Tim Cushing writes:
More news has surfaced of cell tower spoofers being deployed without the public’s knowledge. This time it’s the Oakland County (Michigan) Sheriff’s Department rolling out an upgraded Stingray device from Harris Manufacturing, known as “Hailstorm.” The sad thing here is that the opportunity for public input presented itself pre-rollout but local politicians slept on the issue.
Oakland County commissioners asked no questions last March before unanimously approving a cellphone tracking device so powerful it was used by the military to fight terrorists.
Now, though, some privacy advocates question why one of the safest counties in Michigan needs the super-secretive Hailstorm device that is believed to be able to collect large amounts of cellphone data, including the locations of users, by masquerading as a cell tower.
“I don’t like not knowing what it’s capable of,” said county Commissioner Jim Runestad, R-White Lake Township, who has met in recent weeks with sheriff’s officials about his concerns.
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