Michigan LEF buys cell-phone trackers with civil forfeiture money; state pols next door cry foul

Michigan LEF buys cell-phone trackers with civil forfeiture money; state pols next door cry foul
The Stingray cell-tracker box, bought on the sly recently by a number of government agencies. (Image via OC Register)

How about this for double-dipping police state power.

Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union have found Michigan State Police used civil asset forfeiture revenue to buy electronic surveillance equipment to monitor and track locations and cell phone records of individuals, according to a report from the Heartland Institute.

Among the purchases were “suitcase-sized electronic surveillance equipment calledStingrays, designed to trick cell phones into revealing private personal data, such as call histories and text message logs,” Heartland reports. …

A bill by state Rep. Dave Craig, R-Town of Vernon, and state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, would create a legislative committee that would have oversight of secret investigative technologies and techniques.

“Many of these technologies have the capability of collecting massive amounts of personal data risking infringement of constitutional rights if not used properly,” the lawmakers wrote in a memo soliciting co-sponsorship.

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