A woman holding a cellphone descends down an escalator at the Pentagon Metro Station in Arlington, Va. on July 8. (Marlon Correa/The Washington Post)
BY ELLEN NAKASHIMA, Washington Post, September 3, 2015
The Justice Department on Thursday unveiled a new policy that will require its law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant to deploy cellphone-tracking devices in criminal investigations and inform judges when they plan to use them.
The department’s new policy, announced by Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, should increase transparency around the use of the controversial technology by the FBI and other Justice Department agencies. It imposes the highest legal standard for the device’s use, and a single standard across the department.
The policy change is an acknowledgment by the Justice Department that the use of the devices — also sometimes called StingRays, the name of one popular model — raises serious privacy concerns.