BATON ROUGE, La. (June 6, 2016) – Last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards signed a bill into law that requires a court order for the use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications. The new law will not only protect privacy in the state, but will also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.
Rep. Kenneth Havard (R-Jackson) introduced House Bill 254 (HB254). The legislation blocks 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.
Under the new law, police will be require to obtain a court order before using a stingray device in most cases.
The legislation passed trough both houses of the Louisiana legislature with no dissenting votes. The House initially passed HB254 88-0. The Senate passed an amended version of HB254 by a 38-0 vote. The amendments clarified some language in the bill and included a provision to allow third parties served with court orders to disclose them to their attorney even when a gag order is in place replied. The House unanimously concurred with the amendments 92-0.
With the governor’s signature, the new law will go into effect Aug. 1, 2016.
The requires law enforcement to delete any information incidentally captured…