US reviews use of cellphone spying technology

Faced with criticism from lawmakers and civil rights groups, the U.S. Department of Justice has begun a review of the secretive use of cellphone surveillance technology that mimics cellphone towers, and will get more open on its use, according to a newspaper report.

The cell-site simulators, also referred to by other names such as “IMSI catchers” or Stingrays, operate by fooling mobile phones into believing that they are communicating with a legitimate cellphone tower, while harvesting data from the phone including its identity, location, metadata and even content of phone transmissions, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

One of the complaints of civil rights groups is that even when targeting a single phone, the technology can collect data on other phones in the area that connect to the simulator, raising privacy issues.

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Story added 4. May 2015, content source with full text you can find at link above.