Oddly, this has nothing to do with the critters that you don’t want to step on while wading in the Gulf on a January afternoon.
A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them.
Stingrays, also known as IMSI catchers, simulate a cellphone tower and trick nearby mobile devices into connecting with them, thereby revealing their location.
The ACLU had filed a request to review the documents and actually had an appointment with Sarasota police to look them over when out of the blue, the federal Marshals swept in and snatched them. Their claim was that they had “deputized” the Sarasota cop who’d been using the device, and so all documents and readings associated with said use are federal property.
Whether or not you’re really big on the ACLU is kind of irrelevant; this is an unprecedented exertion of federal interference – an actual, physical raid on city police. It’s getting harder by the day to believe that we’re still living in America.