A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about “unauthorized” use of devices that mimic cell phone towers to track phones in D.C.
It provided info that the so-called stingray devices could be used by foreign powers, but it remained unclear just how many were being used, and who was using them.
Taking up the case, NBC Washington set out to find where they might be in use. Working with mobile security expert Aaron Turner, the news station’s I-Team detected 40 potential readings that indicated activity in a few hours of monitoring.
Among the readings were in “high-profile areas like outside the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue and while driving across the 14th Street bridge into Crystal City,” as well as on K Street.
Are #spydevices tracking your #cellphone? If you live in the capital region there's a good chance you've been caught. @DHSgov calls rogue devices a growing concern- We hit the streets & found dozens in just a few hours. #NBC4DC tonight at 11. pic.twitter.com/33UBfGuQ5V
— Jodie Fleischer (@jodienbc4) May 17, 2018
Some may be law enforcement (which has raised its own set of questions), while other readings came near foreign embassies.
The potential of foreign involvement was raised with the release of the federal report, as well. But NBC Washington’s reporting indicates there’s no quick fix.
“I have bad news for the public: Our privacy isn’t what it once was,” D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh told the station.
Knowledge is power!
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