TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2018) – Yesterday, a second Florida Senate committee approved a measure that would ban warrantless location tracking and the use of stingray devices to sweep up electronic communications in most situations. The new law will not only protect privacy in Florida, but will also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.
Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) introduced Senate Bill 1256 (SB1256) on Dec. 14. The legislation would help block the use of cell site simulators, known as “stingrays.” These devices essentially spoof cell phone towers, tricking any device within range into connecting to the stingray instead of the tower, allowing law enforcement to sweep up communications content, as well as locate and track the person in possession of a specific phone or other electronic device.
SB1256 would require police to get a search warrant based on probable cause before acquiring real-time or historical GPS location data, and before using any type of mobile tracking device in most situations. The bill would also add “electronic communications” to existing statutes requiring law enforcement to get a warrant before intercepting oral communications. This would effectively end warrantless stingray use in Florida, and would …
Read more at The Tenth Amendment Center
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