White House Says Feds Should Have Unfettered Access To Mobile Phone Location Info

from the *sigh* dept

Many civil libertarians were hopeful that the Obama administration would be a lot more reasonable on certain issues, like warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of Americans. So far, that hasn't really been the case. The new administration has already sided with the old on the legality of warrantless wiretapping, and is now saying that it shouldn't need a warrant to demand location records from mobile phone providers. This certainly seems like the sort of private info that, under the 4th Amendment, would require a warrant, but not according to the administration(s). It feels that mobile phone providers should freely hand over records of what mobile phone tower any phone was connected to, even without the administration bothering to get a warrant (i.e., whenever and for whomever it wants to keep tabs on). This is tremendously problematic if you believe in the basic principles of the 4th Amendment. The EFF and the ACLU have asked a court to stop this practice, and it's rather disappointing that the administration is pushing in the other direction.

Filed Under: 4th amendment, civil liberties, location, privacy, white house

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2009 @ 6:37am


    So, allowing the warrant to be filed after the fact (in time sensitive situations) would be reasonable.
    That already exists.

    But warrantless access to this info could lead to real time monitoring of millions of people in the near future.
    Which is exactly what any sane person does NOT want. If you think real-time monitoring of people is a good thing I have a little book I want you to read, it is called Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    The moment president Obama finds out that someone at the NSA is tracking his daughters or his wife through their cell phones, he'll change his mind pretty quick. Similar things have happened here in Portugal and in Italy. Governments approved relaxed rules for phone tapping and the jailing of defendants while waiting trial, but then rushed to limit it when it was actually used on public officials and politicians.
    You don't seem that familiar with the way laws work in america. here, they take for bloody ever to get rid of laws that everyone hates (prohibition) and even ignoring that point laws should not be made in a style of throwing everything to see what sticks and then repeal it if it doesn't. Not to mention that it is a major violation of our constitution, you may have heard of it, it is a piece of paper that used to mean something here.

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