California sheriff’s office admits to cell-phone spying

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department broke its silence on controversial cellphone spying devices Thursday and said it possesses and utilizes the technology.

Sheriff Scott Jones had previously refused to answer questions about documents indicating that his department owned a cellphone spying device called a Stingray. A federal grant application from the San Jose Police Department says that department consulted several departments with the technology, including the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department later told News10 they did have responsive records — that is, records that would have to be supplied under a public records request — related to Stingray technology, but said they would not provide them. Earlier this week, the sheriff’s department provided News10 with heavily redacted records showing they spent about $250,000 on Harris Corp. HRS technology in 2006, but the records don’t show specifically what the money was spent on.

The sheriff’s department would not answer basic questions about the technology, including how the device works, what happens to data collected from innocent third parties, and whether search warrants are being obtained for its use.

Full article: California sheriff’s office admits to cell-phone spying (USA Today)

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