Kim Zetter reports:
Police in Florida have, at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, been deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of a controversial surveillance tool to track suspects, according to newly obtained emails.
At the request of the Marshals Service, the officers using so-called stingrays have been routinely telling judges, in applications for warrants, that they obtained knowledge of a suspect’s location from a “confidential source” rather than disclosing that the information was gleaned using a stingray.
Read more on Wired.
Megan Geuss also covers the story:
On Thursday evening, the ACLU published a 2009 e-mail exchange (PDF) between police departments in Sarasota, Florida, and North Port, Florida, indicating that local law enforcement had concealed the use of cell phone-tracking Stingray devices in court documents.
Although the Sarasota Police Department and the North Point Police Department did not own Stingray devices, the two departments had borrowed the cell phone trackers from the US Marshals Service (USMS), which requested that they hide the use of the Stingrays from judges and defendants. The issue was discussed in the e-mails when the Sarasota Police Department realized that a North Point detective had been too explicit in a probable cause affidavit (PCA), specifically detailing “the investigative means used to locate the suspect.” The Sarasota Police asked that the North Point Police seal the old affidavit and submit a new, more vague one.
Read more on Ars Technica.
So… how do judges feel about law enforcement deceiving them about the basis for their evidence? Everything hunky dory, or no?