Canada’s Privacy Commissioner recently stated in a report that the RCMP has used Stingrays, contrary to section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Stingrays are cellphone surveillance devices that mimic cellphone towers, enabling them to capture data from nearby devices. They have several different names - International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers (IMSI – catchers) or Mobile Device Identifiers (MDIS) - but all variations are used to conduct surveillance on cell phones in a specific location.
The report noted that the RCMP offered no rebuttal to the finding that its use of Stingrays were unconstitutional. The RCMP, in a statement, advised that the force had already taken steps to remedy the unlawful use of MDI devices, since they now require prior judicial authorization, unless presented with exigent circumstances (to prevent imminent harm or death).
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