back to article Probe cops' Stingray phone masts, senators tell US comms watchdog

A group of US Senators has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate concerns that police stingray devices are causing illegally high levels of interference to wireless networks. In a letter addressed to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Senators Bernie Sanders (I‑VT), Ron Wyden (D‑OR), Al Franken (D‑MN), …

  1. cd

    Imagine a free country where you could call your doctor and discuss intimate issues without being monitored. Anyone hear of one of those?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      A free country where you are not being monitored when you talk to your elected representative in parliament is even more interesting. Where is it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DF the friggin' things...

    Use actual "Radio" DF equipment, not relying on any fake location data in the signal.

    Then protest vigorously at the actual location.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Nothing complicated.

  3. MachDiamond Silver badge

    No fixed residence

    In the US, "People of Color" involved in crime and in low income neighborhoods often don't have a fixed place of residence. Their phone is their only reference point. This is probably why Stingray units get used more often and for longer periods of time in those neighborhoods. Landlines are very cheap now, but Pres. Obama thought that having a mobile phone was a right, so they hand out free phones to all of these people. If they sponsored limited service landlines instead, the police might have a better chance of locating a particular person. People wouldn't just let all of their hoodlum friends use their phone if they only were allocated a limited number of minutes each month.

    1. James Loughner
      Thumb Down

      Re: No fixed residence

      I'm low income where is my free phone????

      I call BS

    2. kain preacher

      Re: No fixed residence

      So you have never heard of life line then? The Mobiles are an extension of life line. Your entire comment is bull shit. How many people do you know have a land line? Most people I know don't and they are not poor.

      https://www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers

      Oojh look they do sponsor land lines and look even internet.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Time to open the bag of worms...

    I notice that all the signees are Democrats. Not one Republican in the bunch.

  5. Kurt Meyer

    ... available to Americans of all backgrounds

    "Senators Bernie Sanders (I‑VT), Ron Wyden (D‑OR), Al Franken (D‑MN), Sherrod Brown (D‑OH), Elizabeth Warren (D‑MA), Ed Markey (D‑MA), Jeff Merkley (D‑OR), Tammy Baldwin (D‑WI), Tom Udall (D‑NM), Chris Coons (D‑DE), and Martin Heinrich (D‑NM)"

    Presumably the interference affects everyone in the areas where the stingrays are deployed. While Republicans are fewer in number in those areas, they do exist, and it is disappointing to see that no Republican Senators have joined in this effort.

    The lack of bipartisan action of almost any sort is crippling this country, and until all of these clowns stop pointing fingers and start shaking hands, it will get worse and worse.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: ... available to Americans of all backgrounds

      It's a fight between the Federal (evil commie big government) Communications Commission and local (democratic state's right freedom loving) police

    2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      and until all of these clowns stop pointing fingers and start shaking hands

      Yes these Brexiters refuse to compromise, insisting we must kerb immigration above all else, and that...

      Oh sorry, you are talking about the US.

  6. scrubber
    Alert

    Protect and Serve

    "the ability of minority communities to use ... emergency services"

    Given what invariably happens when police show up to a situation involving minorities this is not necessarily a bad thing.

  7. e^iπ+1=0

    Stingray Mk II

    Surely this problem would be fixed if the next generation of Stingray equipment offered a genuine connection to the network?

    Then everyone's calls, data etc. get through, and the Feds can passively monitor. A win for all.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Stingray Mk II

      The current system does, but if it's used in a mobile location the backhaul to the "real" communications network is a mobile link. That's fine if you are eavesdropping on a single suspect but if you show up at a protest of a 100,000 people it's hard to channel all their call data into a single 4G link

  8. ultrastarx1

    My name is Titan (here we go) i have recently decided that my nemesis the stingray and her crew might actually be the baddies, I am somewhat shocked by this. My question is, is there a baddies comms network i should join, I have tried BT, but cant actually get in contact with the people at the top, no phone number is even available.. Had a face to face with R Branston, but sadly hes only a face? I'm thinking of trying the mysterons, that voice seems to be able to get just about anywhere, maybe it could even disrupt stingray?!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Need an App to monitor 'Ping' time

    If the 'Ping' time is suddenly hundreds of ms longer than normal, then perhaps there's 'The Man' in the Middle attack in progress.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Need an App to monitor 'Ping' time

      and strangely enough, there's apps for that.

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