Around Town

Could the police be tracking you through your cell phone?

The Story

CMPD has requested judges’ permission to use secret cell phone surveillance more than 500 times since 2010 — or about twice a week, the Charlotte Observer reports.

The Facts

– Under a powerful technology called StingRay, CMPD can secretly track suspects by using a device that imitates a cell phone tower. Police use it to get serial numbers, location and other info about phones, laptops and tablets.

– The police say they only use this top-secret technology in the most serious of cases (homicides, rapes, etc.). But here’s the problem: They didn’t always tell defense attorneys or even prosecutors they were using it. And that may have violated a little document called the Constitution.

The Quote

“We’re just waiting on lawyers to get letters from prisoners saying ‘the state didn’t give me full discovery.’” – Big-time defense attorney George Laughrun (who is excellent at dealing with speeding tickets, btw)

C5’s Take

Police might say the ends justify the means. We say that in this crazy world of terrorist plots, ID theft and social media, why do any of us expect privacy anymore? Data user beware. Dive deeper here.

Photo: Harris Corp

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