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    Washington Post: Feds to study illegal use of spy gear

    The Washington Post reports that the Federal Communications Commission will investigate the reported misuse of surveillance technology to spy on ordinary individuals:

    The Federal Communications Commission has established a task force to study reported misuse of surveillance technology that can intercept cellular signals to locate people, monitor their calls and send malicious software to their phones.

    The powerful technology — called an IMSI catcher, though also referred to by the trade name “Stingray” — is produced by several major surveillance companies and widely used by police and intelligence services around the world.

    The FCC, in response to questions from U.S. Rep. Alan M. Grayson (D-Fla.), plans to study the extent to which criminal gangs and foreign intelligence services are using the devices against Americans. […]

    The action followed numerous news reports, in Newsweek, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and The Washington Post, about the vulnerability of cellular networks to interception. […]

    The widespread use of IMSI catchers by law enforcement also has prompted significant legal debates, with civil liberties groups arguing that police have too much latitude in collecting data that flows through cellular networks.

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