Police Across The U.S. Are Using Radar To See Through Walls And Into Homes …

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Law enforcement is getting new surveillance tools. But they don’t always want to talk about them..

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies are using hand-held radar to “see” the inside of houses, USA Today reports. Using a radar device known as a Range-R, police can broadcast radio waves into a house and detect motion as subtle as human breathing from up to 50 feet away.Use of the devices has raised privacy concerns — especially involving police being able to see inside a structure without first obtaining a search warrant.Theoretically police need a warrant to use the radar, but in December it emerged that officers had used one before entering a house to arrest a man suspected of violating his parole. The radar guns are just the latest in a long line of tech tools being quietly deployed across the country with little public scrutiny, raising questions about how the Fourth Amendment applies in the digital era.

At the moment the devices – called Range-Rs – will only show that movement has been detected on the other side of the wall, but won’t show a picture. “The problem isn’t that the police have this. Radar devices were first designed for wartime use in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their deployment in civilian life brings complicated legal issues still being argued in the judicial system. The issue isn’t the technology; the issue is always how you use it and what the safeguards are,” said Hanni Fakhoury, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to Indystar. Marshals Service, which alone spent some $180,000 on Range-Rs since 2012. “The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” American Civil Liberties Union principal technologist Christopher Soghoian told USA Today. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.” The paper first uncovered the tech in a December U.S.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, in which police used a Range-R to locate and arrest a convicted felon for failing to report to his parole officer. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used.

According to a court document, Kansas police used the device to confirm the suspect’s presence inside a house with a utility paid for under his name. However, USA Today notes that more sophisticated models are on the market, including devices that can be mounted on drones and those that can reveal three-dimensional displays of where people are inside buildings. Upon entering the house, police discovered the suspect along with multiple firearms the suspect was legally barred from possessing due to a previous conviction.

Judges presiding over the case expressed concern over the fact that police failed to obtain a search warrant prior to entering the residence, and warned that ”the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.” Originally developed for use by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, Range-Rs cost $2,000 per unit and raise many of the same potential Fourth Amendment questions as another piece of police tech that’s been grabbing headlines recently — stingrays. (RELATED: U.S. The devices masquerade as cellphone towers and connect to every cellphone in a given area, giving police access to a wealth of information including location, calls, texts and more.

Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of the home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a “search” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. While it is unknown whether law enforcement uses the more high-tech radar, many technologies currently sit in law enforcement’s surveillance arsenal, which have also been introduced without public debate and used secretly. He said the Marshals Service “routinely pursues and arrests violent offenders based on pre-established probable cause in arrest warrants” for serious crimes. The federal appeals court’s decision published last month was apparently the first by an appellate court to reference the technology or its implications. Marshals, the investigative means utilized to locate the suspect have not been revealed,” he wrote, suggesting that officers instead say they had received help from “a confidential source.” Note that this email actually spelled it U.S.

Marshalls (two l’s)./bdh William Sorukas, a former supervisor of the Marshals Service’s domestic investigations arm, said deputies are not instructed to conceal the agency’s high-tech tools, but they also know not to advertise them. “If you disclose a technology or a method or a source, you’re telling the bad guys along with everyone else,” he said.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Police Across The U.S. Are Using Radar To See Through Walls And Into Homes …".

* Required fields
All the reviews are moderated.
Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site