Sunrise Won’t Say If It Spies On Phones, Texts






Is the City of Sunrise using a device to track phones or, in some cases, intercept calls and text messages?

The American Civil Liberties Union wants to know. The group filed a public information request in Sunrise and other Florida cities to ask for any documents relating to so-called “stingray” devices.

Sunrise cops refused to cooperate.

Stingray, manufactured by the Harris Corporation, is a highly secret mechanism that is alleged to capture phone calls and text messages.  Sunrise has already made public invoices that it paid $65,000 for a stingray, and now refuses to say why.

The City of Sunrise obviously believes it needs to know what folks are saying on their phones and texts.

No surprise. This is the same city that ran bogus drug stings to make money, according to a detailed report in the Sun-Sentinel.

I will say one thing about President Barack Obama and the NSA scandal.  Barack Obama fessed up.

Sunrise stonewalled.

What excuse is there?


Obviously the Sunrise cops are out of control.  Instead of spying on phone calls and texts, the cops should do something about the rampant crime in parts of the city.

Read all about it in the ACLU’s response to Sunrise’s refusal to disclose just what they are spying on.  The response is here.

A more complete story is here.

An earlier Browardbeat story about the Sunrise police is here. 


20 Responses to “Sunrise Won’t Say If It Spies On Phones, Texts”

  1. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The Harris invoice is here:

  2. count lf chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Are you saying with street drug dealing and too many violent robberies n gun violence the police have time to violent constitutional rights to privacy? And since when are public purchases a secret?

  3. Michael says:


    Do just a little research before you express your opinion. No one is intercepting phone calls or personal text messages. Comparing this to the NSA is simply irresponsible. This technology only mimics a cell phone tower and can track the location of a cell phone signal in order to track criminals or abducted kids. Do you have any idea how many local, state and federal law enforcement organizations have this technology and have used it to capture countless violent criminals and recover countless missing children.


    Sunrise police should be patrolling their community and stopping neighborhood crime which is ruining the lifestyle of the city — burglary, purse snatching, pickpockets, car thefts, graffiti, vandalism, etc.
    That’s apparently too much work and not macho enough for them. They rather play at being the FBI or DEA. To be “tracking criminals or abducted kids” is a noble endeavor, but how much of that is really going on in Sunrise?
    All this should come out in trials when defense attorneys demand to know where the police got the evidence to arrest their clients.

  4. Oh My Goodness.... says:

    Buddy you really hit the sensational nail on the head on this one!!!! I guess you were bound to get back in touch with your Sentinel roots sooner or later…….

  5. modeengunch says:

    Where’s the Mayor on this? Preoccupied with backyard gun ranges?

  6. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Under FSS 119 (Public Records Request) I always ask for “any and all information, letters, emails, PO#s related to my request, and the reason, if necessary, why this request cannot be made”

    Govt in the Sunshine is for everyone, and the info should be forthcoming. It’s not about whether any agency wants to give it out, they MUST!


  7. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    Do you really trust the Sunrise Police?



    Why bother with boyfriend-vetting sites like when you’ve got the ginormous spying resources of the NSA at your fingertips?

    That seems to have been the thinking of at least one intelligence worker with the US National Security Agency, who, an NSA letter suggests, regularly tapped the agency’s now-infamous phone-data collection program to screen people she met at cocktail parties and the like.

    The overseas staffer “tasked the telephone number of her foreign-national boyfriend and other foreign nationals and…reviewed the resultant collection,” the letter reads, adding later: “The subject asserted that it was her practice to enter foreign national phone numbers she obtained in social settings into the [NSA] system to ensure that she was not talking to ‘shady characters.'”

  8. Just Saying says:

    I googled Stingray & Harris Corp. It appears these devices are used to “ping” cell phone locations, presumably to track wanted criminals. Further google searching showed the federal courts have ruled this is perfectly lawful and does not require a warrant:

  9. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    Maybe Sunrise will use this device to nail the Chief over at Quarterdeck — as he’s known to inebriate … I mean frequent.

  10. Duke says:

    It would be interesting to see if Sunrise or any other municipality has invoices for a New Jersey company called Cellebrite. They are the leader in mobile forensics and they have contracts with a lot of police departments. Some of the stuff they can do is quite amazing. Everything from unlocking phones to nailing down precise location. And I don’t mean telling you what tower someone was near. They can nail down the precise longitude and latitude.

  11. criminals says:

    A criminal affidavit should be filed with the state attorney alleging sunshine law misdemeanor violations against any custodian of public records who fails to comply.

