Do You Need a Warrant to Use a Cellphone Tracking Device?

A federal judge in Manhattan suppressed narcotics evidence because the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration didn’t get a warrant to use a cellphone tracking device that led them to the suspect’s apartment.

The decision by U.S. District Judge William Pauley appears to be the first time a federal judge has required a warrant for use of a cell-site simulator, which mimics cellphone towers to track suspects’ cellphones, reported the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) and the New York Times. The devices go by the names StingRay, Hailstorm and TriggerFish.

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