The United States has acknowledged that it suspects that cellphone spying devices exist in Washington. It says the devices could be permitting foreign spies and criminals to follow an individual's movements, secretly listen to calls, and read text messages.

    The devices are called cellphone-site simulators. American intelligence and law enforcement agencies use the equipment themselves. However, they have been quiet about the issue of such equipment being used against the U.S.

    Ron Wyden is a Democratic Party lawmaker from Oregon. Last year he requested information about simulators in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security. Last week, the DHS answered Senator Wyden by letter. It said the DHS had identified suspected illegal cellphone-site simulators in the nation's capital. The letter said the agency did not know the kind of devices in use or who might have been operating them. It did not give more details.
    罗恩·怀登(Ron Wyden)是一位来自俄勒冈州的民主党议员。去年他致信美国国土安全部(DHS)要求获得基站模拟器相关信息。上周,美国国土安全部以信函方式回复了参议员怀登。信中表示该部门已经在美国首都发现了疑似非法的基站模拟器。信中还称该部门不了解在用的设备类型,也不知道谁在操作这些设备。该部门没有提供更多细节。

    The Associated Press got the agency's answer from Wyden's office. It suggests little has been done about such equipment, called Stingrays by U.S. police departments. The Federal Communications Commission formed a committee to deal with the subject four years ago. However, it has never produced a report and no longer meets on a usual basis.

    Stingrays trick cellphones into connecting through them instead of through legal cell systems. Other devices force cellphones to connect through lower level technology that does not prevent access by others. Some of these devices can attach malware to a system.

    The devices can cost from $1,000 to about $200,000. They are commonly the size of a briefcase, but some are as small as a cellphone.

    Thousands of members of the military, intelligence and federal law enforcement services live and work in the Washington area. Many have special security measures on their cell phones. But average citizens could become victims of stingray users.

    DHS official Christopher Krebs signed the letter to Wyden. It said that the agency had seen "anomalous activity" possibly from Stingrays in the Washington area.
    国土安全部官员克里斯托弗·克雷布斯(Christopher Krebs)向怀登签发了这份信件。信中表示,该机构曾经在华盛顿地区发现可能来自于“魔鬼鱼”的“异常活动”。

    A DHS official added that the devices were found in a 90-day trial that began in January 2017 with equipment from a Las Vegas-based DHS contractor, ESD America.
    一位美国国土部官员补充说,这些设备是在2017年1月开始的为期90天的试验中被发现的,当时发现“魔鬼鱼”的设备来自于国土安全部的一家承包商,拉斯维加斯的ESD America公司。

    Krebs is the top official in the department's National Protection and Programs Directorate. He wrote that the agency lacks the equipment and money to detect Stingrays. And he called the use of such devices against the U.S., "a real and growing risk."

    Legislators have been worried about the use of Stingrays in the capital since at least 2014 when suspected illegal devices were found near the White House, the Supreme Court, the Commerce Department and the Pentagon.

    Wyden said in a statement Tuesday that "leaving security to the phone companies has proven to be disastrous." He added that the FCC has refused to force phone companies to act.

    After the 2014 news reports about Stingrays in Washington, Representative Alan Grayson of Florida wrote to the FCC about the report. Then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler answered that the agency had created a committee to fight illegal use of the devices.
    在2014年华盛顿发现“魔鬼鱼”的报道之后,佛罗里达州众议员阿伦·格雷森(Alan Grayson)就该报道致函美国联邦通讯委员会。时任美国联邦通讯委员会主席汤姆·惠勒(Tom Wheeler)回应称,该机构已经成立了一个委员会以打击这些设备的非法使用。

    That committee appears to have done little. A former adviser to Wheeler, Gigi Sohn, said there was no political desire to stop Stingrays because the intelligence agencies and local police forces were using them so often.
    该委员会似乎没什么动作。惠勒的前顾问齐琪·索恩(Gigi Sohn)表示,美国没有阻止“魔鬼鱼”的政治愿望,因为情报机构和地方警察机构都在频繁使用它们。

    "The FCC is not doing its job," said Laura Moy of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University. The agency, she said, should be enforcing its rules and demanding companies protect their network.
    乔治敦大学隐私和科技中心的劳拉·莫伊(Laura Moy)表示:“美国联邦通讯委员会没尽到职责。”她说该机构应该要执行规定,并要求各家通信公司保护其网络。

    FCC spokesman Neil Grace, however, said the agency does not have that power.
    然而美国联邦通讯委员会发言人尼尔·格雷斯(Neil Grace)说,该机构没有这种权力。

    I'm Susan Shand.