Nov 092011
 
 November 9, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

Julia Angwin and Scott Thurm report on the current legal morass concerning cellphone tracking.  Could a SCOTUS decision in the United States v. Jones GPS tracking case provide some guidance or direction for cellphone tracking?  Perhaps.  But Congress really needs to update ECPA and ensure protections in light of technological possibilities that weren’t an issue in 1986. But do you trust this Congress to write a strongly protective law? Or will the government now have newly sanctioned rights to track us or our devices without warrants or judicial oversight?

State and federal authorities follow the movements of thousands of Americans each year by secretly monitoring the location of their cellphones, often with little judicial oversight, in a practice facing legal challenges.

Electronic tracking, used by police to investigate such crimes as drug dealing and murder, has become as routine as “looking for fingerprint evidence or DNA evidence,” said Gregg Rossman, a prosecutor in Broward County, Fla.

The use of cellphone tracking by authorities is among the most common types of electronic surveillance, exceeding wiretaps and the use of GPS tracking, according to a survey of local, state and federal authorities by The Wall Street Journal.

Read more on the Wall Street Journal.

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