Friday, February 12, 2010

Warrantless Wireless Tracking

In Big Brother news, the Justice Department is arguing in the first federal appeals court today for the right of law enforcement to use tracking data from cell phones without a warrant.

Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.

In that case, the Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their--or at least their cell phones'--whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that constant tracking of roughly every citizen in America is a violation of our 4th Amendment right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects.

When reached for local comment, Kevin Denny of Carrboro said, "This is 24-type shit."

When asked about the 4th Amendment and the necessity of warrants, Denny replied, "Shit is going down every minute. No time for warrants."

[cnet via nmoore63]

No comments:

Post a Comment