Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stingray Cellphone Spying

1. A police team turns on its device causing radio waves to emit from an unmarked police vehicle. The machine beckons to phones suggesting it is the strongest cellphone tower in the area.

2. It’s a “hit” – the targeted person’s phone automatically redirects its signal to the police device.

3. The suspect’s phone has unique digital identifiers that are pulled into a database – as are those of phones belonging to innocent third parties. Police can later try to bug the target phone.

4. The police devices can have the side effect of temporarily blocking all new calls – and while 911 calls are supposed to override the interference, up to half the time this does not happen.
When members of the Asian Assassinz gang and a rival crew were on trial, their lawyers received an internal RCMP memo proving that police had used Stingray devices to track and locate their cellphones.

Stingrays, or International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)-catchers, can disrupt and block third-party phone calls made within a certain vicinity. The device mimics cellphone towers and is used to attract signals from the suspected parties' mobile devices, thus allowing the police to tag and perhaps bug the phones later on. Defence lawyers are now hoping to put the use of IMSI devices on trial, alleging that it breaks the law by disrupting the public airwaves, and thus infringes on the rights of their clients.
The morning that Salvatore Montagna, one-time boss of the Bonanno crime family, was shot three times and died on a river bank ‎outside Montreal, Raynald Desjardins sent a terse Blackberry message to his associate, Vittorio Mirarchi: “Done.” “Perfect,” came the reply.

Police who were wiretapping Desjardin’s mobile phones knew immediately who was behind the 2011 murder.