Lawmaker to discuss what is known and unknown about surveillance methods of local law enforcement
State Rep. Tom McMillin is hosting a town hall meeting to inform the public of what he has discovered about the use of Hailstorm and StingRay cell phone tower simulator technology used by the Oakland County Sheriff’s office.
The town hall will be held on July 2, at 7 p.m. at the Rochester Adams High School auditorium, 3200 W. Tienken Road, Rochester. McMillin plans to share the information he has gathered during his committee hearing and investigation and to seek public input on the use of the technology by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.
“This Hailstorm technology has been used on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan for the last two decades,” said McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “The residents of my district have the right to know it is being used in our area.”
McMillin has repeatedly tried to engage Oakland County in conversations about what the technology does and how it is being used. So far, he has had little success.
“The most frustrating part of this whole situation is that the county continually refuses to share information on what the technology does, while telling lawmakers and the public to just trust them,” said McMillin. “Among other things, this technology can mimic cell towers to collect data, and citizens wouldn’t have any way of knowing their privacy, or worse their rights, have been violated. To me, that runs into our constitutional rights.”
McMillin hopes this town hall, along with recent national and Michigan media attention on the issue, will serve as another occasion to create an open and transparent discussion with the public and law enforcement about the Hailstorm and StingRay technology.
“The goal here is transparency and the protection of privacy and constitutional rights,” McMillin said. “I’m interested in promoting the privacy versus security debate – and citizens need to be heard.”
McMillin has extended an invitation to Oakland County Sheriff Bouchard’s office to the town hall.