PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 16, 2017) – Yesterday, an Arizona House Committee unanimously passed a bill that would ban the use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications without a warrant in most situations. The proposed law would not only protect privacy in Arizona, but would also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.
Sen. Bob Worsley (R-Mesa) introduced Senate bill 1342 (SB1342) on Jan. 31. The legislation 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.
SB1342 would require police to get a search warrant based on probable cause before deploying a stingray to locate or track an electronic device. It would also require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant under existing wiretapping statutes before using a stingray to intercept, obtain or access the content of any stored oral, wire or electronic communication.
The House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed an amended version SB1342 by an 8-0 vote. The amendment decreases the time between the issuance of a warrant and notification of the target from 120 to 90 days…