New Florida law that requires police to obtain a warrant to access a person’s phone data is raising privacy issues for some people, according to the National Rifle Association.
The law, known as the Stingray, requires police agencies to get a warrant before accessing the data stored on a cellphone.
It is also raising concerns among privacy advocates who say the law goes too far in making police look like spies.
The law also allows police to access phone records without a warrant even if they are searching for an individual suspected of a crime.
The NRA’s top lobbyist, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., issued a statement Thursday saying he is concerned about the new law and how it might affect Americans’ privacy.
“With Stingrays and other data mining technologies, the government can read every text message, call and email that passes through the government’s fiber optic network, including any communications of Americans,” Meadows said.
“This means the government will be able to listen in on our phone calls, and even read the contents of our emails.
This data could be used for targeted targeting, harassment and other nefarious purposes.
It would be easy to get caught in this net.
We can’t let this happen.”
The NRA issued a press release Thursday saying it is calling on the Florida legislature to reject the law.
“We urge the legislature to pass legislation that prevents law enforcement from accessing the contents or content of a phone call or email to determine if it is a crime,” the NRA said.
A spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement declined to comment.
But privacy advocates say the new bill is unconstitutional.
“The Florida law is an unconstitutional overreach into citizens’ personal privacy,” said John Carnevale, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“When law enforcement is using this technology, they are asking the government to spy on innocent Americans.”
Meadows said the law should be repealed, but he also wants the federal government to review the law to see if it will still be used in Florida.