The Stingray: How Law Enforcement Can Track Your Every Move

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) — You could be just about anywhere and data on your cell phone can be scooped up by law enforcement without your ever knowing. It happens all the time.

The device that makes it possible is called a “cell site simulator.” That’s the generic name; Stingray is the most common brand name.

Initially developed for military use, Stingrays have made their way into local police and sheriff’s departments around the country. Months ago, the I-Team sent open records requests to every law enforcement agency in our viewing area and learned that three agencies close to home have been using cell site simulators: the Wake County Sheriff’s Department, Durham Police Department, and Raleigh Police Department. A spokesperson for RPD told the I-Team they stopped using theirs when the software needed to be upgraded.

The ACLU’s Mike Meno has been watching Stingrays spread into local law enforcement for years.

“Like a lot of militarized technology and surveillance technology, this is something that was developed overseas and it was developed for one use, but then it comes back home and is used against our own citizens. It’s used here in the States. And the government will say, ‘We need to keep this confidential,’ but we have constitutional rights. We’re supposed to have checks and balances,” he said.


  1. Benjamin Stephens on April 6, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    If anyone will stop to think about it, "IT’S A TOOL OF MASS DATA COLLECTION THAT SENDS YOUR INFORMATION TO THE MFG, AND THE GOVERNMENT!" The Police Departments have to be incentivized to violate your right’s and turn a Blind Eye towards their Bank Account’s and promotion’s!

  2. mr ceo on April 6, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Soo how does it look like a computer simulator ?

  3. Stand Alone on April 6, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    My VPN blows that pathetic stingray away!

  4. G Fg on April 6, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Safety is ok. But

    Government control, minipulation, containment

  5. thatguy 00 on April 6, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Leave the cellphone at home

  6. Holly Stuart on April 6, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    They have installed them on all phone at the time of purchase if you have to give a ID to buy a phone you live in a police state I do. They block calls rerouted calls . They burned up 3 of my phones. they have collected my voice and I am not doing anything wrong they know the hospital messed up my cancer diagnosis so I can’t call write anyone. No federal agency. . Not okay.

  7. None Filter on April 6, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    To make it easier for everybody if you buy a TracFone that phone cannot be tracked any phone that has Wi-Fi Bluetooth can be tracked just get a phone that doesn’t have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and your people will be safe take it from the best I know

  8. breeze clear on April 6, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    There’s No privacy in this COUNTRY

  9. Indústrias Skorpion Brasil on April 6, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    "the only time when police work gets easier is in a police-state"
    Raging Golden Eagle-2020

  10. Nicholas Wideman on April 6, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    This is wrong. Because of the abuse of power. The potential and the temptation for law enforcement to misuse and abuse and infringement on the rights of citizens.

  11. BEAMED BEAMED on April 6, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    oh no not my search history LMAO 😂😂😂

  12. Franky Flowers on April 6, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    shouldn’t they have to talk about stuff if the public that elects and funds them?

  13. ChanMan 2802 on April 6, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Just a reminder that the government officials in charge of the police have to OK it first. Let that sink in.

  14. Kewl Khid on April 6, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    I’ll take privacy over safety. I’ll protect myself with anonymity

  15. Benjamin Stephens on April 6, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    It’s a tool they will use to violate the right’s of many people, and then when they are caught Red Handed, "They will claim "QUALIFIED IMMUNITY!" "

  16. Abdul:::::::::::: Abdul on April 6, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    This Machines are spying on us we the people of United state shouldn’t allow this

  17. pighater52 on April 6, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Is that illegal???🤔🤔🤔🙄✔️😲

  18. Ai JPL on April 6, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    "MENSA" level intelligence could hypothetically be exploited and monetized via co cain cognitive decline "gang members" …
    or "law enforcement" or "politicians" …
    for years up to possible decades with no compensation because trauma is
    "fun" "entertainment" …
    for cocaine desensitization or probable malignant narcissist sadist … N or Y.

  19. Miakimiaaa on April 6, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    No one does it better than kalptec on iG he helped hack my husband phone without touching his phonè.

