US Marshals Transfer Cellphone Surveillance to Avoid ACLU Review

The US Marshal Services has intervened in a dispute between the Sarasota Police Department and the ACLU.

The Florida Chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Sarasota Police Department in an effort to compel the department to turn over records of the “Stingray” devices that the department is using to collect information from cell phones. The Stingray device acts as a cell phone tower in order to track cell phone movements and information.

The US Marshals sent an agent to Sarasota to pick up the documents so that the police cannot disclose them. Sarasota Police have apparently been using two difference Stingray devices; one that is handheld and one that is mounted on a police car.

The position of the US Marshal Service is that because the detective who used the Stingray device was a deputized agent, the documents belong to the Marshal Service and not the Sarasota Police Department.

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