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.”

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *