Just-Released Records Show Lack of Judicial Oversight in Sheriff’s Cell Phone Spying

April 7, 2015  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share

Buffalo, NY’s WGRZ reports newly released records suggest the Erie County Sheriff’s Office obtained little judicial oversight for its controversial cell phone spying program. This information contradicts public statements made by Sheriff Tim Howard, who reported that deputies received court orders prior to using the surveillance devices, commonly referred to as Stingray technology, in criminal matters.

A judge required that the records be released to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The Sheriff’s Office tried for months to block the documents’ release.

I told WGRZ I find these developments disturbing.

“No one wants to shut the program down, not even us defense lawyers. All we want, though, is for the sheriff to comply with the U.S. and state constitutions and New York State laws and go before a judge—unless there’s not enough time—and get a judicial warrant.”

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