KingFish Controversy Getting Bigger: Legislators Want Details on Cell-Phone Spying Technology

dome-lgKingFish continues to make news this week. The Star Tribune reported last evening that a group of Republican and DFL legislators want more information about the cellular exploitation devices purchased by law enforcement in Minnesota.

A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers on Thursday requested information about a controversial law enforcement device that captures cellular phone data.

‘The public’s concern about the federal government’s use of phone data puts additional scrutiny on similar surveillance by state and local law enforcement agencies.’  said the letter to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman that was  signed by members of the House and Senate.  ‘Additionally, mistrust and problems with data breaches at the state level raise concerns about who has access to this information and how long it is kept by the government.’

Representative John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul), who was one of the signees on the letter, announced this week that he will hold legislative hearings on the use of cell-phone spying technology.

‘It’s absolutely a potential concern in any situation where the government is getting information on you without a warrant,’ says Lesch.

Lesch plans to hold the hearings in late January.

The activity by legislators of both major political parties shows the controversy about the use of this cell-phone spying technology won’t be going away anytime soon. As I wrote earlier in the week, “KingFish” will soon be an important word in politics for Republicans.


JeffJohnsonHeadshotThe timing of legislative hearings will likely coincide with the Republican’s political calendar for endorsing candidates for statewide office. This is tough news for Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who is running for governor and State Senator Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen), who is running for the U.S. Senate. Both Johnson and Ortman released statements  this week clarifying their positions on the use of cellular exploitation devices.

As Republicans are holding meetings about endorsing candidates including Johnson and Ortman, new headlines about KingFish will be generated by legislative activity in St. Paul. The timing couldn’t be worse.

Please check back to for more information on this story.


  1. Pingback: Political Drive-Time – December 13, 2013 |

  2. time to reign in law enforcement idiots

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