Spy Tool Ruling Inches the Stingray Debate Closer to the Supreme Court
Probable cause or a warrant seem to be a terribly high standard when we ask police agencies. SMH
In some cases, they have intentionally deceived judges when seeking a court order, describing the technology only as a pen register device. When faced with forced disclosure by a court, federal prosecutors have even dropped charges against some defendants to avoid revealing information about their use of a stingray.
But the Maryland appellate judges found such gag agreements and deception to be “inimical to the constitutional principles we revere.” In order to authorize a search, “it is self-evident that the court must understand why and how the search is to be conducted.”
Wessler says the rebuke puts federal and local law enforcement agencies on notice that they will face consequences if they deceive courts. He also says the Justice Department’s forced NDAs have put local police in a difficult position.