Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ACLU ally in battle against phone spying

In a new court filing, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has jumped into the criminal case of a man who federal prosecutors allege orchestrated a murder-for-hire earlier this year in Baltimore, Maryland.

Specifically, in its 29-page amicus (friend of the court) brief filed on Tuesday, the ACLU supports the defendant’s earlier motion that the government be required to disclose information about how it used a stingray, or cell-site simulator, without a warrant, and therefore the court should suppress evidence gathered as a result of its use.

"It is not rare for police to use stingrays in investigations, but it is rare for them to disclose that to defense attorneys, and even more rare for [those attorneys] to understand the implications and even more rare for us to know about it and weigh in," Nate Wessler, an ACLU attorney who authored the amicus brief, told Ars.

The ACLU has not been involved in a stingray case since Daniel David Rigmaiden, an Arizona man convicted of tax fraud who took a plea deal and was released on time served in April 2014. The ACLU hopes that through its assistance to the defendant and his lawyer, the public will be able to learn more about the secretive surveillance devices.

Read more here.

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