Court reviewing sheriff's use of controversial cell phone tracker

Feb 20, 2015

A judge has reserved decision in a dispute over surveillance technology being used by the Erie County Sheriff's Department.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is pushing for the release of information about how the sheriff is using a device called StingRay, which mimics cell phone towers to capture data.

Credit File photo

Group attorney Mariko Hirose says it is an important case.

"These records that we requested, basic information about the sheriff's use of Stingray, should be a matter of public record. Disclosure of these records is important for a healthy debate that the public should be having," said Hirose.

Hirose says the technology is invasive and was purchased using taxpayer dollars. She says StingRay can be used to track a person inside any location and can collect information about third parties.

State Supreme Court Judge Patrick NeMoyer is expected to hand down a ruling in the near future.