ACI Journal Articles


Your Secret StingRay's No Secret Anymore: The Vanishing Government Monopoly Over Cell Phone Surveillance and Its Impact on National Security and Consumer Privacy

Document Type


USMA Research Unit Affiliation

Army Cyber Institute

Publication Date



During a 1993 congressional oversight hearing on the integrity of telephone networks, security researcher Tsutomu Shimomura used a “software hack” to turn an analog cellular phone into a scanner that enabled all present in the hearing room to hear the live conversations of nearby cellular phone users. Shimomura had been granted immunity to perform this demonstration under the watchful gaze of a nearby agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). The event was a practical demonstration of what Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey called “the sinister side of cyberspace.”

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