  20. Ajuramizi shiro on April 6, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    military weapon used on civilans

  21. Sean on April 6, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    And idiot conspiracy fools think the covid vaccine is a chip. 🥴😂.

  22. kurt on April 6, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Amazing how something that could be used for good can and always wil be used for bad

  23. Freedom on April 6, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    The pigs never do anything lawfully. Never trusted them and never will. Record this pigs, you all are fucking ass wholes!!!!!

  24. Peyton Brandon on April 6, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Everything the cops use was made for the military first. The military and CIA are probably using equipment that is so far advanced it would be foriegn to use. They release what technology they want us to know about. I cant imagine what we are unaware of especially with this type of technology be available to public police officers.

  25. Unknown Jones on April 6, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Imagine if people did this to the cops…I bet they would be pissed

  26. Thomas Kirkpatrick on April 6, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    It’s bad enough that our own government can, and does spy on us, now local law enforcement can also? What kind of data can they capture, and what can that data be used for, what happens if one of these devices get into the wrong hands. The powers that be can’t be trusted not to use this in some nefarious way.

  27. Ai JPL on April 6, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Any gang member could purchase Stingray device … N or Y.

  28. Troy Modenbach on April 6, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    "As long as we do this lawfully …" Yes that’s just it, there will be a time when your animal side of yourself comes out and you start Abusing it , it’s just a matter of time ; if law enforcement is able to use it, so should the public !

  29. Bj Jones on April 6, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Too bad real criminals ditch cellphones

  30. Fiona Phillips on April 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Truth tellers beware your country is at war with you and using the weapons and articles of war to justify their position. All the technology in the world cannot behove or make any argument for the use of all this hardware on a country’s resident populations. Civil rights, civic rights, human rights still exist. Whatever this agenda is a breakthrough to have ultimate power, it is against every ethical, moral and civic codicil and law there is and should be stood up against in principle.

  31. BLESSED Ms Lady on April 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Why am I craving Chow Mein🤔

  32. The Edge on April 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Its BS…shouldn’t be able to use it but…….jus dont carry a phone

  33. BEAMED BEAMED on April 6, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    i like it because if i ever wreck my car down a not well traveled mountain pass they can find me lol

  34. CELLPHONE MUSICIANS music made on cellphone on April 6, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Everything you text. Or say on your device is recorded.

  35. Kekistani Mememan on April 6, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Imsi catchers

  36. Daniel Barnes on April 6, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    No one does it better than *Cyberwizard19 on Insta* he trace my wife’s phone call and gave me her exact location and address,the world is a better place with people like him

  37. Kev Mac on April 6, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    It,s a good thing. I got nothing to you? Ha

  38. H Linville on April 6, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    i believe state police in indiana dont need warrant to use stingray device

  39. Mr.wutevaman on April 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm


  40. Rzxkp7 I on April 6, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    They do this all across America. The police dept in my state just received a large grant in November 2020. Our police department also uses radio stations.

  41. Marcus on April 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    So that’s why my WiFi slow

  42. DAUNTE VIVONE on April 6, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Wow! "When a General goes into battle, He doesn’t reveal his battle plans." Sounds like the local police have been militarized in every way. What happened to Protect and Serve the people in the community?
    More like : Protect and Serve political interests and corporately traded jails, institutions and prisons.

  43. Nicholas Wideman on April 6, 2021 at 5:25 pm


  44. Luciton Calibras on April 6, 2021 at 5:26 pm


  45. Swety Boi on April 6, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    "When a general goes into battle, he doesnt give out his battle plans." So you’re admitting you’re at war with the general public?

  46. Dan Solo Chicago on April 6, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Remember at the end of The Dark Knight where Batman turned every cell phone in Gotham into a 3 dimensional sonar so he could find the Joker. When remotely commandeering your phones camera isn’t enough.

  47. Dan Nguyen on April 6, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    These are used to track wanted criminals or provide lead ways on investigation. Nobody has time to scroll through your instagram messages.

  48. Deon Van der Westhuizen on April 6, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    This is a great help, if we could trust the government.

  49. Peyton Brandon on April 6, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    He said they have had this since 2008 it’s crazy to think about what they can do now 13 years later

  50. Kid Newport on April 6, 2021 at 5:35 pm