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.

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Comments on “Senator Wyden Proposing Legislation Requiring Warrants For Law Enforcement To Get Device Location Info”

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29 Comments
Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Trap is set...

Let’s see if we can get all the normal trolls under a single thread to be ignored after…

~ahem~

BUT IF YOU ARE DOING NOTHING WRONG, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!!

COICA AND ACTA ARE REQUIRED TO INSURE THE INCOME OF MUSICIANS ALL OVER THE WORLD!!

MIKE IS AN IDIOT BECAUSE HE [INSERT AD HOMINIM, UNSUPPORTED ATTACK HERE] SO THEREFOR, HE MUST BE WRONG HERE!!

LOL!! BUT PIRACY!! FREETARD!! .TORRENT = CRIME!! TD-SHEEPLE!!

Did I cover them all?

Sorry, it’s Friday and I’m itchen to get home. Feeling a mite silly.

papapump (profile) says:

Wyden rocks!

I’ve been an Oregonian for about 2.5 years, and I’ve been repeatedly impressed with Wyden. As anon said above, it’s nice to see someone in Washington that you share a lot of values with.

I’m sure Wyden’s got a few issues that I disagree with him on (He’s 61, I’m almost 31), but he seems to make me proud as one of my State’s representatives over and over again.

Wyden is a true progressive. It’s hard to find that in Washington, where, regardless of what the NeoCons tell you, most lean somewhat conservative.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Wyden rocks!

(I made the above comment)

I’ve lived in Oregon my entire life, and I used to really dislike Wyden. When he voted to repeal the estate tax about ten years ago, even rejecting the compromise that the tax only apply to estates worth more than $10 million, I declared loudly that I would never have another nice thing to say about him. He has really turned it around, though.

He even seems to be steering Senator Jeff Merkeley (our junior senator) in the right direction. When Senator Wyden recently fought to eliminate the “secret hold” rule in the Senate, Merkeley simultaneously pushed the more radical (but not adopted) proposal to disallow the use of the filabuster. I’m hoping that they can continue to act in tandem like this, with Wyden pushing a good compromise while Merkeley attempts a hail Mary.

Welcome to Oregon, by the way. We’re happy to have you.

Redneck Republican from Nowhere Central Oregon says:

Good Job Senator Wyden

Being a Redneck Republican from Nowhere Central Oregon. It pains me to say it ….. I’m glad he represents me. I’ve watched him go from a mealy mouthed elder advocate on the Portland news to a decent senator.
After years of reading Techdirt, it is good to see see something green growing in the Dirt.

papapump (profile) says:

Re: Good Job Senator Wyden

Heheh…Nowhere, OR…we do have Boring, so it wouldn’t suprise me.

Funny though, the spectrum of Oregonian politics. I’m a redneck libertarian/progressive/fence-rider from Noth Cal living in Eastern Oregon. I’m surrounded by people who vote Republican because it’s what they know is right (heheh). I’ll vote either way because there’s a fat chance I’ll see a Libertarian in office soon. Rather, I’ll vote for the least “establishment” candidate. What a conundrum Obama vs McCain was. Anyhow, I’m happy to see another rural Orgonian that can see a politician for their record, rather than their party.

Wyden has some pro-gun-control stuff that doesn’t click w/ me, but in general, he seems to stick up for his constituents rather than our Reptilian Corperate Overlords.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wyden rocks!

The estate tax, even with the proposed caps, was a good thing for two reasons:

a) My estate will be worth significantly less than $10 million (or the $2 million that the cap used to be at), so I’m in favor of it because it taxes somebody other than myself. “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that feller behind the tree.” Same reason why I’m for tobacco taxes (I don’t smoke).

b) It hinders the creation of financial aristocracies (e.g. Rockefeller, Bush, Hearst, Kennedy, etc.). We have too many as it is. I think Warren Buffet put it best when he awkwardly said something along the lines of “I don’t believe you should be financially rewarded for having come from a particular womb.” I’m butchering the quote, I’m sure, but the sentiment is the same.

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