Next, the headline of a story out of Wisconsin is enough to invoke the ire of constitutionalists in the Badger State: “State cops can track residents' cellphones.”
The story under that headline, from the Fond du Lac Reporter, demonstrates the immense capacity of cops to violate the Fourth Amendment:
Police in Wisconsin have at least two devices that secretly track cellphone locations in real time to target suspects or missing persons — technology that simultaneously mines data from hundreds or thousands of unsuspecting people nearby.
Such sophisticated surveillance equipment doesn’t come cheap. The Reporter writes:
The suitcase-sized Stingray masquerades as a cell tower to trick cellphones into connecting to it. It can show police phones within a mile or more, depending on terrain. Records show the DOJ Stingray cost more than $150,000, and the DOJ and Milwaukee police both purchased upgrade packages that topped $100,000.
In fairness, it’s not just Wisconsin law enforcement using this technology to track citizens. As noted by the Reporter:
An investigation by USA TODAY and Gannett media around the country found at least 25 police departments outside Wisconsin own a Stingray. More than 30 other agencies refused to say whether they own one.