Saturday, January 13, 2018

Corning Ithaca Defense lawyer: How can the Police get your Cell Phone Info? It's called a STINGRAY

Image of a Stingray Device
It's called a "STINGRAY"

What is a STINGRAY?

"Stingray" has now become legal slang for any device that is capable of simulating a cell phone tower and getting your information directly.   There are many different models with all kinds of different software being employed across the United States today by the federal government and local police.  

The scary thing about a STINGRAY is that is can get a tremendous amount of information about you from your phone without you knowing.   These days we are all on on phones constantly -- so it is a very powerful tool for law enforcement to invade our privacy --and they can do it whenever they feel like it.  

How does it work?

In lay terms, the STINGRAY simulates a cell tower.  It's technical terms is a "cell site simulator."  It is very portable and can be placed in a car (in passenger compartment or trunk) and is driven around by law enforcement so that the device can send "pings" to any cellular phone in its range.  These pings compel the mobile phone in range to send data back to the Stingray.  Once the Stingray is connected to a phone, it can manipulate the phone's connection to the tower/Stingray.   When the Stingray is connected to a phone, it will be able to read texts, listen to phone calls, get voicemails, and access the Global Positioning System (GPS) on the phone for it's precise location.  

These types of devices have been used in the USA for years to essentially spy on the American people for purposes of "law enforcement."   However, the law enforcement community and federal government have prevented US citizens from learning more about how these devices work and how they're employed against average Americans.  It wasn't until the past couple years when manuals and other info about this spying technology were released to the public.  Even so, these disclosures were heavily redacted.  The police continue to keep this info from the public --so sadly, we really do not know how much our Constitutional 4th Amendment rights are being violated on a daily basis...

Why Should Non-Criminals Care About this Device?

Sadly, a Stingray is an eavesdropping device that does not discriminate between criminals and the regular public.  It casts a wide net and if you are in the vicinity of the Stingray then the police will be getting your data too!  

This level of intrusion into our privacy can be used by police to scan for local crime without a warrant if they wish.  No agency is watching the police to make sure they only use it when they are authorized by a judge.  It's very "1984" for the police to be monitoring all of us --without our knowledge or consent.  Big brother is watching (and listening).

Hypothetically, a police officer could be riding around your city with a Stingray in the car --and catch a text from your phone about buying some weed.   Then, even though they had no warrant to eavesdrop on your phone, they could get your name and address from the phone number, and start staking out your house. They would watch you drive somewhere, tail you, then pull your car over for some insignificant reason (which is legal in NY) and search your car.   If they find anything, then they won't mention how you got on their radar screen at the start--and claim that it was just luck that they happened to stop you and find some illicit drugs -- but it could have originated from a device like a Stingray.  Who knows?  

This is the scary part of the technology.

For more specific information about Stingray technology, I suggest you check out this article.   

In the meantime, remember, your phone is not your own --and the government can track it (and all the data is holds) if they feel like it.  

I'll be doing a post about New York Laws and the Stingray in the coming days.




Or find us online!

DISCLAIMER: If you or a loved one is charged with a crime in NY, we strongly urge you to consult with a local, licensed criminal defense attorney to help lessen the possible negative outcomes of the charge--including the potential loss of your freedom. 

*Attorney advertising
*Educational Purposes only. Copyright 2018 NEWMAN & CYR PLLC.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ithaca and NEW YORK People: Brand NEW SEALING law passed in NY for old criminal convictions! Read on.


In case you couldn't tell from the font and image--this is HUGE NEWS!   Up until now New York barely allowed any kind of sealing of old crimes and does offer any kind of expungement of crimes --ever.   

My partner, Larry, has written an extensive article about this new legal development and we will be putting more info as we wrap our heads around this new law and what it can mean for our clients.  In the meantime, I recommend you read the blog post linked below and call us with any questions:  607-229-5184.  

We now believe that we can help people get their old convictions sealed.  Big stuff.

-Mike Cyr



Friday, August 11, 2017

Ithaca Defense Lawyers: Ithaca Students SHOULD know the law when it comes to Alcohol/Drug Overdosing in NY


 Ithaca College and Cornell Students SHOULD Know the Law when it comes to Drug/Alcohol Overdosing

*Important Info for all New York students and their Parents*

In our law practice, we deal with many people who are dealing with substance abuse or dependence.  Since we practice DWI defense in Ithaca, NY, we also represent lots of students at Ithaca College and Cornell University.  This post is directed at all high school and college students so they don't have a tragedy befall them (or their friends) for being afraid to report a serious medical issue. 

My wife is a former emergency room physician in Ithaca and is currently practicing at Cornell Health.  Throughout her career, she has told me many stories of how people have been saved from alcohol and drug-related death by their friends who were smart enough to call an ambulance when their friends became unresponsive/unconscious.  

The following is an excerpt from my book, "How to Graduate with a Degree...and Without a Criminal Record," ...

Chapter 8: Partying Too Hard…Overdosing

Fortunately, there are protections built into New York’s laws that protect
people who seek medical care for alcohol and drug abuse from criminal charges.
The goal is to make sure all students know that their personal safety comes first
and that they will NOT get in trouble for seeking medical attention for
themselves or their friends.

The only exception to this law is for people who are caught selling drugs. They may still be
prosecuted under drug sale crimes, but not possession based crimes. All in all,
this law protects both the user and “Good Samaritan” who seek medical attention
in times of drug or alcohol emergency. Tell your friends and parents about this
law. It could save your life someday.

1. Make sure your friends know about this law.
2. If you or a friend is unconscious, be safe, and get them medical attention

When it comes to partying --it should be fun and safe.  If you are a college student or a parent reading this, make sure you tell your friends and kids about this law.  It could save your/their life one day. 




Or find us online!

DISCLAIMER: If you or a loved one is charged with a crime in NY, we strongly urge you to consult with a local, licensed criminal defense attorney to help lessen the possible negative outcomes of the charge--including the potential loss of your freedom. 

*Attorney advertising

*Educational Purposes only. Copyright 2017 NEWMAN & CYR PLLC.