  12. BTW says:

    The Sheriff has been found GUILTY of ETHICS VIOLATIONS and people are worried about little old Sunrise not releasing information.


    I don’t believe the Sheriff has been found guilty of anything.

  13. BTW1 says:

    How can you say that Buddy. The Ethics Commission found him guilty as day. Did you not listen to the tapes or read anything about the case. He was most certainly found guilty by a State Ethics Commission. Just to be in front of the Commissiin for wrong doing as an elected official is bad enough but when the probable cause committee find probable cause to move the case forward and the Ethics Commisdiin renders a Guilty verdict it is very clear. You just embarrassed your credibility as a journalist for making that comment…


    First of all, “guilty” is a criminal term and the Ethics Commission hands out civil penalties. The Ethics Commission finds nobody “guilty.”

    In January, the commission found “probable cause” that Sheriff Scott Israel broke ethics laws by accepting the gift of a luxury cruise on a supporter’s yacht. They withheld the penalty because of Israel’s lack of experience — the cruise was taken after he was elected but before he took office — and bad advise from his attorney.

    I surely agree that Israel made a mistake by taking this cruise. However in reference to your comment, “probable cause” is not the same as “guilty.

  14. John Henry says:

    I personally would like to nominate Mayor Mike Ryan for South Florida Patriot of the year!

    He’s working to destroy his citizens privacy rights while simultaneously constricting their rights to exercise the second amendment.

    He stands for everything that American was founded for!

  15. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    The Florida Ethics Commission is an oxymoron. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but in Florida some people get a pass. Actually most get passes.

  16. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    John Henry;

    Why don’t you come over and meet some of my neighbors? Maybe then, you’ll rethink the idea of allowing folks to having a bazooka firing range in their back yard.

    Call me a card carrying tree hugging liberal, but I’d like to live in a society where we have laws that curtail violence, not allow for a wild-west mentality.

    There are more weapons in America than cats and dogs. Don’t we have enough already?

  17. average Joe voter says:

    I too would like to vote Mayor Ryan for Patriot of the Year! But not for the same reason as John Henry, but because he seems to be the only one with some “common sense.” Political position either Liberal or right-wing-nuts doesn’t matter to me either way. What matters to me is “SAFETY.” If you had any real knowledge, you would know the true ramifications of having backyard gun ranges in Broward County.
    If you truly were paying any attention, you would know that this has NOTHING to do with the second amendment. Your rights are your rights, and no one is attempting to take them away, but I do not want anyone accidentally killing their neighbor or their neighbor’s child because they can say, “I am within my rights to have a backyard gun range,” and to further say, “oops it was an accident I didn’t mean to kill anyone.”
    We have professional gun ranges here throughout the state that can easily be used for the purposes of firing your weapon and training purposes.
    I hear the Reps Katie Edwards, Chris Smith, Jared Moskowitz, support your freedoms when they support being able to fire a warning shots (HB89). There is your democratic process. I smell republicans in democratic clothing so that should make you feel better. We are already here in the wild, Wild West. Now it is just becoming legal!
    Is Tallahassee really going to say that this is not a serious matter? I guess the philosophy of the needs of many outweigh the needs of a few goes out the window when selfishness is abound.
    Firing warning shots and having backyard gun ranges in urban areas without any oversight puts everyone at risk for many more deadly accidents than we already have!
    Simply said, can you honestly say there are not extra risks? Do you really think that everyone is trained on safety?

  18. The Ignorant Tree aka John Henry says:

    The legend of John Henry is that of a man who raced a steam hammer.  I guess if one fears progression one also remains small minded and willing to live life in the eighteen hundreds. Therefore, John Henry, you’re obviously emotionally conflicted or ignorant to the legend because you shouldn’t be using the computer.  Either way, your small mindedness is apparent with your rants against Mayor Ryan and your apparent lack of understanding.  Maybe the point is over your head, but it seems easy to me.  It’s okay to own guns, but there should be some regulations governing stupid decisions, like a backyard urban gun range.  Or the fact that the state is stifling the very democratic process the gun nuts say they protect!  

    If every voter votes to impose regulations regarding gun ranges within my city, then, within my city there should be regulations!  However, if the officials that we elect, cannot enact regulations due to the state statutes’ preemptions, the democratic has failed.  And there is not any way that fact can be truthfully spun to justify you John Henry points!

  19. modeengunch says:

    I’m still trying to find out who in Broward County has installed a backyard range. Anybody know?

  20. Abolish the BOCC says:

    There are plenty in Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, and Miramar