WASHINGTON (AP) - A new policy allows the Secret Service to use intrusive cellphone-tracking technology without a warrant if there's believed to be a nonspecific threat to the president or another protected person.

WASHINGTON (AP) A new policy allows the Secret Service to use intrusive cellphone-tracking technology without a warrant if there's believed to be a nonspecific threat to the president or another protected person.

Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Seth Stodder described to a House subcommittee Wednesday the department's policy on use of cell-site simulators. Civil libertarians and privacy advocates have long expressed concern about the suitcase-size devices, known as Stingrays, that trick nearby mobile phones into sending back data that can be used to locate a phone and identify its owner.

Law enforcement officers are generally required to get a warrant signed by a judge before using such devices. But Stodder says an exception in the policy allows Secret Service protective details to employ Stingrays without meeting the legal threshold for probable cause.