Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now using cell-site simulators to locate illegal immigrants – a high tech surveillance device developed originally to combat terrorism.
With the administration’s plans to deport about 3 million undocumented immigrants that have a criminal record, this tool beats doing conventional detective work. After 9/11, the US spent big bucks to develop these simulators to locate terrorists and for use in conventional warfare. Those tools are now being used to find illegal immigrants.
So, how do these cell site simulators work? Often known as IMSIs or Stingrays, these devices masquerade as a legitimate cell phone tower, tricking phones nearby into connecting to the device in order to log the IMSI numbers of mobile phones in the area or capture the content of communications.
Apparently these are working well for border patrol and ICE.