ACLU Sues Anaheim Over Police Surveillance of Cell Phones

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Anaheim Police Department over cell phone surveillance that the civil rights group says invades the privacy of American citizens.

The lawsuit seeks to compel Anaheim to turn over records regarding the surveillance devices, known as StringRays, which track cell phones by mimicing cell phone towers. In the process, they also indiscriminately sweep up information from bystanders’ cell phones, according to a news release from the ACLU.

ACLU officials also sued the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for access to records about the devices.

“The [California Public Records Act] ensures Californians’ fundamental right to information about the actions that law enforcement agencies take in their name,” Matt Cagle, attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, states in the news release. “The police cannot claim secrecy over their routine use of Stingrays, invasive surveillance devices that indiscriminately collect data on suspects and bystanders alike.”