New Jersey State Police Spent $850,000 on Cell Phone Surveillance Tech

A records request reveals New Jersey State Police invested more than $850,000 in surveillance technologies that monitor cell phone activity, according to StateScoop.

The request, submitted by an NBC affiliate in December 2016, and released over the weekend, shows the agency purchased the technology from Harris Corp., known for its Stingray phone surveillance equipment.

The State Police redacted many of the documents that totaled more than 100 pages. According to NBC, police said the redactions were to protect what the agency deemed sensitive information about the use of the technology.

Jeanne LoCicero, the deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey, said her group made a similar records request and received documents with the same redactions. The documents, which consist mostly of redacted invoices, provide little clarity into the use and oversight of the technology.

The New Jersey State Police are among many state and local law enforcement agencies across the country that are using the equipment. The technology can be found in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other large cities.

California is one of the few states that has passed legislation to ensure transparency. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in 2015, that requires warrants for use of Stingrays and mandates that police make Stingray purchase requests at public meetings that are attended by elected authorities, like city council meetings, StateScoop reported.

January 8, 2018

 

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