Edmonton Police Say They Didn’t Mean It When They Said They Own a Stingray

Edmonton Police Say They Didn’t Mean It When They Said They Own a Stingray:

“Earlier this week, Media Relations Unit received an inquiry from Motherboard (VICE) asking if the [Edmonton Police Service] owns a Stingray device, or has ever used one from the RCMP. There was some miscommunication/misunderstanding internally surrounding the information obtained on whether the EPS owns a Stingray , and in fact, the EPS does not own a Stingray device. Police agencies do not comment on equipment used in electronic surveillance or on investigative techniques, therefore the EPS cannot provide any further information on this topic.”

Edmonton police are walking back their assertion that they did have, and use, an IMSI Catcher. Money says that the walk back is correct (it’s likely the RCMP that owns the device that EPS has used or had access to) while also misleading (because EPS would be working with the RCMP to investigate whatever the crim happens to be, while using the IMSI Catcher).

Police do not engender trust when they dogmatically try to stop the public from knowing what kinds of surveillance tools they use. Or the numbers of innocent people affected by such surveillance. Sadly, the logics of policing seem to run counter to developing this kind of generalized trust.