Financial documents show Essex Police budgeted for purchasing IMSI catchers, and suggest it shares the technology with Kent Police.
While the US has seen a vibrant and relatively transparent debate around so-called IMSI catchers—devices that can indiscriminately sweep up texts, calls and other mobile phone data in a given area—the UK government has remained consistently tight-lipped about its use of the tools.
But, slowly, more information is trickling out. According to financial documents uncovered by Motherboard, another UK police force has allocated funds for buying IMSI catchers. One of the documents also implies that the force shares this type of surveillance technology, meaning that the total number of agencies across the country that can use IMSI catchers may be greater than currently understood.
“These documents suggest that a far wider group of police forces are making use of the technologies and it is no longer just the counter-terrorism units…
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