Senator Wyden Proposing Legislation Requiring Warrants For Law Enforcement To Get Device Location Info
from the good-for-him dept
Senator Ron Wyden is quickly becoming a politician to be proud of on issues that we feel are important. We’ve already seen him single-handedly stand up to COICA (and forcefully stand behind that position after facing ridiculous lobbying pressure). He also was one of a very small number of US politicians who has publicly expressed concerns about ACTA. But it’s not just on copyright issues. Senator Wyden is now proposing a new law that would require that law enforcement get a warrant before being able to get location info from mobile devices.
While there are still some differing opinions in the courts on the legality of obtaining location info without a warrant, law enforcement has pushed hard to not need a warrant to get such info, preferring to just use a subpoena (basically just asking with no real judicial review). Wyden believes this is wrong, and a violation of basic privacy principles:
“If you asked most Americans, I think they would tell you that surreptitiously turning somebody’s cell phone into a modern-day tracking device … and using it to monitor their movements, 24/7, is a pretty serious intrusion into their privacy, pretty much comparable to searching their house or tapping their phone calls.”
It’s so rare to see a politician say things we agree with that it seems worth highlighting. Who knows if this will actually get anywhere (chances are it won’t), but Wyden still deserves kudos.