Demand Police Obtain Warrants for Cell Phone Surveillance


Target: Eric T. Schneiderman, New York State Attorney

Goal: Protect citizen privacy by requiring police obtain a warrant prior to using covert cell phone tracking devices.

Current New York law does not require police to obtain a warrant prior to using cell site simulators to track private citizens. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has released a report showing that the New York Police Department (NYPD) has used cell site simulators to track cell phone use more than 1,000 times in less than a decade. According to the NYCLU report, the NYPD does not have written policy governing the use of these devices and does not obtain warrants to do so.

The NYPD does seek less stringent court orders, known as pen registers, prior to using cell phone simulators. However, the NYCLU and other organizations indicate this may still pose a risk for bystanders to have their cell information intercepted. In addition, because the requirements for pen registers are less stringent, there is a risk that privacy of all private citizens is not being properly protected.

Sign this petition to demand that police obtain a warrant for covert cell phone surveillance.


Dear Attorney Schneiderman,

New York citizens’ privacy rights are currently in danger of being trampled. Current law does not require police to obtain a warrant prior to using cell phone simulators for covert surveillance. Although the NYPD states they do seek pen register orders, the NYCLU has issued a report stating that the NYPD does not have a written policy governing the use of cell phone simulators and that their use leaves all private citizens at risk of having their privacy violated.

We demand that police be required to obtain a warrant before they’re able to spy on citizens with cell phone simulation devices.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Feureau

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121 Signatures

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