Stingray tracking devices are in the news again-and it may be bad for law enforcement.

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StingrayStingrayDocuments pried from the hands of the Department of Justice confirm that Stingray cell-site simulators can indeed be used to intercept phone calls. Now, while that 's already been long known by media, the public and critics, it has never been officially proven-until now.

Techdirt.com reports that:

"[N]ewly released documents confirm long-held suspicions that the controversial devices are also capable of recording numbers for a mobile phone 's incoming and outgoing calls, as well as intercepting the content of voice and text communications. The documents also discuss the possibility of flashing a phone 's firmware ‘so that you can intercept conversations using a suspect 's cell phone as a bug. '

The information appears in a 2008 guideline prepared by the Justice Department to advise law enforcement agents on when and how the equipment can be legally used."

For those of you who don 't know, Stingray-also known as an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity)-catcher, Wolfpack, triggerfish, swamp box or Gossamer-is a briefcase-sized device that can mine metadata and content from phones that think they are connected to a cell phone tower. Mounted in vehicles or on drones, helicopters or airplanes-the law enforcement-employed device tricks the mobile phones into thinking they are connecting to a real cell phone tower when, instead, they are actually being intercepted by the Stingray.

But according to ibtimes.com, it could soon be illegal for police to use the surveillance technology, citing a new bill being introduced by the House of Representatives that would punish any violations to that policy with up to 10 years in prison. Luckily there are other options to spy on cell phone free of worry, like Auto Forward, that are completely legal!

According to a recent article on the site, "Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduced a bill Monday that aims to prevent state and federal law enforcement agencies from using the increasingly controversial investigative tool without a warrant.

The bill came after the head of the IRS told a Senate committee that Stingray devices were being used by the tax collecting agency, not with a warrant, but with a court order. This information, along with the suspicions that Stingray can be used to record actual conversations on mobile device, prompted Chaffetz 's crusade. In a recent statement, the House Rep said "The abuse of stingrays and other cell site simulators by individuals, including law enforcement, could enable gross violations of privacy.... ‘The fact that law enforcement agencies, and non-law enforcement agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service have invested in these devices raises serious questions about who is using this technology and why. These questions demonstrate the need for strict guidelines that carry the weight of the law." If you’re interested in looking into how to spy on cell phones legally, you may not be able to listen in on conversations, but Auto Forward can monitor just about everything else you would be interested in like text messages, social media activity, emails, etc.

Who knows what the future holds for federal law enforcement and their necessary spy tech? Hopefully, the bill and any laws that come after will not keep them from doing their duty. But at the same time, we need some sense of privacy from the watchful eyes of Big Brother.

If you’re looking into how to spy on a cell phone remotely for free, spying without being found, or anything of the sort, take a closer look into Auto Forward and other legal spying programs like it check it out on our homepage, here.

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