Keeping Secrets

The Story

A state judge recently rejected a demand by civil liberties groups that the NYPD release details of portable cell phone tracking technology used to fight crime. This is not the first time that activists, including elected officials, have demanded that the police make available technical information about their surveillance tools. The NYPD must stay within the limits of the Fourth Amendment, of course, but police should not be forced to give criminals and terrorists a heads’ up regarding their capabilities. 

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Jailed: The Stingray system, the subject of the recent court action, has led to the capture and conviction of scores of criminals. Read more.

  2. Warrant: The NYPD is already required to get a warrant in order to use the system to track an individual cell phone. Read more.

  3. Info: Requiring the city to release the specifications of its surveillance technology could allow terrorists to mask or alter pathogens for a bioterror attack. Read more.

“The law was not designed to furnish the safe cracker with the combination to the safe.”

Judge Shlomo Hagler

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Bioterrorism’s Deadly Math By Judith Miller (Autumn 2008)

“Despite billions spent, we’re not yet ready for a big attack.”

And in other news...

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to benefit from the new federal tax law he’s been raging against by nearly $10,000, estimates show.”