Cell-site simulators, also known as Stingrays or IMSI catchers, are devices that masquerade as legitimate cell-phone towers, tricking phones within a certain radius into connecting to the device rather than a tower.
Cell-site simulators operate by conducting a general search of all cell phones within the device’s radius, in violation of basic constitutional protections.
Law enforcement use cell-site simulators to pinpoint the location of phones with greater accuracy than phone companies. Cell-site simulators can also log IMSI numbers (unique identifying numbers) of all of the mobile devices within a given area. Some cell-site simulators may have advanced features allowing law enforcement to intercept communications or even alter the content of communications.