Michigan State Police Using Cell Tracking Technology
If you still wonder why our nation is divided, and a good portion of the population doesn't trust its government or police agencies, an article in today's Detroit News helps to explain a little further.
According to the article, the Michigan State Police have been using cell-tracking technologies called "Stingray" and "Hailstorm" programs, (paid for by asset forfeitures) developed by defense contractor Harris Corporation They were originally designed to combat domestic terrorism. But, according to the article, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show that Michigan State Police have been using the technology to solve murders, attempted murders, kidnappings, burglaries, frauds, and smuggling cases...but no terrorism arrests have been made in the timespan.
And, this is where the divide starts. Some will likely hail the efforts to solve the crimes listed. But, others will point out that there is no protocol in place to ensure the privacy of citizens, or, even transparency as to how and when the technology is being used.
Long story short, currently no warrant is needed to use the technology. The technology allows police to use tower simulators to trick cellphones into giving the simulators vast amounts of data, including user location. But, the technology, obviously, can't decipher a criminal's data from an ordinary citizen's data.
On the other hand, it has been used to solve a good number of violent crimes in Michigan. But, at what cost?
I've said many times, even too much of a good thing can be bad...ahem...The Patriot Act, for one, which allowed for this technology to be used by law enforcement.