Ryan wants cell phone tracking investigation

Apr 15, 2015

The Erie County Sheriff's Office should be barred from fishing expeditions with the public's cell phone data according to Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who Is calling on the state Attorney General to investigate.

Ryan says the Sheriff's office is using its "Stingray" device without a warrant, even though the Supreme Court recently ruled that cell phones have privacy.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan calls for investigation into domestic surveillance carried out by the Erie County Sheriff's Office.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

"The Court realized that on your cell phone is your banking data, your personal photographs, text messages that are somewhat personal. And so the Supreme Court said, that your cell phone should have the same expectation of privacy as your land line and you can't listen to someone's land line without a search warrant," Ryan said at a Wednesday morning press conference

Ryan says the Sheriff's Office is being too secretive about its domestic surveillance. He says the spy equipment picks up data from every mobile device within a mile.

The StingRays cost taxpayers $350,000.
Howard responded in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon:

“Today’s announcement proves that Mr. Ryan is taking the opportunity for political grandstanding instead of providing leadership in Albany and passing guidelines for cell site simulators.  In May 2014, he promised to push for legislation for cell site simulators, but instead of providing leadership and instead of Mr. Ryan doing his job in Albany he is calling for an investigation of how cell site simulator usage follows non-existent guidelines.”

“I would encourage Mr. Ryan to stop the grandstanding and get to work in Albany to help law enforcement agencies instead of falsely accuse them of abusive practices.  Furthermore, we would encourage him to read the documents and see the judicial review references rather than taking the word of an organization with a clear agenda against cell site simulator devices.”