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Possible RCMP use of Stingray device probed

OTTAWA – Canada's privacy commissioner has launched an investigation over concerns the RCMP might be using a controversial mass-surveillance device to spy on Canadians.


April 14, 2016
By The Canadian Press

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Commission spokeswoman Tobi Cohen has confirmed the federal agency is looking into the Mounties’ refusal to disclose whether the agency uses International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers, commonly referred to as Stingray devices.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed last month by the advocacy group OpenMedia.

The technology mimics cell phone towers to covertly intercept text and audio communication, as well as extract internal data and pinpoint a phone’s location.

Stingray also works indiscriminately, collecting information from any phone within range, whether it belongs to a suspected criminal or an everyday citizen.

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Last month, a legal advocacy group in British Columbia appealed to the provincial privacy commissioner after Vancouver police refused to hand over documents revealing whether the department use the technology.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016