Government May Now Track You Via Your Mobile Phone
from the wonderful dept
I almost hesitate to post this, because, undoubtedly the comments will take this story and mix it with the other big political controversy you might have read about concerning snooping on people without warrants. If possible, it would be nice if the comments didn't immediately fall into name calling and political bashing, and instead focused on the issues -- but somehow I doubt that will happen. Anyway, recently, the Department of Justice has been doing a bit of jurisdiction shopping in trying to get permission to get access to cell site data without a warrant in order to be able to track people. The first three courts they went to tossed out the request, often trashing the government's argument with phrases such as: "unsupported," "misleading," "contrived," and a "Hail Mary." Rather than appeal any of these cases and set a real precedent, the DOJ proceeded to simply file new cases in different locations. Three times in a row the judges tossed the case right out of the courtroom. Unfortunately, it looks like this isn't a case of three strikes and you're out. The EFF notes that, despite the first three denials, a new court has given the go ahead, and apparently wasn't concerned about how this might violate privacy rights. As the EFF notes, there's no one to appeal this ruling, meaning that there's now a big legal black hole for future attempts to do the same. Was it really that difficult to go get a search warrant? Update: A good article by Mark Rasch details the issues related to this story.