Julio Molina | Aug 02, 2022
The department does not use the ‘Sting Ray’ device which functions by tricking your phone into thinking that the surveillance device is a cell tower.
USVI - There has been recent unsubstantiated and reckless claims circulating on social media - including Facebook and WhatsApp – that the V.I. Police Department is using a device called ‘Sting Ray’ to track cell phone conversations without
someone’s knowledge. The department does not use the ‘Sting Ray’ device which functions by tricking your phone into thinking that the surveillance device is a cell tower. This results in your phone routing any traffic — such
as text messages, web queries or phone calls — through the device.
“While the claimed ‘Sting Ray’ device may have been used by US Military, Federal Law Enforcement Agencies and Police Departments throughout the mainland, I can emphatically and without any reservations state that the V.I. Police Department
does not own, possess nor use any such device,” Police Commissioner Martinez said. “The V.I. Police Department has a responsibility to enforce laws which, in turn, ensures the safety of the citizenry of the territory; however, it is our
obligation to also follow laws and policies which do not infringe on the rights of the community,” Martinez continued.
“Furthermore, the device operates only on the 2G Network, which no longer exists in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, the device's reliance on 2G technology makes it less useful for law enforcement with every passing year as 4G and eventually
5G networks take over,” the Police Commissioner concluded.