The Baltimore police department is under fire for using a secret invasive technology known as Hailstorm over 4,300 times to illegally spy on local citizens.
The information was leaked when a member of the Police Department’s Advanced Technical Team, Detective Emmanuel Cabreja, testified in court that police own a Hailstorm cell site simulator — the latest version of the stingray — and have used the technology 4,300 times since 2007.
Officer Cabreja admitted to using the device 600 to 800 times in less than two years as a member of the unit.
The device known as Hailstorm acts as a fake cell tower and retrieves all cellphone data in the area allowing local authorities to tack or trace individuals anonymously.
When the information is pressed about the technology in court prosecutors are instructed to drop the case in order to protect the use and secrecy of the surveillance technology.
According to the Baltimore Sun, “the nondisclosure agreement, presented for the first time in court Wednesday, explicitly instructs prosecutors to drop cases if pressed on the technology, and tells them to contact the FBI if legislators or judges are asking questions.”
Defense attorney Joshua Insley prodded Cabreja questioning him about the agreement.
“Does this document instruct you to withhold evidence from the state’s attorney and Circuit Court, even upon court order to produce?” he asked.
“Yes,” Cabreja said.
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