the owner or possessor, or in certain specified emergency situations.
Along with the warrant requirement, SB811 limits how the contents of any data, metadata, communication, or other information from a communications device obtained by the authorized use of a cell site simulator device may be disclosed or used.
No information obtained from a cell site simulator device nor derivative evidence could be used…