According to reports, the Indiana State Police is conducting a super secret operation in which they are spying on Hoosiers by monitoring their cell phones.

The Indiana State Police purchased a special device this year for nearly $374,000 that allows officers to listen in to cell phone conversations and track locations of anyone sending or receiving cell phone calls or text messages.

It should come as no surprise that these seemingly invasive efforts have civil liberties groups in an outrage. That’s because there is concern that the ISP’s new surveillance practices could easily be used to violate the constitutional privacy rights of innocent Hoosiers.

To make things worse, officials simply refuse to comment on how they intend to use their latest spy technology: giving no indication as to what they are using it for specifically; or whether they even need a search warrant before putting it to use.

Even though police agencies across the United States using similar technology say they are only using it to track single cell phones, not thousands at one time, civil liberties groups have found evidence that suggests this claim is not entirely true.

Law enforcement in South Carolina and Florida have allegedly monitored thousands of cell phone signals at a time to assist them in solving strings of neighborhood burglaries and even to track event protestors.

This surveillance device, known as a Stingray, is installed in police cruisers and can monitor every cell phone in a specific area – sometimes ranging within a mile. The technology was created to help federal and state agencies protect against terrorism, but in its simplest form, it can be used to track the phone conversations and text messages of the average citizen – thousands at a time.

Dave Bursten, a representative for the Indiana State Police, declined to comment on the police department’s use of Stingray technology.

Kenneth Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, says that if law enforcement is collecting cell phone data of thousands of people without obtaining a search warrant, there is a serious breach of our Fourth Amendment rights taking place.

Our advice is to always conduct your business as if Big Brother is listening...because he probably is.

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