Tales of Stingray and Kingfish continue with hook of data request


As many readers of this post know since September of last year I have been doing data requests and lobbying for a bill at the Minnesota Legislature that would give greater protections for Minnesotans when government entities want access to your personal and sensitive location data. Well that bill passed and became law.

For me though, questions still remain about the usage of the Kingfish/Stingray and the recent disclosure that these devices have been used hundreds of times by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. In effort to find out what was the rationale for its usage so many times I am continuing with data requests under our Minnesota Government Data Practice Act. (statute)

This is part of a recent data request I sent to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety which the Bureau is a division of.

“Pursuant to media coverage, the cellular exploitative devices known as the Kingfish/Stingray have been used hundreds of times over the past several years.

I have reviewed approximately 20 cases that the devices were used specifically by the BCA for BCA cases that the agency was responsible for. I have done this pursuant to previous data requests.

This appeared recently in the the newspaper, “Politics in Minnesota”

“Currently, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are the main agencies known to use such technology. The BCA uses it roughly 100 times a year, according to a spokeswoman.”

What I am requesting per Chapter 13 is to inspect and review all government data that documents the usage of the cellular exploitative devices since 2008 with other agencies or entities.

In my discussion with……why the usage of cellular exploitative devices hundreds of times, but so few inactive criminal investigative files held by the BCA to document the usage. ……indicated that BCA will act many times in a supportive role in the use of exploitative cellular devices, therefore no case file because “it’s” not their case.

But I do believe there must be documentation when an device such as the Kingfish/Stingray is used in a supportive role as described to me by……..

I want under Chapter 13 to review and inspect all government data that documents the usage of the cellular exploitative devices (Kingfish/Stingray) since 2008 with other agencies or entities.”

I left out the name of the person I spoke with. But what you see here is an example of using a statutory/law for accountability and to bring sunshine to an issue that continues to be of interest to many people.

I will keep you posted.