Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On New Justice Department Policy Regarding the Use Of Cell-Site Simulators

[The Department of Justice on Thursday issued new guidelines governing the use of cell-site simulators.  Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has pressed the administration since last year about the use of these devices, which can unknowingly sweep up the cell phone signals of innocent Americans and raise significant privacy concerns.]


“The Department of Justice’s new policies are finally starting to catch up with the rapid advancement of this tracking technology.  For more than a year, Chairman Grassley and I have pressed the administration about the use of cell-site simulators, which sweep up cell phone signals from innocent Americans who are not targets of an investigation.  Today’s announcement is a welcome step forward, and has the potential to bring transparency and consistency to the Department’s use of these tracking devices.  However, I have serious questions about the exceptions to the warrant requirement that are set forth in this new policy, and I will press the Department to justify them.”

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