Officials: Evidence of Cellphone Surveillance Devices Found Near White House

Federal investigators have apparently discovered “signs” that surveillance devices capable of intercepting calls and text messages were in operation near the White House last year, The Washington Post reported Friday. The devices, known as IMSI catchers or Stingrays, have long been used by local and federal police departments. The catchers trick phones into connecting with them, and giving up text messages and cellphone data. The Department of Homeland Security discovered evidence of IMSI catchers last year, but those findings only recently came to light after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) called for a stronger federal response to cell network security. The department informed Wyden of its findings in a May 22 letter, but did not specify the group responsible. “This admission from DHS bolsters my concern about stingrays and other spying devices being used to spy on Americans’ phones,” Wyden said Thursday, according to the Post. “Given the reports of rogue spying devices being identified near the White House and other government facilities, I fear that foreign intelligence services could target the president and other senior officials.”