Stingray: What Could Go Wrong?

Obviously the weird stuff isn’t making the national news because Journalmalism!,

The ACLU isn’t the only one mystified at the government’s behavior.

“I’ve never heard of such an argument before: that federal deputization of a local police officer transforms state records into federal ones,” Elizabeth Joh, a professor of criminal law at the University of California Davis, told Ars. “I’d expect a challenge to that one from the ACLU.”

Even a former United States magistrate judge said this action was out of line.

“This one is particularly disturbing given the federal government’s role in coming in and taking all of these records that were at issue in a state open government act,” Brian Owsley told Ars.
The ACLU isn’t the only one mystified at the government’s behavior.

“I’ve never heard of such an argument before: that federal deputization of a local police officer transforms state records into federal ones,” Elizabeth Joh, a professor of criminal law at the University of California Davis, told Ars. “I’d expect a challenge to that one from the ACLU.”

Even a former United States magistrate judge said this action was out of line.

“This one is particularly disturbing given the federal government’s role in coming in and taking all of these records that were at issue in a state open government act,” Brian Owsley told Ars.

Owsley previously served as a federal judge in Texas for eight years, and he’s now a law professor at Texas Tech. Owsley is even involved in a related situation involving an attempt to reveal the government’s actions. Not long before he stepped down from the bench, Owsley tried to unseal more than 100 of his own long-completed judicial orders involving digital surveillance that he himself sealed at the government’s request.

But then, a US District Judge—who outranks a magistrate—vacated Owsley’s order and resealed them all. That order itself was then sealed. The media company Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, filed a motion in federal court this week to compel the release of those documents.
Owsley previously served as a federal judge in Texas for eight years, and he’s now a law professor at Texas Tech. Owsley is even involved in a related situation involving an attempt to reveal the government’s actions. Not long before he stepped down from the bench, Owsley tried to unseal more than 100 of his own long-completed judicial orders involving digital surveillance that he himself sealed at the government’s request.

But then, a US District Judge—who outranks a magistrate—vacated Owsley’s order and resealed them all. That order itself was then sealed. The media company Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, filed a motion in federal court this week to compel the release of those documents.

This is kind of old technology, so the bad guys are well aware of circumvention, so unless you’re just a complete moron you understand that the government is using the technology illegally

“The government is hiding information about new surveillance technology not only from the public, but even from the courts,” ACLU staff attorney Linda Lye wrote in a legal brief in the first pending federal StingRay case (see below). “By keeping courts in the dark about new technologies, the government is essentially seeking to write its own search warrants, and that’s not how the Constitution works.”

Lye further expressed concern over the StingRay’s ability to interfere with cell phone signals in violation of Federal Communication Act. “We haven’t seen documents suggesting the LAPD or any other agency have sought or obtained FCC authorization,” she wrote.

That it hasn’t been reported by news organizations that use the same technology against celebreties and others is just a no brainer. But there’s your dots.

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