A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is demanding to know how widespread the use of warrantless surveillance is within the Obama administration, after it became known that the Internal Revenue Service has quietly been using “cell-site simulator” technology to collect data from unsuspecting people.
In a Monday letter to all 24 federal agencies, the leaders of the House Oversight Committee said it wants to know which other agencies are using this technology, commonly known as “Stingray” technology that poses as cell phone towers. It was spearheaded by committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, R-Md.
In addition to targeting agencies like the Department of Agriculture, The Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the letter singled out Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Specifically, it asked for all information about “DOD grants and the total amount of money disbursed by DOD to state or local law enforcement agencies to obtain cell-site simulation technology,” essentially asked how many local law enforcement agencies around the country have leased the technology from the DOD.