The illegal use of the StingRay system to track cell phone users is becoming increasingly widespread. So far it was thought that the system was only used in the United States, but journalists found that the service was also used in the United Kingdom.
StingRay is a citizen surveillance tool that has been in use for at least seven years. The system consists of fake mobile masts, which, by virtue of the higher signal strength, force the phone to connect to them. Once the connection has been established, the system starts collecting various data such as device ID, subscriber name, phone numbers, call duration and location, etc.
What’s important StingRay collects data from all phones in the area, and more advanced versions of this system can also eavesdrop on conversations and view text messages.
So far it has been known that StingRay is used in the United States, but Sky News found evidence that the system is still in use in the United Kingdom. Journalists have used software developed by a German security company to track StingRay and have discovered that it is used in London. And in three weeks they managed to track their 20 places of action.
Unfortunately, the establishment of wiretapping devices is regulated in the UK by the 1997 legislation, which does not take modern technology into account and does not say nothing of surveillance of telephone calls. So you can not tell exactly how many times the British police used StingRay.