If you go near the Super Bowl, you will be surveilled hard

Bay Area police departments own plenty of fake cell phone towers designed to track your phone. These devices, often called stingrays or IMSI catchers, mimic cellular towers, tricking phones into linking to them. Law enforcement can identify cell phones within range, track their location, and access metadata about who and when you text and call. They can go so far as to capture the content of your texts and voice calls.

A state law passed in October, requires state and local law enforcement to obtain a warrant and provide notice to the identified targets before using a cell site simulator. However, the law doesn’t apply to federal agencies within California. “If there’s a state actor involved, they should be getting a warrant for sure,” Cagle said. “Whenever there’s a state-federal partnership between law enforcement, there’s a possibility that the Feds are going to want to use their own equipment.”

Given the extremely heightened state of security around the game, Kayyali notes that it’s likely the feds will make use of Stingrays when they can. “The interesting thing here is that DHS and FBI both do have policies for the use of cellular site simulators that require warrants,” Kayyali told WIRED. “But these policies are full of loopholes, and one of the loopholes is that there is a national security exception for the warrant requirement.”