ICE: We don’t use stingrays to locate undocumented immigrants
The acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency charged with deportations, has confirmed in a new letter that it does not use cell-site simulators, also known as stingrays, to locate undocumented immigrants.
In the August 16 letter, which was sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), acting Director Thomas Homan wrote that, since October 2015, ICE has followed similar guidelines put in place by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security a month earlier, which require a warrant before deploying a stingray.
As Ars has reported for years, stingrays determine a phone’s location by spoofing a cell tower. In some cases, they can also intercept calls and text messages. Once deployed, the devices intercept data from a target phone along with information from other phones within the vicinity.