Stingray Documents Show Law Enforcement Using ‘Terrorism’ To Obtain Equipment To Fight Regular Crime

Source: TechDirt

Scott Ainslie at MuckRock has pried loose a few more Stingray documents with a FOIA request. What was requested were contractual documents, which seem to be something law enforcement agencies feel more comfortable with releasing. Anything pertaining to the actual use of Stingray devices still remains heavily shrouded, thanks in no small part to the intercession of the federal government.

Still, there is some useful information to be gleaned from the responsive documents, not the least of which is the fact that the DHS will happily fund local law enforcement’s surveillance technology if they cross themselves and say the word “terrorism” three time during the requisition process.

The entire purchase is itemized on the request form under “Homeland Security.” Specifics are redacted, not only on the purchase order, but also the letter from the governor’s office signing off on the acquisition. But a few details manage to escape the black marker. The letter from the governor’s office notes that this is no normal purchase.

The Illinois State Police has issued a request for a Procurement Code exception in order to covertly purchase [redacted] from Harris Corporation for conducting covert investigations. This exception is requested so that the Illinois State Police may purchase components directly from the vendor and decrease the possibility of sensitive information being disseminated inappropriately.

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