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Illinois Law Prohibits Warrantless Stingray Spying

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Signed by the Governor: Illinois Law Prohibits Warrantless Stingray Spying; Hinders Federal Surveillance Program

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (July 25, 2016) – Last week, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill banning the use of “stingrays” to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications without a warrant in most situations. The new law will not only protect privacy in Illinois, but will also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.

Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Skokie) introduced Senate Bill 2343 (SB2343) on Jan. 28. The new law will 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.

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