dimanche 21 février 2016


Don’t let police eavesdrop on your phone calls.

Demand the FCC force police to publicly register all Stingray devices and require them to disclose how they’re being used !

Dear friend, 

Have you ever had that feeling creep up on you where you think someone is watching you or listening in on your phone conversation? Well, with cell phone monitoring devices called Stingrays, the police might be doing just that.
With Stingrays police are able to locate and track individuals, eavesdrop on calls, send malicious software, and even disrupt interactions between protest organizers.1 2 Even more alarmingly, they’re doing this all without warrants or public oversight.3 In fact, the NYPD was just caught using Stingrays more than 1,000 times without a warrant while many other police departments have refused to disclose how they are using them.4 5 6 And we all know too well that when police have unrestricted power like this it gets disproportionately used against Black communities.
But there is hope for reigning in the police’s secretive and warrantless use of this surveillance tool – the FCC. The same federal agency that heard our calls to save the Internet could now stop police from using these devices to illegally monitor our communities.

During Eric Garner protests in Chicago last year, protesters became suspicious when a police SUV with strange looking antennas on it continued to follow them around the city. They noticed that any time it got close to them, their cell phones would stop working. That was a Stingray device in action. And we now know from a Freedom of Information Act requests that police were using Stingrays to monitor protestors and keep tabs on their conversations.7
New technological tools like Stingrays don’t just amplify police power, they amplify existing biases in policing.Incidents like this show that the secretive use of this technology will lead to even greater invasions of privacy and subversions of rights in communities of color that are already the targets of biased policing.
But the FCC can stop the warrantless use of these devices. As the federal agency tasked with certifying the use of Stingrays the FCC has the power to prevent law enforcement agencies from using these devices. If we call on FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and the rest of the commission, we can get them to take the action needed to protect our communities from these invasive police devices.

Stingrays are just the latest tool used by law enforcement to spy on and disrupt Black-led movements. For an in-depth look at the history of surveillance against Black-led movements you should check out PBS's new documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.8

Thanks and Peace,


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1. “ Feds to study illegal use of spy gear’,” The Washington Post, 08-11-2014

2. “Chicago Cops Used Stingray to Intercept Protester’s Conversations,” The Free Thought Project, 12-07-2014

3. "Warrantless stingray case finally arrives before federal appellate judges," Ars Technica, 01-29-2016

4. "NYPD tracked citizens’ cellphones 1,000 times since 2008 without warrants," The Guardian, 02-11-2016

5. "Police keep quiet about cell-tracking technology," Yahoo News, 03-22-2014

6. "New Evidence Shows Milwaukee Police Hide Stingray Usage From Courts and Defense," ACLU, 01-25-2016

7. "Chicago activists claim police used 'Stingray' surveillance during Garner protests," RT, 10-24-2014

8. "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," PBS, 02-16-2016

ColorOfChange is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

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