David Kravets writes:
The Obama administration told a federal court Tuesday that the public has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in cell-phone location data, and hence the authorities may obtain documents detailing a person’s movements from wireless carriers without a probable-cause warrant.
The administration, citing a 1976 Supreme Court precedent, said such data, like banking records, are “third-party records,” meaning customers have no right to keep it private. The government made the argument as it prepares for a re-trial of a previously convicted drug dealer whose conviction was reversed in January by the Supreme Court, which found that the government’s use of a GPS tracker on his vehicle was an illegal search.
With the 28 days of vehicle tracking data thrown out of court, the feds now want to argue in a re-trial that it was legally in the clear to use Antoine Jones’ phone location records without a warrant. The government wants to use the records to chronicle where Jones was when he made and received mobile phone calls in 2005.
Read more on Threat Level.
THIS is exactly why the Democrats have NO credibility with me when they claim to care about personal privacy protections. Their concern only seems to extend to privacy from businesses – not the government itself, yet that’s exactly what is needed.
Cingular Cell Tower by Eric Harmatz, Flickr, used under Creative Commons License