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New US Policy on Cell-Site Simulators Raises More Privacy Questions

© Flickr / studio08denverSenator Patrick Leahy
Senator Patrick Leahy - Sputnik International
US Senator Patrick Leahy claims that DHS newly-issued cell phone tracking technology policy raises additional concerns over violation of privacy rights.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) newly-issued cell phone tracking technology policy raises additional concerns over violation of privacy rights, US Senator Patrick Leahy said in a press release.

"This policy is limited to criminal investigations, and it is not clear what rules will apply to any use of cell-site simulators for other DHS missions," Leahy argued.

The United States, Leahy added, must ensure that privacy rights of innocent Americans are protected, especially those who are not targets of criminal investigations.

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Leahy also said he was disappointed that the DHS has included the same suspicious exceptions to search warrant requirements that can be found in the policy of the Department of Justice.

In September, the Justice Department implemented a new policy for the use of cell-site simulators including increased privacy protections and higher legal standards.

Leahy has raised privacy concerns about other forms of technology used by US law enforcement agencies, including the use of a national database to track the movement of vehicles around the United States, and the reported use of radar technology enabling law enforcement to track the movements of private citizens inside their homes.

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