ACLU of Illinois Communications and Public Policy Director Ed Yohnka recently appeared on local news station WICS-TV via Skype to discuss Illinois law enforcement agencies' use of cell phone tracking technology called "StingRays." The equipment, manufactured by Florida-based company Harris corp., essentially operates by mimicking a cell-phone tower in order to locate individual electronic devices. The ACLU of Illinois has been concerned about this type of technology for some time, and with recent efforts by Florida law enforcement to conceal how they are using StingRays, the concern has prompted WICS to file a FOIA request with Illinois State Police to investigate how the technology is being used in our state.
According to the ISP, outside of Amber Alerts, they only track phones with a court order, but the ACLU still has its concerns.
"Every time these technologies have come on line, there have been abuses," Yohnka said.